Susan L. Burke
Susan L. Burke is an experienced and successful litigator. During the course of her 24-year legal career, Susan has both defended and prosecuted civil actions involving a wide range of topics, including human rights, pharmaceutical fraud, defense contractor fraud, employment and disability discrimination, election law, and environmental torts. Presently, Susan focuses on fraud, class actions and mass torts.
For the past ten years, Susan has been AV-rated by Martindale, the highest peer review rating available. Susan received her J.D. degree from Catholic University in 1987, where she won the Faculty Award for having the highest academic average. She graduated from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, where she majored in international law and politics.
In August 2005, Susan formed her own law firm — now called Burke PLLC. Burke PLLC’s current projects include a series of False Claims Act qui tam lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies and defense contractors involved in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Ms. Burke serves as lead counsel in the multi-district litgation known as KBR Burn Pit MDL, seeking justice for the many soliders who were harmed by KBR’s negligent operation of burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan. Ms. Burke also serves as lead counsel in actions on behalf of the Abu Ghraib torture victims.
Ms. Burke is spearheading a nationwide series of lawsuits designed to reform the manner in which the military prosecutes rape and sexual assault. Her work on this project is the subject of a documentary premiering at Sundance called The Invisible War.
Ms. Burke has enjoyed a series of litigation victories since forming her own firm. Among other accomplishments, Ms. Burke obtained significiant settlement funds (ten million dollars) from AES, an American corporation, for the Dominican Republic. The funds were used to remediate environmental harm to two Dominican beaches. Ms. Burke also obtained significant settlement funds (amount confidential) to compensate 68 Iraqis who were injured or lost family members as a result of Blackwater’s violence in Iraq. Ms. Burke similarly obtained compensation for an Iraqi family whose mother was gunned down by an Australian contractor.
Ms. Burke served as counsel to Michael Nutter, now Mayor of Philadelphia. On his behalf, she successfully pressed for election law reform, prevailing after arguing before the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. For her efforts in Philadelphia, she was honored by The Legal Intelligencer and Pennsylvania Law Weekly among their “Women of the Year” for 2008.
Ms. Burke’s recent litigation wins include a False Claims Act trial in Fort Worth, Texas, and obtaining an ex parte injunction to prevent the United States from turning an American citizen over to be tortured by another nation.
Immediately prior to forming her firm, Ms. Burke was an equity partner with a regional law firm in Philadelphia, Montgomery McCracken, Walker and Rhoads. Ms. Burke joined that firm after serving as vice president and regional counsel for Tenet HealthSystem Philadelphia Inc. and Tenet HealthSystem Hospitals Inc. In that role, she had responsibility for the law department’s operations for a twenty-hospital jurisdiction. Prior to relocating from Washington D.C. to take the position with Tenet, Ms. Burke had practiced with Mintz Levin, Covington & Burling and the Civil Fraud section of the Department of Justice. In June 2009, Ms. Burke moved her firm from Philadelphia to Washington D.C.