Boston, MA, Oct. 4, 2021 – Burns & Levinson partners Ellen Zucker and Beth R. Myers have been selected for inclusion in the 2021 Lawdragon 500 Leading Plaintiffs Employment & Civil Rights Lawyers Guide for their impressive work protecting the rights of workers.
Ellen Zucker is one of the most powerful and respected civil rights litigators in the country. She gives voice to those wronged in the workplace and has been a legal champion of civil rights throughout her career. She secured a trailblazing $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: in Massachusetts, the Board of Registration in Medicine promulgated regulations that limit the practice of concurrent surgery and set standards for informed consent; the American College of Surgeons has changed its policies and major medical centers have changed their practices. As part of the settlement, MGH acknowledged Dr. Burke’s advocacy, invited him to return to the medical staff and established a lecture series in his name.
Zucker also represented Carol Warfield, M.D., the first woman ever to chair a major clinical department at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) in Boston. She endured years of gender discrimination and was removed as chair after she raised concerns about what she faced. Zucker secured a landmark settlement for Dr. Warfield on the eve of trial for $7 million. Dr. Warfield remains a professor at Harvard Medical School and the BIDMC Pain Clinic was named in her honor. 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 Ms. Monteiro’s favor. Her work on this and other cases has earned her recognition by the local branch of the NAACP and the National Organization for Women, as well as other professional organizations.
Beth R. Myers is a well-known plaintiff employment litigator who is highly-regarded for her advocacy representing employees in cases involving claims of discrimination, sexual harassment, retaliation, wage and hour disputes, and non-compliance with the Family Medical Leave Act. In 2020, Myers helped obtain a $3.25 million settlement from the City of Boston on behalf of a former female firefighter who was sexually assaulted by a male firefighter at work. One of Myers’ important litigation wins involved securing a $2.3 million jury verdict for a female police officer against the Town of Winthrop over unlawful sex discrimination and retaliation. Myers ultimately settled the case, and a subsequent retaliation case, for more than $3 million. She also negotiates severance agreements and advises executives on issues involving employment agreements as well as non-competition agreements.
Myers currently serves as an appointed member of the Supreme Judicial Court’s Standing Committee on Lawyer Well-Being, and is the immediate past-president of the board of directors of Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers, Inc. She is involved in the Massachusetts LGBTQ Bar Association as a mentor in its Mentorship Program. She has also held numerous leadership roles with the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Employment Lawyers Association since 2011, most recently serving as the organization’s president from 2018-2020.
Zucker received her J.D. from Boston College Law School in 1994, her M.S. 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. Myers received her J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law in 2009 and her B.A. from New York University.