For more than 40 years, award-winning litigator Jim Burke has helped business clients succeed in all types of complex litigations. In the process, he has become one of an elite group of litigators who can deftly handle complex cases of all types.

Jim’s litigation practice focuses on complex corporate and commercial litigation, including both trial and appellate practice, in state and federal court. He has handled cases before courts in Ohio, Kentucky, California, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Georgia, Colorado, and Delaware. He has significant experience in financial and transactional cases, commercial matters, class and derivative actions, and actions arising under the federal securities laws. In 1997, Jim was inducted into the American College of Trial Lawyers, membership in which is extended by invitation only to "experienced trial lawyers who have demonstrated exceptional skill as advocates and whose career has been marked by the highest standards of ethical conduct, professionalism and civility." He frequently lectures on trial practice and professionalism topics and serves on the Trial Boot Camp Committee of the American College of Trial Lawyers.

Jim has now expanded his practice to handle mediations and arbitrations of the types of complex commercial and business cases that he has spent his career litigating. Jim is certified in mediation by the Supreme Court of Ohio and the Cleveland Mediation Center, a training program approved by the Supreme Court of Ohio. During his career, he has represented his clients in mediations and mediated settlements in hundreds of cases on behalf of both plaintiffs and defendants; and he understands the nuances surrounding all types of complex business mediations, such as those involving:

  • Securities
  • Commercial disputes
  • Merger and acquisitions
  • Shareholder disputes
  • Complex contractual matters

In addition, Jim’s practice includes serving as a private arbitrator and mediator. Jim was appointed to a panel of experienced arbitrators and mediators approved by the Cincinnati Bar Association Alternative Dispute Resolution Service (CBADR) which has proven to be a fair and effective method of resolving disputes privately, expeditiously, and economically.

Jim is known for his ability—largely due to his years of courtroom experience involving complex disputes—to succinctly assess and thoughtfully convey the risks and benefits for each side during each step in the mediation process. Jim is a practical, business-focused analyst who has worked for decades with some of the country’s most sophisticated businesspeople. He speaks their language when it comes to bringing both sides to the table to reach an innovative, successful agreement through mediation or arbitration.

Jim's experience in the courtroom and at the mediation table makes him a compelling choice for clients who need goals-focused counsel to efficiently resolve their own disputes or as a third-party intermediary for even the most vexing, high stakes business disputes.

Professional and Community Involvement

American Bar Association

Cincinnati Bar Association, Mid-Term Judicial Evaluation Committee

Cincinnati Bar Association CBADR, Panel for Approved Arbitrators and Mediators

Federal Bar Association

United States District Court for Southern District of Ohio, Mediator

National Institute of Trial Advocacy, Instructor and Cincinnati Steering Committee Member

Ohio State Bar Association

Supreme Court of Ohio, Commission on Continuing Legal Education, 1994-1995

Jesuit Spiritual Center at Milford, Board of Trustees, 2006-2012

Awards & Recognition

John P. Kiely Professionalism Award, Cincinnati Bar Association, 2021

Benchmark Litigation Star, 2023

Listed in The Best Lawyers in America, 2006-2023

Named the "Cincinnati Best Lawyers' Securities Litigation Lawyer of the Year," 2012, 2014, 2020, 2024

Named the "Cincinnati Best Lawyers' Corporate Law Lawyer of the Year," 2018

Named the "Cincinnati Best Lawyers’ Bet-the-Company Litigator of the Year," 2011, 2013, 2015

Listed in Chambers USA: America's Leading Business Lawyers, 2004-2023; Since 2014 one of only ten trial lawyers listed in the highest “Band 1” category.

American College of Trial Lawyers

American Board of Trial Advocates

Named to Ohio Super Lawyers, 2004-2024; Named one of the Top 5 lawyers in Cincinnati, 2012, 2018-2022; Named one of the Top 10 lawyers in Ohio, 2008-2010, 2018-2022; Named one of the Top 100 lawyers in Ohio; 2007-2013, 2017, 2019-2024, and one of the Top 50 lawyers in Cincinnati, 2005-2024

AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell

Named to Ohio Leading Lawyers, 2024

Named to Cincy Leading Lawyers, 2009-2023

Leadership Cincinnati, Class XXVIII

Potter Stewart American Inn of Court, Barrister

  • 2023 James Burke Chambers
  • Benchmark Litigation
  • Best Lawyers (Don't Delete)
  • Best Lawyers - JEB 2024
  • Super Lawyers (Don't Delete)
  • Cincy Leading Lawyers

News & Resources

Speaking Engagements

  • Lectures and Demonstration of the Direct Examination of an Expert Witness, Trial Advocacy Institute
    Sponsored by the Cincinnati Bar Association, Cincinnati, OH,
  • A Shareholder Wants to Know: Requests to Examine Books and Records, Panel Discussion
    Sponsored by the Ohio State Bar Association, Columbus, OH,
  • Topics In Professionalism, Panel Discussion, Virtual Presentation
    Sponsored by the Cincinnati Bar Association,
  • Anatomy of a Trial: ACTL Trial Skills Boot Camp, Lecture in Cross-Examination Virtual Presentation
    Presented by the ABA Section of Litigation,
  • Sponsored by the University of Cincinnati College of Law, Cincinnati, OH,


  • Ohio
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Tax Court


J.D., University of Cincinnati College of Law, 1978, magna cum laude, University of Cincinnati Law Review, Editorial Board, 1976-1978, Order of the Coif

B.A., Yale University, 1975

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