On Thursday, June 6, 2024, the District of Columbia Board on Professional Responsibility recommended the suspension of attorney Lynn Burke from practicing law for two years due to violations of numerous Rules of Professional Conduct in multiple client cases over eight years.

The case is entitled “In the Matter of Lynn Burke,” with case no. 21-BD-009.

The charges cited District of Columbia Rules of Professional Conduct 1.5(a), 1.5(b), 1.15(a), 1.15(b), 1.16(d), 5.5(a), 7.1 (a), 7.5(a) and 8.4(c). 

According to the Board’s report, Burke represented clients in North Carolina and Maryland despite not being licensed to practice in those states. She lived and worked in North Carolina but was only admitted to the D.C. Bar in 2012. Testimony and evidence presented to the Ad Hoc Hearing Committee showed that from 2014 to 2022, Burke repeatedly engaged in the unauthorized practice of law by taking on legal matters in other jurisdictions and holding herself out as authorized to practice there when she was not.

In one example from 2013-2014, Burke was retained by Jesse and Sharon Battle to help their son seek a reduction in his 30-year federal prison sentence. Though not licensed in North Carolina, Burke told the family she was qualified and promised to visit their son in the South Carolina prison to discuss his case, but never did so. She filed the son’s motion as a pro se litigant without his permission. The Committee found she violated rules of conduct regarding unauthorized practice and communication with clients.

Burke also represented clients in immigration matters in North Carolina and Maryland for years despite lacking proper authorization. In the case of client Pedro Osorio from 2015-2017, Burke collected over $5000 in advanced fees and costs for visa applications but deposited most of the money in her personal bank account shortly after, spending it on her own expenses within two months. She was found to have violated rules regarding the proper handling of entrusted funds.

From 2020-2022, Burke took $5300 from Betty Parker to review the criminal case of Parker’s partner Robert Taylor in North Carolina. Though not licensed there, Burke promised a $500 prison visit she never made and never provided legal services as paid. This violated rules regarding unreasonable fees and unauthorized practice.

During the D.C. investigation, Burke was dishonest about the handling of client funds. Given the pattern of misconduct and lack of cooperation, the Board recommended a two-year suspension along with requirements to prove future fitness before resuming practice.

The recommendation states:

“For the foregoing reasons, the Hearing Committee finds that Respondent violated D.C. Rules 1.5(a), 1.5(b), 1.15(a), 1.15(b), 1.16(d), 5.5(a), 7.1 (a), 7.5(a) and 8.4(c), as well as Md. Rule 19.301.3(a) and N.C. Rules 1.4(a) and 1.4(b), and should receive the sanction of a two-year suspension with a requirement that she prove her fitness to practice law prior to reinstatement.”

According to avvo.com, Ms. Burke is an attorney in Raleigh, North Carolina. She acquired her law license in the District of Columbia in 2012.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.