Tel: 415.307.9740
Fax: 415.877.4284

Biography / Curriculum Vitae

Sarah Burke is a full time mediator, discovery referee and special master practicing in most Northern and Central California counties. She regularly resolves cases involving construction defects, delay and non payment and brings firm and fair leadership as a Special Master and Discovery Referee. She has also mediated personal injury and wrongful death cases, insurance coverage disagreements, employment, copyright, contract, real estate/disclosure, professional liability, and myriad other disputes. Sarah is a member of the approved ADR Panels of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Sonoma Counties. Sarah is past chair of the Alameda County Bar Association ADR Executive Committee and a current member of the Board of Directors of the Mediation Society.

Subject Matter and Business Experience

Before becoming a mediator and special master, Sarah spent her career representing developers, materials suppliers, contractors, subcontractors and homeowners in all types of construction litigation. Sarah also has an extensive background in insurance coverage issues, with experience in both first-party and third-party coverage analysis and litigation, including claims against and between insurance carriers, bad faith claims and claims involving OCIP/wrap policies. Sarah has litigated personal injury, employment and wrongful death cases and has tried construction and personal injury cases to juries in Northern and Southern California. Sarah has also handled patent and copyright cases in state and federal courts.

Memberships and Speaking Engagements

Sarah has been a regular panelist for education providers, such as West Coast Casualty's Construction Defect Seminar, the Council on Litigation Management and the Association of Defense Counsel and has lectured throughout the country on various topics including dispute resolution, construction and insurance litigation, civil litigation and California law. Sarah served a four-year term on the Board of Directors for the Association of Defense Counsel of Northern California and Nevada, and is a past chair of the Construction Law Sub-Committee.


After graduating magna cum laude from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine in 1989, Sarah received her JD from University of San Diego School of Law and became a member of the California State Bar in 1992. She has completed over 60 hours of advanced mediation training.

Professional Experience

2006 - present: Burke ADR
Serving as special master, mediator and arbitrator in many cases throughout Northern and Central California.

2001 - 2009: Drath Clifford Murphy & Hagen
Managed construction and insurance coverage divisions of litigation firm based in Oakland. Jury trial of construction defect cases.

1995 - 2000: Selman Breitman
Handled insurance coverage, construction defect, personal injury, wrongful death litigation matters in San Diego and San Francisco offices.

1992 - 1995: Wingert Grebing Anello & Brubaker
Litigated construction defect, insurance coverage and personal injury cases in San Diego based law firm. Jury trial of injury and construction defect cases.