E. James Burke
Clinical Professor of Law
J.D., Western New England School of Law
B.A., Bates College; University of Glasgow, Scotland
Office Phone: (207) 780-4766
Professor Burke teaches in the Cumberland Legal Aid Clinic in both the General Practice Clinic and the Prisoner Assistance Clinic. Before joining the faculty full-time, Professor Burke was a lawyer in Lewiston from 1976 to 2005, with a practice covering nearly every area of law: Civil, Criminal and Constitutional cases in both State and Federal Courts and a general practice including real estate, family law, wills, probate, corporations (both for and not-for profit), and Federal ERISA and RICO cases. He has represented lawyers, therapists and real estate agents before professional licensing boards, and he advised artists and musicians on various artistic and intellectual property legal issues. He was a Complaint Justice and a Referee for the Eighth District Court, and a mediator and arbitrator for Superior, District and Probate Courts, as well as for private parties.
Professor Burke was counsel in over thirty reported cases, including Portland v. De Paolo, 531 A.2d 669 (1987) which re-interpreted and expanded the right to a civil jury trial in Maine; State v. Barnies, 680 A.2d 449 (1996), which re-defined the excited utterance rule in Maine; United States v. Woodward, 173 F. Supp. 2d 64 (2001) dealing with whether thermal imaging was a search that required a warrant or not (and holding the fort until Kyllo v. United States, 533 U.S. 27 (2001) decided that a warrant was required); Marr v. Maine Department of Human Services, 215 F. Supp. 2d 261, 215 F. Supp. 2d 261 (2002), recognizing complete immunity for a guardian ad litem in child protection cases; and, with the Clinic, Teachers Insurance Co. v. Schofield, 284 F. Supp. 2d 161 (2003) a case arising from the prisoner assistance project that confirmed the obligation of an insurance company to defend against a lawsuit.
Professor Burke has been President and Treasurer of the Androscoggin County Bar Association, a member of the Maine State Law Library Committee, a trustee of the Androscoggin County Law Library since 1979, a Fellow of the Maine Bar Foundation, and a member of the Supreme Court Historical Society. He served on, and was chair of, the Maine Board of Bar Overseers Fee Arbitration Commission, was an early member of the Bar Foundation IOLTA Grants committee, and has served as a director of many non-profit corporations. Professor Burke was President of the Maine Civil Liberties Union from 1989 to 1991 and from 2005 to 2008. He was chair of the Buckfield Planning Board from 2008 to 2009.
When not at the Clinic, Jim lives in the woods, enjoying music, cooking, the environment, and travelling as widely as possible.