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Norman S. Zalkind

Criminal defense Attorney at Boston, MA

5.0   1 review

About Norman

Learn Norman’s areas of practice.

5
Practice areas
  1. Criminal defense
    40%
    Norman’s criminal cases involve a wide range of offenses, such as murder (including death penalty cases), drug crimes, terrorism, extortion, bank robbery, sex crimes, tax evasion, arson, telemarketing fraud, and Medicaid and securities fraud. He practices in both state and federal courts and handles misdemeanor and felony offenses, as well as related matters like federal extradition.

    57 years

  2. Other
    20%

  3. White collar crime
    20%

  4. Education
    10%
    Norman believes strongly in students’ rights and for years he has represented students accused of all types of misconduct on campus, including plagiarism, cheating on tests, sexual assault, and even embezzlement. He brings his wealth of experience with the criminal law to these matters, which intersect with the criminal justice system in particularly serious cases.

  5. Litigation
    10%
    Norman has represented plaintiffs and defendants in discrimination, libel, divorce and business litigation cases, including securities litigation.

Norman Zalkind, the founding partner of Zalkind Duncan & Bernstein LLP, has tried over 120 jury trials, including many high-profile cases. Norman focuses his practice on criminal defense, including murder cases, white-collar criminal defense, and other serious felony cases in federal and state courts across the Commonwealth. Norman is on the forefront in representing students accused of sexual assault and other disciplinary misconduct on college campuses across the nation. His civil practice includes serious personal injury matters and business litigation.

Norman is recognized by Boston Magazine as a “Super Lawyer”, maintains the highest possible rating by Martindale Hubbell, and is listed in Best Lawyers in America for both white collar and non-white collar criminal defense, a recognition he has been awarded for 20 consecutive years. In 2013, Norman was presented with the Balliro Award by the Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in recognition of a lifetime of dedication and commitment to the rights of the accused.

Criminal Defense

Norman has won an impressive number of federal and state jury trials. Norman is a tireless champion for the rights of the accused and is passionate about giving his clients the best defense possible when they have been charged with crimes and their lives and reputations are on the line.

Norman’s criminal cases involve a wide range of offenses, such as murder (including death penalty cases), drug crimes, terrorism, extortion, bank robbery, sex crimes, tax evasion, arson, telemarketing fraud, and Medicaid and securities fraud. He practices in both state and federal courts and handles misdemeanor and felony offenses, as well as related matters like federal extradition.

Norman’s record in trying the most serious cases illustrates his history of success. In about sixty-five percent of 32 murder trials Norman’s clients have either been completely acquitted or have received substantially reduced verdicts. In 2010, Norman obtained an acquittal of all charges for a man accused of first-degree murder where the prosecution’s case included an alleged eyewitness to the crime. Norman has gotten not guilty verdicts in two cases in which the defendants asserted insanity defenses, which are notoriously difficult to convince a jury to accept. In appropriate cases Norman has convinced prosecutors to reduce the charge and to allow clients to plead to manslaughter, which avoids the risk of life imprisonment. He has also won appeals in murder cases and is experienced at preserving the issues at trial that allow defendants to successfully appeal if convicted.

Norman has similarly obtained not guilty verdicts in a number of other serious criminal cases, including white collar cases.  For instance, he has obtained not guilty verdicts in a case in which a client was charged with telemarketing fraud and in a major federal racketeering case involving the alleged assassin in multiple gang-related shootings. Norman has represented hundreds of defendants charged with drug crimes involving multiple tons of illegal drugs. He has won multiple motions to suppress evidence and has won reduced sentences for clients facing decades in prison. 

In addition to obtaining not guilty verdicts, Norman has secured excellent results for clients in plea negotiations, including the lead defendant in a multi-defendant federal drug case, who received a 5 year sentence even though the relevant sentencing guideline called for 22 years in prison. Similarly, for a client facing federal Medicaid fraud charges involving $20 million, Norman obtained an agreement of a probationary sentence, which was presented by the prosecution on the eve of trial. On behalf of a client facing federal immigration fraud charges that would normally lead to incarceration, Norman successfully received probation for his client.

Students’ Rights and Campus Misconduct

Norman believes strongly in students’ rights and for years he has represented students accused of all types of misconduct on campus, including plagiarism, cheating on tests, sexual assault, and even embezzlement. He brings his wealth of experience with the criminal law to these matters, which intersect with the criminal justice system in particularly serious cases.

As campus sexual assault has received enormous media attention and become an enforcement priority for federal officials, colleges and universities have brought increasing numbers of disciplinary charges against students for alleged sexual assaults, including in cases where the facts do not justify such action. Norman has handled numerous cases for students facing sexual assault charges, both during internal college and university investigations and disciplinary proceedings and in the criminal justice system. Norman crafts an individual strategy for each case that considers the factual allegations, the relationship between the students involved, and the disciplinary policies and procedures of the college or university. His strategic approach to these cases has been extremely successful and he has frequently been able to defeat or mitigate the charges.

Norman has worked on many cases where the student has been cleared of wrongdoing or received reduced sanctions.  For example, in one sexual assault case, Norman assisted an undergraduate to prepare for a hearing – including preparing a written statement and teaching the student how to cross-examine witnesses – after which the student was found not responsible for assault.  In a student theft case, Norman assisted the student in preparing the case and argued the case to the university’s general counsel, demonstrating that the school did not have proof to support its case.  The school came to the same conclusion, finding the student not responsible for theft.  In a case where a student was charged with academic dishonesty, Norman worked with the student to craft a memorandum accepting responsibility for the action, but by highlighting mitigating issues they were able to keep the sanction to a minimum. 

Civil Litigation

Norman has an equally broad range of experience litigating civil cases. He has handled many personal injury cases, including a case involving an airplane crash, construction cases, and automobile torts. In a case involving a scaffolding accident on a construction site, Norman obtained an $8 million settlement in the midst of trial on behalf of a bricklayer who was seriously injured in a construction accident. In a case of a pedestrian who was injured as a result of being hit by a hit-and-run driver, he obtained an $850,000 settlement.

Norman has represented plaintiffs and defendants in discrimination, libel, divorce and business litigation cases, including securities litigation. In the case of a client involved in a complicated commercial litigation dispute, Norman won a favorable settlement for the client after taking the case to arbitration. In an employment case, Norman and his partner, Inga Bernstein, won a $7.6 million verdict in a discrimination and retaliation case against the MBTA.

Other Experience

Norman taught criminal trial practice at Northeastern University Law School from 1971 to 1987, and he has lectured at Harvard Law School, Boston University School of Law, and Yale Law School.

Photos and videos

Licensed for 58 years
State MA
Status Active
Acquired 1963
Updated 09/19/2022

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

Contact Norman

Zalkind Duncan & Bernstein LLP
65a Atlantic Avenue
Boston, MA, 02110

Reviews

5.0 / 5.0
  1 customer review
5 Star
 
100%
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1 Star
 
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Posted by anonymous | April 16, 2015
Top notch
With the help of Norm Zalkind I prevailed against two felony charges. Prior to retaining Mr. Zalkind I had other legal representation who I was not satisfied with and thus I had a bleak outlook on my case. This changed as soon as I hired Mr. Zalkind. Mr. Zalkind investigated the details of my case with great care and skill. He learned about me, about my family, and the circumstances of my case in great detail. He interviewed me at length repeatedly. He painstakingly pursued documents and other evidence, leaving no stone unturned in the discovery process. In the end, when my case went to trial, he was prepared, and he represented me with a zeal and professionalism that humbled me. I believe Mr. Zalkind stood between me and a conviction. He successfully objected to many of the prosecutor's attempted to get unfair evidence onto the record. He counseled me on how to appear in court and behave around the jurors and the judge. He filed motions swiftly and argued them orally with great skill. Mr. Zalkind did a superb job at communicating with me and making sure that I was aware of what was happening with my case. He made me a better person as I tried to be as good a client for him as he was an attorney for me. It felt terrible when the legal system threatened my freedom, but I found in Norm Zalkind somebody who truly had my back. Even after my case concluded he has been there to assist me with the after-effects of it. I am 100% pleased with Mr. Zalkind and I can not imagine that I could have found a better lawyer for myself in my situation. Another good word could be said for his team of partners and associates as well as his excellent paralegals.
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Cost

Rates
  • Retainer Sometimes
Payment methods
Cash, Check, Credit Card

Resume

AVVO RATING 10.0 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Founding Partner
  • Zalkind Duncan & Bernstein LLP
  • 1965 - Present
  • Professor of Criminal Trial Practice
  • Northeastern School of Law
  • 1971 - 1987

Education

  • Boston University School of Law
  • LL.B - Bachelor of Laws
  • 1963
  • Boston College
  • BS - Bachelor of Science
  • 1960

Associations

  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Member
  • N/A
  • Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Member
  • N/A
  • National Lawyers Guild (Massachusetts chapter)
  • Member
  • N/A

Languages Spoken

  • English

Awards

  • Best Lawyer
  • Best Lawyers in America
  • 2019
  • Best Lawyer
  • Best Lawyers in America
  • 2018
  • Super Lawyer
  • Super Lawyers
  • 2017
  • Best Lawyer
  • Best Lawyers in America
  • 2017
  • AV Preeminent Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2016
  • Best Lawyer
  • Best Lawyers in America
  • 2016
  • AV Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2015
  • Best Lawyer
  • Best Lawyers in America
  • 2015
  • Best Lawyer
  • Best Lawyers in America
  • 2014
  • AV Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2014
  • Distinguished Humanitarian Service During Freedom Summer
  • University of Rhode Island Multicultural Center
  • 2014
  • Super Lawyer
  • Super Lawyers
  • 2014
  • Best Lawyer
  • Best Lawyers in America
  • 2013
  • Joseph J. Balliro Award
  • Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • 2013
  • Super Lawyer
  • Super Lawyers
  • 2013
  • AV Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2013
  • Best Lawyer
  • Best Lawyers in America
  • 2012
  • Super Lawyer
  • Super Lawyers
  • 2012
  • Best Lawyer
  • Best Lawyers in America
  • 2012
  • AV Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2012
  • AV Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2011
  • Best Lawyer
  • Best Lawyers in America
  • 2011
  • Super Lawyer
  • Super Lawyers
  • 2011
  • Best Lawyer
  • Best Lawyers in America
  • 2010
  • Super Lawyer
  • Super Lawyers
  • 2010
  • AV Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2010
  • AV Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2009
  • Super Lawyer
  • Super Lawyers
  • 2009
  • Best Lawyer
  • Best Lawyers in America
  • 2009
  • AV Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2008
  • Best Lawyer
  • Best Lawyers in America
  • 2008
  • Super Lawyer
  • Super Lawyers
  • 2008
  • Super Lawyer
  • Super Lawyers
  • 2007
  • Best Lawyer
  • Best Lawyers in America
  • 2007
  • Super Lawyer
  • Super Lawyers
  • 2006
  • Best Lawyer
  • Best Lawyers in America
  • 2006
  • Super Lawyer
  • Super Lawyers
  • 2005
  • Best Lawyer
  • Best Lawyers in America
  • 2005
  • Best Lawyer
  • Best Lawyers in America
  • 2004
  • Super Lawyer
  • Super Lawyers
  • 2004
  • Best Lawyer
  • Best Lawyers in America
  • 2003
  • Best Lawyer
  • Best Lawyers in America
  • 2002
  • Best Lawyer
  • Best Lawyers in America
  • 2001
  • Best Lawyer
  • Best Lawyers in America
  • 2000
  • Best Lawyer
  • Best Lawyers in America
  • 1999
  • Best Lawyer
  • Best Lawyers in America
  • 1998
  • Best Lawyer
  • Best Lawyers in America
  • 1997
  • Best Lawyer
  • Best Lawyers in America
  • 1996
  • Best Lawyer
  • Best Lawyers in America
  • 1995
  • Best Lawyer
  • Best Lawyers in America
  • 1994
  • Best Lawyer
  • Best Lawyers in America
  • 1993
  • Champion of Liberty Award
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • 1989
View all awards

Speaking Engagements

  • Boston Police Detective Supervisors Conference
  • What they do wrong
  • 2003
  • Suffolk Law School
  • Marconi Institute Advanced Seminar on Impeachment of Witnesses
  • 2003
  • Boston Bar Association
  • Immigration and Criminal Law Converging
  • 2003
  • Inns of Court
  • Lecture on Punitive Damages
  • 2001
  • Essex County Bar Association Advocates, Inc.
  • Advanced Trial Training Seminar
  • 1999
  • Suffolk University Law School
  • Demonstrator/Trial Advocacy Forum/ Armed Robbery Case
  • 1999
  • CJA
  • Supreme Court Practice
  • 1998
  • CJA
  • Federal Insanity Defense
  • 1995
  • Massachusetts Psychological Association
  • Psychologists as Expert Witnesses
  • 1989
  • Suffolk Law School
  • Drug Wars in the District Courts
  • 1989
  • Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education
  • Probation Violations
  • 1989
  • Massachusetts Bar Association, Massachusetts Correctional Legal Services Program
  • Criminal Appeals
  • 1979
  • Harvard Law School
  • Criminal Trial Practice
  • 1972
  • Harvard Law School
  • Criminal Trial Practice
  • 1971
  • Professor Emerson’s class, Yale Law School
  • Various Lectures
  • 1970
  • Boston University School of Law
  • Criminal Trial Practice
  • 1970
View all speaking engagements

Attorney endorsements

Received (5)
Given (5)
Criminal defense Attorney | Jul 28
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Very experienced, talented, and honest"
Criminal defense Attorney | Nov 04
Relationship: Co-worker
"Norman is an experienced and very talented trial lawyer, in both criminal defense and civil litigation. I have worked with him for over 5 years, and have relied on his guidance and mentorship in my own successes. I highly recommend him to any client."
Criminal defense Attorney | Apr 27
Relationship: Co-worker
"Norman's years in practice and experience in a broad range of criminal matters make him a formidable criminal (and civil) lawyer."
Criminal defense Attorney | Apr 17
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Criminal defense Attorney | Jan 02
Relationship: Friend
"I’ve known Norman four decades, first at a distance in my first 20 years at Mass. Defenders (later called CPCS), the last six years as statewide Training Director. The last 20 years I’ve been a solo practitioner, but hugely lucky to partially share his fabulous lawfirm’s space. With much enthusiasm I attest to his unsurpassed sophistication, skill, dedication, & tenacity in handling the most complex litigation cases, civil & criminal, trial & appeal -- always getting the best results humanly possible, usually against powerful adversaries like the state, feds, or mega-firms. I often refer cases to, & share cases with him & his stellar partners/associates. The Commonwealth is littered with well-known trial & appellate lawyers (& some judges) whom he mentored. His reputation, including for integrity, is unsurpassed. I’d call him the “Dean of the Defense & Litigation Bar”; but that might understate his continuing frontline role in zealously representing countless clients."
Criminal defense
Criminal defense
Criminal defense
Criminal defense

Avvo Contributions

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Boston Criminal defense Lawyer Norman S. Zalkind
Norman S. Zalkind
Criminal defense Attorney
Boston, MA
Licensed for 58 years