The Law Offices of Susan L. Burke handle class and complex civil litigation.  If you are interested in retaining the firm, please email Ms. Burke a short summary describing the matter.  

Environmental harms:

Appointed by Court as Lead MDL Counsel after filing 42 class actions across the nation seeking to hold KBR and Halliburton accountable for engaging in open air burning of waste in Iraq and Afghanistan. Prevailed before the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit against corporations’ sovereign immunity defenses. Litigation ongoing.

Served as lead counsel in lawsuit brought by Government of the Dominican Republic against an American company alleged to have dumped coal ash on two pristine Dominican beaches. Obtained compensation through settlement, and oversaw disbursement of funds to remediate harms to the two beaches.

Rape and sexual assault in military:

Serve as lead counsel in series of lawsuits seeking to reform the manner in which the military prosecutes rape and sexual assault. Argued before Courts of Appeals in the District of Columbia and the Fourth Circuit. The initial lawsuit is profiled in the Academy-award nominated documentary called “The Invisible War.” Legislative and legal efforts ongoing.

Torture and war crimes:

Served as lead counsel in series of lawsuits seeking to hold contractors accountable for torture at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. Prevailed after en banc argument before the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Obtained compensation through settlement for Iraqi victims.

Served as lead counsel in seven lawsuits filed against Blackwater on behalf of victims of Nissor Square massacre and other war crimes. Obtained compensation through settlement for Iraqi victims.

Campaign finance reform:

Filed lawsuit seeking to uphold Philadelphia City Council Campaign Finance reforms on behalf of now-Mayor Michael Nutter. Argued before Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Prevailed in upholding reforms.

Gun control:

Partially prevailed in defending City of Philadelphia against lawsuit brought by the National Rifle Association seeking to strike down City Council ordinances controlling purchases of guns.

Mental illness:

Served as one of class counsel for mentally ill of the District of Columbia in the long-running Dixon et al. v. Williams lawsuit. The Dixon case is credited with reforming the District’s mental health system.

Disability rights:

Served as counsel on lawsuit successfully challenging deficiencies in Baltimore’s paratransit system.

Prison reform:

Prosecuted lawsuit against prison officials who used excessive force. Obtained compensation for prisoners through settlement.

Prosecuted lawsuit against prison officials and corporation who failed to provide adequate medical care to inmate with serious kidney disease. Obtained compensation for prisoner through settlement.

Prosecuting nationwide class action against telephone providers who overcharged inmates. Litigation ongoing. Court named Burke as one of the interim class counsel.

Health care fraud and abuse:

Prosecuted civil cases against health care providers for paying kickbacks, engaging in prohibited related-party and self-referral transactions, and overbilling Medicare and Medicaid.

Selected Media Appearances

TV: HBO Real Time with Bill Maher, CNN Christiana Amanpour (2), NBC Today Show, PBS News Hour (2), NBC Rock Center with Brian Williams, Nightline, Katie, CBS Evening News, CBS News, NBC News, CNN, BBC News, Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, Consider This, Alex Wagner, MSNBC, Al Sharpton, Democracy Now

Radio: Diane Rehm Show (3), Bob Edwards Show

Print: Profiled by the Washington Post (9/3/13) and Philadelphia Daily News (2007). Quoted and/or lawsuits covered by New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, Guardian, Boston Globe, Baltimore Sun, Time, Newsweek, Vogue, Ms., National Journal, Reuters, AP, Sports Illustrated, Stars and Stripes, Forbes, American Prospect, Der Spiegel, Vanity Fair, Mother Jones


Named one of 75 top female attorneys in the nation by The National Law Journal (April 15, 2015)
Rated AV Preeminent by Martindale Hubbell (ongoing)
Named as one of the top lawyers in Washington D.C. by the Legal Network (2013, 2014 and 2015)
Awarded Social Action Award by National Council of Jewish Women, St. Louis, Missouri (March 8, 2014)
Named “alumna of the year” by Georgetown University College Democrats (May 2014)
Selected by Washingtonian Magazine as one of Washington’s Best Legal Minds (December 2013)
Selected by Self magazine as a “woman doing good” (September 2103)
Louisville, Kentucky officially proclaimed a “Susan L. Burke Day” (September 23, 2013)
Selected as one of “Fifty Women To Watch” by Baltimore Sun Magazine (July, 2013, follow up published October 2014)
Awarded Abby J. Leibman Pursuit of Justice Award by California Women’s Law Center (May 29, 2013)

Awarded Certificates of Recognition by the California Legislative Assembly and the City of Los Angeles (May 29, 2013)

Named one of the “Women of the Year” by the Philadelphia Legal Intelligencer and Pennsylvania Law Weekly (May 2008)

Received President’s Award from Center for Constitutional Right (April 27, 2006)
Received Catholic University Faculty Award for highest academic average in class (May 1987)
Awarded Miriam T. Rooney Scholarship for academic excellence (1985 – 1987)
Awarded AmJur awards for highest grad in torts, corporations, criminal law and procedure, tax, and trusts and estates; editor Catholic University Law Review’s D.C. Survey (1984 – 1987)