Colleen H. Burke

02/27/2020
Colleen H. Burke
Attorney

Colleen H. Burke

Attorney

Colleen H. Burke

Summary

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.

Practice Areas
Product Liability
General and Automotive Liability
Grievance Defense
Judicial Tenure Matters
Premises Liability
Product Liability

Credentials

Education
  • University of Toledo (J.D. 2001)
  • Ferris State University (B.S. 1994)
Admissions
  • State Bar of Michigan
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan
Professional Activities
  • Association of Defense Trial Counsel (Board Member, Secretary)
  • Oakland County Bar Association
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Oakland County Inns of Court
  • Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers
  • State Bar of Michigan
    • Negligence and Employment Section
    • Representative Assembly
Community Involvement

Colleen is an active volunteer in the Our Lady of Sorrows Parent Group and a current board member of the Catholic Central Mother’s Club.

Accomplishments
  • Best Lawyers of America®
    • Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants (2020)
Prominent Outcomes

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)

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Attorneys Burke and Tomasek Obtain Summary Disposition on Behalf of Fast-food Franchise

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 Burke and Karen Geibel Appointed to State Bar of Michigan Representative Assembly

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 Burke Obtains Summary Disposition in Legal Malpractice Case

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.

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