Of Counsel - Senior Attorney
“I always say that if aliens landed on Earth and we tried to explain our current insurance system to them, they would say ‘are you people crazy?’ Because here’s how it works: hard-working people pay big premiums to an insurer in order to get coverage in the rare event that something bad happens to them. If the bad event never happens, as it usually doesn’t, the insurance company keeps all the money. On the unusual occasion when the bad event actually occurs, the insurance company immediately invests all of its resources not in paying the poor client and living up to their contract, but instead in trying to figure out ways to avoid paying the victim and avoid taking responsibility. It is scandalous, and I am thrilled to be on the side of the individual, helping people who need help at what is probably the worst time in their lives.”
Ms. Burkes has over twenty years of experience as a trial attorney. She has tried numerous cases that have resulted in substantial jury verdicts over $1 million and has been lead trial counsel in both federal and state court. Ms. Burkes’ pretrial preparation has also been instrumental in cases that have resulted in numerous multi-million dollar verdicts, including a $39.4 million verdict in Ventura County, a $33 million verdict in Los Angeles, a $1.8 million verdict in Pomona, and a $1.7 million verdict in Van Nuys. In the past three (3) years alone, Ms. Burkes has been instrumental in reaching settlements for her clients of $14.8 million; $7 million; $6.5 million; $5.2 million; $5 million; numerous settlements for $3 million; and multiple other settlements in excess of $1 million. Ms. Burkes also has extensive experience in appellate practice and has argued before the California Court of Appeal and the en banc United States Court of Appeal, Fifth Circuit.
Ms. Burkes is licensed in both California and Mississippi. She graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi (B.S. English) and the University of Mississippi School of Law (J.D. cum laude). While in law school at Ole Miss, Ms. Burkes was Assistant Editor-in-Chief of the Mississippi Law Journal; was awarded first place in the Moot Court Board Oral Advocacy Competition; and represented Ole Miss on its National Moot Court Competition Team. Ms. Burkes was also the recipient of five American Jurisprudence awards and was awarded membership in Phi Kappa Phi. Following graduation, Ms. Burkes completed a prestigious one-year clerkship for the Honorable E. Grady Jolly, United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit. Ms. Burkes and her husband are the proud parents of a teenage daughter.
Ms. Burkes’ move to California was precipitated by Hurricane Katrina, which completely destroyed her law office in Gulfport, Mississippi. Ms. Burkes was admitted to practice in California in 2011, and only three years later was honored to be named a “Super Lawyer” for Southern California.