Chat With A Lawyer: Attorney Susan Burke on Her Representation of Victims of Sexual Assault in the Military
Meet Susan Burke
In June 2015, the National Law Journal named Susan L. Burke one of the top 75 female attorneys in the nation. Ms. Burke is an experienced litigator with 28 years of experience in federal class and complex litigation, who specializes in bringing federal class action or mass tort lawsuits to reform broken systems or fix societal problems.
Presently, Ms. Burke serves as court-appointed class counsel in litigation involving telephone companies overcharging prison inmates. Ms. Burke also serves as lead MDL counsel in the KBR Burn Pit MDL, pending in federal court in Maryland. In that case, Ms. Burke represents military personnel harmed by Halliburton/KBR’s misconduct in Iraq and Afghanistan. Ms. Burke also serves as lead counsel in a series of lawsuits seeking to reform the military’s deficiencies in prosecuting rape and sexual assault.
Ms. Burke’s past work in American federal courts has had a global impact: As lead counsel for Iraqi victims, Ms. Burke achieved a legal first by negotiating multi-million dollar settlements with defense contractors involved in the Abu Ghraib torture, and with Blackwater, a private mercenary company responsible for the Nissor Square massacre.
Ms. Burke speaks frequently, and presses for change in many fora. Ms. Burke collaborated with filmmakers who produced “The Invisible War,” an Academy-award nominated documentary about the lack of justice for military rape victims. Ms. Burke has appeared as a guest on Real Time with Bill Maher, Nightline, CNN Christina Amanpour, PBS Newshour, and many other television news shows.
Ms. Burke and her legal work have been profiled by the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Philadelphia Daily News, and the Baltimore Sun, as well as other news outlets.
Ms. Burke lives with her husband Jamison Koehler in Baltimore, Maryland. They have three children.