Press Release

Burns & Levinson Partner Ellen Zucker Receives 2024 Elite Women of the Plaintiffs Bar Award From The National Law Journal

May 29, 2024


Boston, MA, May 29, 2024 – Burns & Levinson partner Ellen Zucker has been named to the 2024 Elite Women of the Plaintiffs Bar list by The National Law Journal for her outstanding plaintiffs work in major settlements and high-stakes bench and jury trials.

Zucker is a skilled litigator and counselor who gives voice to those wronged in the workplace. Whether securing a meaningful resolution or litigating tenaciously for what is right, she helps clients navigate challenging circumstances. She has been a legal champion of civil rights throughout her career and is sought after by clients across the country. Most recently, she secured a $5.7 million final judgment in favor of Det. Kathleen Donohue, the first women detective on the Watertown, Massachusetts police force, against the Town of Watertown over gender discrimination and retaliation claims.

Another trailblazing win was a $13 million settlement for an orthopaedic surgeon, Dennis W. Burke, M.D., who blew the whistle on a practice at the Massachusetts General Hospital of allowing surgeons to book and conduct multiple surgeries at the same time and who – as a result of his standing up for patient safety – had his longtime Medical Staff appointment terminated. The case has had a national impact, including the American College of Surgeons changing its policies and major medical centers revising their practices. In Massachusetts, the Board of Registration in Medicine promulgated regulations that limit the practice of concurrent surgery and set standards for informed consent.

Early in her career, Zucker represented Malvina Monteiro, a Cape Verdean public employee who suffered retaliation after raising concerns about discrimination in the City of Cambridge. She secured a $8.9 million judgment in Monteiro’s favor. Her work on this and other cases has earned her recognition by the local branch of the NAACP, NOW and other professional organizations.

Zucker received her J.D. from Boston College Law School, her M.Sc. in Political Theory from the London School of Economics and Political Science and her B.A. from Wesleyan University. She began her legal career as law clerk to the Honorable Nancy Gertner in the Federal District Court/District of Massachusetts.

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