John Burke focuses his practice in the area of business and commercial litigation. He has extensive trial experience in Virginia state courts, as well as the federal courts in Virginia and other states. In each of the last five years he has been selected as Richmond “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers in America in either Real Estate Litigation (twice) or Eminent Domain (three times).
AWARDS / RATINGS:
- Repeatedly recognized in Best Lawyers in America for Commercial Litigation (1999-2017). He is also recognized in the categories of Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law and Litigation-Real Estate.
- Named Best Lawyers’ Richmond Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law “Lawyer of the Year” in 2013, 2015, and 2017.
- Named the Best Lawyers’ Richmond Litigation – Real Estate “Lawyer of the Year” in 2014 and 2016.
- Recognized numerous times as one of America’s Leading Lawyers for Litigation by Chambers USA.
- Named numerous times in Virginia Business magazine’s Legal Elite in Civil Litigation.
- Repeatedly recognized as a Virginia Super Lawyer (2006 – 2017).
- Achieved Martindale-Hubbell’s highest rating for legal ability and ethical standards.
- Served as Law Clerk to Justice George M. Cochran of the Supreme Court of Virginia upon graduation from law school.
- Representation of defendants in a major healthcare antitrust case in U.S. District Court in which plaintiffs capitulated during trial.
- Obtained a declaratory judgment and a decree of specific performance on behalf of the purchaser enforcing a $39,000,000 real estate contract involving 1,898 acres in Chesterfield County, Virginia. Client was also awarded attorney’s fees and costs of $364,000. The judgment was affirmed by the Supreme Court of Virginia.
- Successful representation of beneficiaries of trusts with assets exceeding $100,000,000 in litigation to remove and replace trustee.
- In 2014 obtained a sanctions award in state court against a plaintiff and his lawyer in the amount of $148,860 for instigating and pursuing litigation for the purpose of intimidating the defendants. The award was upheld on appeal by the Supreme Court of Virginia. A prominent appellate commentator has described the Supreme Court’s opinion as “required reading for anyone who sets foot inside a courtroom.”
- An eminent domain case representing owners of a 1400-acre tract of land near downtown Richmond which was damaged by the construction of a limited access highway which bisected the property. Obtained a settlement during trial for $950,000 plus valuable nonmonetary consideration despite condemnor’s position that landowner was entitled to only $246,000.
- Obtained a jury verdict of $936,461, including interest, for landowners in an eminent domain case in which the condemnor’s position was that landowners should be paid $443,000.
- Obtained a defense verdict and award of attorney’s fees on behalf of client who was sued for alleged breach of contract to convey seven acres of valuable commercial property on an arterial thoroughfare in Richmond’s prime commercial location.
- Obtained a $454,681 real estate tax refund from a Virginia locality on behalf of the former owner of a major commercial development.
- Obtained a verdict in excess of $500,000 after trial in the Circuit Court of the City of Richmond on a “successor liability” claim against the purchaser of the assets of a corporation which owed plaintiffs deferred payments under a buy/sell agreement.
- Successful representation of plaintiffs in will contest case involving excess of $1 million.
- Defense of a multimillion dollar breach of contract and fraud claim in federal court in North Carolina arising out of the sale of a large manufacturer.
- Successful representation of defendant urologists in an antitrust case in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia involving the practice of urology.
- Federal trade secret litigation between two successful money managers.
- Disputes with dealerships on behalf of a major automobile manufacturer.
- Environmental cases in federal and state court.
- University of Virginia (B.A., with distinction)
- University of Virginia (J.D.)
BAR AND COURT ADMISSIONS:
- United States District Court, Eastern District of Virginia
- United States District Court, Western District of Virginia
- United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
BAR ACTIVITIES AND LEGAL ASSOCIATIONS:
- Past President of the Richmond Bar Association
- Virginia Bar Association (Currently serves as Chairman, Committee on Nominations to Virginia Commissions and Appellate Courts)
- Past Chair of the Board of Directors of St. Andrew’s School in Richmond, a tuition-free private lower school, Grades K-5, for children from families of limited financial resources.
- Former member of City of Richmond’s Human Relations Commission.
- Served as Confirmation and Sunday School teacher at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Richmond.