Colleen has extensive experience in defense litigation and focuses her practice in the area of professional liability including defending lawyers in legal malpractice cases, defending lawyers in grievance matters with the Attorney Grievance Commission and defending judges in matters brought by the Judicial Tenure Commission. She has also represented accountants, land surveyors, and real estate brokers. Colleen also has experience in insurance coverage work, premises liability, product liability, and employment law. She has represented a wide-range of clients including a national sump pump and small tool manufacturer and an international retail chain. Colleen’s experience has included analysis of pre-litigation claims, providing resolution opinions, and litigating cases to trial.
Argued and won a summary disposition and subsequent dismissal for legal clients in a legal-malpractice case stemming from a personal-injury accident at the plaintiff’s apartment complex. (July 2018)
Obtained summary disposition for a shopping center owner who was sued for allegedly failing to maintain the property. Colleen was able to demonstrate to the Court that the condition was open and obvious, and that the property owner was not liable for the injuries from plaintiff’s slip and fall. (October 2017)
Successfully argued for the reinstatement of an attorney client’s law license, which was suspended due to trust account violations. (September 2017)
Secured a summary disposition in a medical malpractice case by demonstrating to an arbitrator that the plaintiff’s underlying employment case was without merit. Plaintiff was terminated from his position as a police officer due to his inappropriate conduct with a minor. Plaintiff’s union refused to take the matter to arbitration. Burke’s client represented Plaintiff in efforts to secure unemployment benefits and post-termination events with the employer. Colleen successfully argued that even if Plaintiff was able to take his claim for wrongful termination to arbitration, the arbitrator would have agreed with the municipality and upheld the termination. (2016)
Won a summary judgment for an assistant city attorney in Oakland County Circuit Court who was sued for malicious prosecution and abuse of process. (2015)
Obtained summary disposition relief for a local bank who was sued under a premises liability theory for an alleged defect to an entrance door that caused injury to a young child. (2015)
Argued and won a summary disposition motion for a paraffin wax manufacturer and distributor who was sued by a utility worker for significant burn injuries related to the use of the wax in an underground manhole. (2014)
Obtained summary disposition for an attorney-client who was sued by the spouse of a former client for his work relating to the drafting of a trust agreement. The court agreed with Colleen’s argument that the attorney owed no duty to the former client’s spouse. (2013)
Publications & Speaking Engagements
Guest speaker in New York on Lawline on the topic of Risk Management Practices for Small Firms and Solo Practitioners (August 2017)
For many of us, working remotely was merely an occasional convenience—a way of catching up on work in the evening or on the weekend without having to step foot in the office. Unfortunately, the current state of affairs has moved our law practices to basement alcoves, dining-room tables, or spare-bedroom desks. This disruption can shake…
Many retainer agreements contain an arbitration clause for the resolution of disputes that arise from the attorney-client relationship. The Michigan State Bar Ethics Committee takes the position that arbitration clauses, in general, are unethical. Michigan courts, on the other hand, find arbitration clauses to be valid, enforceable, and compatible with the public-policy preference for dispute…
The Legislature created the Michigan Consumer Protection Act to identify and prevent unfair trade practices in consumer transactions. The Act identifies over 37 types of conduct that are defined as “unfair” and “deceptive” when committed in the course of transactions for personal, family, or household services, among others. MCPA violations have been assessed against a…
Attorneys Colleen H. Burke and Peter J. Tomasek recently obtained summary disposition in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan on behalf of their fast-food franchisor client. The plaintiff alleged that Burke and Tomasek’s client was liable for negligent hiring and inflicting emotional distress because of an altercation with the client’s employee. Burke and Tomasek argued that their client did not owe plaintiff an actionable duty and that the employee’s conduct did not meet the “extreme and outrageous” standard for purposes of the emotional-distress claim. The Court agreed and dismissed plaintiff’s claims before the close of discovery.
Attorneys Colleen H. Burke and Karen R. Geibel were recently appointed to fill vacancies in the State Bar of Michigan Representative Assembly, both representing the 6th Judicial Circuit. With 150 members that represent the entire state’s judicial districts, the Representative Assembly is the final policy-making body of the State Bar of Michigan. The appointment of both Ms. Burke and Ms. Geibel will be effective at the April 21, 2018 meeting of the Representative Assembly. They will run for re-election this spring to hold the seat for the duration of their terms, which expire 9/30/2020 and 9/30/2019 respectively. For full details, click on the headline.
Attorney Colleen H. Burke obtained summary disposition for a shopping center owner who was sued for allegedly failing to maintain the property. Burke was able to demonstrate to the Court that the condition was open and obvious and that the property owner was not liable for the injuries from plaintiff’s slip and fall.
In a recent legal malpractice case, attorney Colleen H. Burke secured summary disposition by demonstrating to an arbitrator that the plaintiff’s underlying employment case was without merit. Plaintiff was terminated from his position as a police officer due to his inappropriate conduct with a minor. Plaintiff’s union refused to take the matter to arbitration. Colleen’s client represented Plaintiff in efforts to secure unemployment benefits and post termination events with the employer. Colleen successfully argued that even if Plaintiff was able to take his claim for wrongful termination to arbitration, the arbitrator would have agreed with the municipality and upheld the termination.
Collins Einhorn Farrell PC proudly announces the election of its partner Colleen H. Burke to the Board of Directors for the Association of Defense Trial Counsel (ADTC). The ADTC is an organization of lawyers whose practice consists chiefly in representing defendants in damage suits and other litigation. It exists to promote the efficiency of insurance…
Attorneys Brian D. Einhorn and Colleen H. Burke were successful in obtaining summary disposition in favor of their client, an assistant city attorney who was sued for malicious prosecution and abuse of process in Oakland County Circuit Court.
In November 2014 attorneys Brian D. Einhorn and Colleen H. Burke obtained summary disposition in an estate contestation case. The wife who was also a trust beneficiary, brought claims of legal malpractice and breach of fiduciary duty against the attorney for the personal representative of the estate. Einhorn and Burke filed a motion arguing that…