Joseph T. Burke, Esq.

Personal Information

  • Position: Partner
  • Practice Areas: Complex Business and Commercial Litigation; Real Estate, Transactional, Probate and Probate Litigation; Personal Injury; Criminal Defense; Civil Rights cases
  • Year Joined Firm: 2011
  • Address: 21300 Lorain Road, Fairview Park, Ohio 44126
  • Phone: 440-895-1234
  • Email:


Joe Burke received his B.A. from Denison University; J.D. from Case Western Reserve University School of Law; and M.B.A. from Cleveland State University.  He has served judicial clerkships with the Supreme Court of Hawaii, the Eighth District Court of Appeals and the U.S. District Court in Cleveland, Ohio.  He has practiced for over 31 years concentrating in business litigation, real estate, personal injury, criminal defense and commercial transactions.

Joe has served as Magistrate in the Rocky River Municipal Court, past Vice President of the Westshore Bar Association, a member of the Cleveland Bar Association’s Lawyer Referral and Information Services for real estate matters, served as Legal Advisor for the Rocky River High School Mock Trial Team, former Chairman of the City of North Olmsted’s Board of Zoning Appeals and a former arbitrator for the Better Business Bureau.

Joe has successfully argued three cases in the Ohio Supreme Court: (1) State v. Codeluppi 139 Ohio St. 3d 165 (2013) involving standards for criminal motions to suppress; (2) State v. Kona 148 Ohio St. 3d 536 (2014) involving non-citizen advisements in pre-trial diversion programs; and (3) Beverage Holdings v. Valentino VAL, LLC 159 Ohio St. 3d 194 (2019) involving contract construction in commercial real estate contracts.

Joe is married and has three daughters, lives in Rocky River and his family are parishioners of St. Raphael’s Church in Bay Village, Ohio.  His wife is the President of the Lake Erie Marine Trades Association, which operates, inter alia, various boat shows in the State.  Joe and his wife are avid boaters and love and cherish time on Lake Erie.  They also own and operate Lyman Life, an American legacy lifestyle brand based on the iconic Lyman Boats built in Sandusky dating back to 1875.

Bar Admissions

  • State of Ohio – 1991
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio – 1993
  • Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals – 1994
  • State of Hawaii – 1996


  • Denison University
  • B.A. History and Religion 1987
  • Case Western Reserve University, School of Law
  • Juris Doctor – 1990
  • Cleveland State University; Monte Ahuja College of Business
  • M.B.A. 1999

Areas of Practice

  • Complex Business and Commercial Litigation
  • Real Estate, Transactional, Probate and Probate Litigation
  • Personal Injury
  • Criminal Defense including felonies and misdemeanors
  • Civil Rights cases

Courts Frequented

  • Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas
  • Lorain County Court of Common Pleas
  • United States District Court (N.D.E.D.)


Joe was trained as a trial attorney and has extensive appellate background and experience.  His practice currently involves: complex business litigation; real estate; transactional, probate, and probate litigation; personal injury (including civil rights cases); and criminal defense, including felonies and misdemeanors.  Many of his clients are closely held companies that are referred when a litigation issue arises.

Joe has gained a reputation as a solid litigator and strives to be the best in his practice area.  Over the past five years, he has become more selective in the cases he handles.  Joe enjoys complex cases involving multiple layers, as demonstrated by his recent case involving the closure of the I-X Center and the construction of a Force Majeure Clause in I-X Center Corporation v. Lake Erie Marine Trades Association, Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas, Case No. CV-21-943481; the case ultimately settled.

Throughout his career, Joe has worked to establish a level of competency and then move on to bigger and more complicated cases.  One constant is that he has made the most of the opportunities presented to him.  Joe also has a unique ability to identify legal issues early on in a case and then highlight them for resolution or purposes of appeal.


“State v. Kona:  Defining the Contours of State Convictions.”

          January 8, 2015

          Joseph T. Burke

          Published on

“Supreme Court rules immigrant defendant deserved warning that admitting crime could lead to deportation.”

           November 21, 2016   

           Robert Higgs


“No Mercy, No Money: After a Crime, the Price of a Second Chance.”

            December 12, 2016

            Shaila Dewan and Andrew W. Lehren

            New York Times

“Alumnus wins case before Ohio Supreme Court supported by CWRU law students’  amicus brief.”

            Fall 2017, Issue 100

            In Brief, The Magazine of Case Western Reserve University School of Law.


Denison University: Dean’s List; University Scholar; Mortar Board National Honor Society; Academic All American; Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society; Officer, Denison Community Governing Association Executive Council; Chairman, Student Activities Committee; Fellow of the Religion Department; Senior Honors Thesis “A Study in Christology;” Varsity Cross-Country and Track; Captain of the Cross Country Team.

CWRU, School of Law: Dean Dunmore Moot Court Competition – ranked among top 5 written and oral advocates in year-long competition (1988-1989); National Moot Court Team; Best Brief and Semifinalist, National Moot Court Competition (1989-1990); Order of the Barristers.

Successfully argued and obtained reversals in three cases (two criminal; one civil) in the Ohio Supreme Court:

  • Beverage Holdings, LLC v. 5701 Lombardo, LLC, 159 Ohio St. 3d 194, 2019-Ohio-4716, 150 N.E. 3d 28 (November 19, 2019) (involving contract construction in commercial real estate contracts);
  • State v. Kona, 148 Ohio St. 3d 539, 2016-Ohio-7796, 71 N.E. 3d 1073 (November 21, 2016) (involving non-U.S. citizen advisements in pre-trial diversion programs);
  • State v. Codeluppi, 139 Ohio St. 3d 165, 2014-Ohio-1574, 10 N.E. 3d 691, ¶ Syllabus (April 7, 2014) (involving standards for criminal motions to suppress in which the Court held “A highly detailed pleading of the facts and law is not required to satisfy the notice requirements of State v. Shindler, 70 Ohio St.3d 54, 1994 Ohio 452, 636 N.E.2d 319 (1994), and to trigger the right to a hearing on a motion to suppress.”
  • Appointed to serve and elected as Chairperson to the City of North Olmsted Board of Zoning Appeal, 2006-2007.
  • Served as a Certified Arbitrator for the Better Business Bureau for manufacturer lemon law claims, 2006-2009.
  • Served as Legal Advisor for the newly created Rocky River High School Mock Trial Team, 2016-2018.
  • Graduate, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association’s Leadership Academy, 2020-2021.


  • Cleveland Bar Association nka Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association (CMBA).Member, 1993 to present.
  • CMBA’s Attorney Referral Service for landlord tenant issues, 2006 to the present.
  • Leadership Academy, 2020 to 2021.
  • CLE Presenter, “Pro Bono Clinics.” (10/25/21)
  • Ohio State Bar Association Member, 1990 to 2020
  • Hawaii State Bar Association Member, 1996 to present
  • Westshore Bar Association Member, 2010 to present Vice President, 2014 to 2019
  • CLE Committee, 2010 to present CLE Presenter, “Anatomy of an OVI Motion to Suppress From Stop Through Hearing (1021/11); “Strategies in Prosecuting and Defending OVI Offenses” (9/30/16);
  • Legal Aid Society Pro Bono Services, 2011 to present
  • Denison University; Admissions Ambassador 2019 to present.
  • Denison University; 35th Year Reunion Committee 2021 to 2022.
  • North Coast Ohio Sale and Power Squadron aka America’s Boat Club fka United States Power Squadron, Rocky River, Ohio Member, 2016 to present.
  • Lakeside Wooden Boat Society Member, 2018 to present.
  • Catawba Island Historical Society Member, 2021 to present.
  • Antique Classic Boat Society, Northcoast Chapter Member, 2016 to present


  • Advance Wire Forming, Inc. et al. v. Jeffrey Stein, et al., N.D. Ohio No. 1:18cv723, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153940 (August 25, 2020).
  • Beverage Holdings, LLC v. 5701 Lombardo, LLC, 159 Ohio St. 3d 194, 2019-Ohio-4716, 150 N.E. 3d 28 (November 19, 2019).
  • Advance Wire Forming, Inc. et al. v. Jeffrey Stein, et al., N.D. Ohio No.1:18cv723, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 222707 (October 16, 2019).
  • In re Estate of O’Toole, 8th Dist. No. 108122, 2019-Ohio-4165, 2019 Ohio App. LEXIS 4243 2019-Ohio-4165 (October 10, 2019).
  • Champoir v. Champoir, 8th Dist. No. 107754, 138 N.E. 3d 530, 2019-Ohio-2235, 2019 Ohio App. LEXIS 2323 (June 6, 2019).
  • 21300 Mgmt. v. Genflex Roofing Sys., N.D. Ohio No. 1:18-cv-1619, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 150962 (September 5, 2018).
  • Altenheim v. Januszewski, 8th Dist. No. 105860, 2018-Ohio-1395, 2018 Ohio App LEXIS 1538 (April 12, 2018).
  • Keehan v. Korenowski, 151 Ohio St. 3d 1440, 2017-Ohio-8543, 85 N.E. 3d 761 (November 4, 2017, Appeal dismissed).
  • Keehan v. Korenowski, 9th Dist. No. 28221, 2017-Ohio-7050, 95 N.E. 3d 781, 2017 Ohio App. LEXIS 3175 (August 2, 2017).
  • Keehan v. Certech, Inc., N.D. Ohio No. 5:15-cv-1236, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165634 (December 10, 2015).
  • State v. Kona, 148 Ohio St. 3d 539, 2016-Ohio-7796, 71 N.E. 3d 1073 (November 21, 2016).
  • U.S. Bank N.A. v. Heuschkel, C.P. No. CV 2015 11 5206, 2016 Ohio Misc. LEXIS 12053 (May 3, 2016).
  • State v. Codeluppi, 139 Ohio St. 3d 165, 2014-Ohio-1574, 10 N.E. 3d 691 (April 7, 2014).
  • Theodorou Real Estate Ventures, LLC v. Rogers, 8th Dist. No. 97883, 2012-Ohio-4282, 2012 Ohio App. LEXIS 3759 (September 20, 2012).
  • Borsellino v. Smythe Cramer Co., 8th Dist. No. 96893, 2012-Ohio-164, 2012 Ohio App. LEXIS 124 (January 9, 2012).
  • Phillips v. City of Westlake Bd. of Zoning Appeals, 8th Dist. No. 92051, 2009-Ohio-2489. 2009 Ohio App. LEXIS 2069 (May 28, 2009).
  • Rockport Realty Invs. v. Riedel, 119 Ohio St. 3d 140, 2008-Ohio -3880, 891 N.E. 2d 770 (August 6, 2008, appeal not accepted for review).
  • Rockport Realty Invs. v. Riedel, 6th Dist. No. E-07-042, 2008-Ohio-820, 2008 Ohio App. LEXIS 71 (February 29, 2008).
  • Puzsik Enterprises Ltd. v. Strongsville Board of Education, Ohio Board of Tax Appeals BTA Nos. 2004-M-446 et seq. 2006 WL 151646 (May 26, 2006).
  • City of North Olmsted v. Himes, 8th Dist. Nos. 84076 and 84078, 2004-Ohio-4241, 2004 Ohio App LEXIS 3855 (August 12, 2004).
  • Fernberg v. Balogh, 8th Dist. No. 82626, 2004-Ohio-148, 2004 Ohio App. LEXIS 127 (January 15, 2004).
  • Blue Cross & Blue Shield Mut. of Ohio v. Hrenko, 72 Ohio St. 3d 120, 647 N.E. 2d 1358 (May 3, 1995).
  • Fink v. Motorists Mut. Ins. Co., 71 Ohio St. 3d 1423, 642 N.E. 2d 388 (1994) (December 7, 1994, Appeal not accepted for review).
  • Fink v. Motorists Mut. Ins. Co., 11th Dist. No. 93-G-1784, 1993 Ohio App. LEXIS 2952 (June 30, 1994).
  • Society Nat. Bank v. Duffy, 8th Dist. No. 65246, 1994 Ohio App. LEXIS 1679 (April 21, 1994).