Region’s Top Homicide Prosecutor Receives High Honor

BOSTON, March 8, 2013—Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley’s chief homicide prosecutor was inducted last week into one of the nation’s premier legal associations.

Assistant District Attorney Edmond Zabin, chief of the DA’s Homicide Unit since 2008, was named a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers at a March 2 ceremony in Naples, Florida. Present for the ceremony were about 600 of the nation’s most outstanding attorneys.

“Ed Zabin has a reputation for excellence and integrity, not just among fellow prosecutors but also among the Massachusetts bench and defense bar,” Conley said. “I’m very proud of him for this singular accomplishment.”

Founded in 1950, the American College of Trial Lawyers is composed of the best of the trial bar from the United States and Canada. Fellowship is extended only by invitation, and only after careful investigation, to those experienced trial lawyers who have mastered the art of advocacy and whose professional careers have been marked by the highest standards of ethical conduct, professionalism, civility, and collegiality. Lawyers must have a minimum of fifteen years trial experience before they can be considered for Fellowship.

“This is a great honor and one I couldn’t have achieved without the support of DA Conley and my family,” Zabin said. “Each of us draws on the experience of those who came before, and I’m deeply grateful for the lessons I’ve learned from so many talented, compassionate men and women. Some are lawyers. Some are victims and their loved ones. But they all left their mark and I’m indebted to each one of them.”

Membership in the College cannot exceed one percent of the total lawyer population of any state or province. There are currently 5,879 members in the United States and Canada, including active fellows, emeritus fellows, judicial fellows – those who ascended to the bench after their induction – and honorary fellows.

“With his experience in district, superior, and appellate court proceedings, Ed has a depth and breadth of knowledge that he puts to work for victims and communities every single day,” Conley said. “He’s a credit to our profession and I know he’ll be a great resource for the American College of Trial Lawyers.”

The College strives to improve and elevate the standards of trial practice, the administration of justice, and the ethics of the trial profession. Its fellows are selected from all branches of trial practice.

Zabin has represented the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in hundreds of trials during almost 20 years as an attorney. After a career teaching history in New York, he became a Suffolk County prosecutor in 1993 and served in the Appeals Division and in the Dorchester District Court. He was appointed Supervisor of the Dorchester District Court in 1995 and in 1997 was promoted to the Superior Court.

In 2002, Conley promoted Zabin to the Homicide Unit, and in 2006 tapped him to serve in the dual capacity of deputy chief of the Homicide Unit and chief of the Senior Trial Unit. Zabin was named a Super Lawyer Rising Star by Boston Magazine in 2005 and received the Suffolk Award for Outstanding Superior Court Prosecutor the same year.

Zabin has prosecuted some of the region’s most notorious crimes. In 2001, he won convictions on all counts and a 45-year prison sentence for a South End mover who raped a college freshman during a home invasion in her Boston University dorm room. In 2006, he secured a first-degree murder conviction for the man who stabbed Suffolk County Deputy Sheriff Richard Dever to death during a fight outside a Charlestown pub and successfully argued against two new trial motions by the defendant. He similarly won a first-degree conviction for the man who shot 18-year-old Nabil Essaid outside a downtown movie theater; that conviction was recently affirmed by the state’s highest court. In separate trials, he successfully prosecuted the two rival gang members who killed Chiara Levin, an innocent bystander visiting Boston from New York, in the course of a 2007 gunfight. Most recently, he led the extensive grand jury investigation that ended with four first-degree murder convictions for an ex-convict who killed a toddler, his young mother, and two men during a 2010 drug robbery in Mattapan.

The Suffolk County District Attorney’s Homicide Unit handles 40% or more of all the homicides committed in Massachusetts each year. As its chief, Zabin reviews every suspicious or unattended death in Boston, Chelsea, Revere, and Winthrop and oversees thorough and exacting investigations into all of them to determine whether criminal charges are warranted and, if so, against whom.

A graduate of Colby College and Northeastern University School of Law, Zabin lives in Boston with his wife and three children.


All defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.