Cullen M. Burke, Esquire
Mr. Burke was born in New York City. In the 1960s, when Mr. Burke was a young boy, his father started opening businesses in Ocean City, Maryland. Originally these were seasonal businesses, operating only in the summer. Eventually, they became year-round operations, including retail stores, restaurants, and commercial real estate. Mr. Burke attended junior high and high school in the state of Florida. He obtained a degree in accounting from Florida State University, which has a well-respected business school. Mr. Burke’s original plan was to go into the family business. His initial strategy was to obtain an accounting degree and a law degree in order to have a solid educational background for being a businessman. Mr. Burke attended the Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia.
Purely by coincidence, Mercer University law school is also the headquarters for the National Criminal Defense College. The longtime dean of the highly-regarded National Criminal Defense College is Deryl Dantzler, a nationally recognized and highly regarded professor of trial methods. At the time Mr. Burke attended Mercer Law School, Ms. Dantzler was also the coach of the school’s Mock Trial Team. All students at Mercer University are required to take a class known as Trial Practice where they perform mock examinations of witnesses and practice courtroom techniques. When Mr. Burke began this class, his instructor told him that he appeared to have a talent for trying cases. His professor encouraged him to try out for the mock trial team coached by Ms. Dantzler. Mr. Burke’s trial practice professor arranged a tryout after which Mr. Burke was immediately placed on the team. This was an experience that changed his life permanently. He was able to try mock jury trials in competition against other law schools. At that time, he realized he had found his calling and decided to become a lawyer instead of a businessman.
Since becoming a member of the Maryland State Bar in 1988, Mr. Burke has constantly worked toward one goal and one goal only: becoming an expert trial lawyer. In addition to having tried hundreds of cases successfully, Mr. Burke also coached a local high school’s mock trial team for 17 years. The techniques Mr. Burke taught these 15,16 and 17-year-old students enabled them to achieve extraordinary success and statewide respect.
Mr. Burke also realized that teaching young men and women trial techniques, year after year for almost 2 decades also made him a better trial lawyer. During his 28 years of practicing law, Mr. Burke has achieved much and been recognized often. Mr. Burke is the former president of the Worcester County Bar Association; is a member of the Maryland Criminal Defense Attorneys Association; is a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense lawyers, was a member of the local pro bono committee for Worcester County; and received the “partnership award” for his volunteer work from the Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service in 2005.
Mr. Burke has also attended numerous continuing education programs designed to enhance his formidable skills. Most recently he attended the summer session for the National College for DUI Defense held at Harvard Law School in July of 2016.