► Attorney Karen Burke of Winthrop, ME; serial thief Print E-mail
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Attorney Karen Burke of Winthrop, ME; serial thief

The state of Maine presented Karen with a law license in 1984 after she graduated from the University of Vermont Law School.
The Maine Grievance Commission found Karen guilty of the following misconduct.
  1. Charged a clearly excessive fee
  2. Engaged in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice
  3. Engaged in conduct involving fraud, deceit, dishonesty or misrepresentation
  4. Intentionally and knowingly mislead (lied) to a bankruptcy judge and trustee
In one matter, Karen agreed to represent a client in a bankruptcy matter for a flat fee of $750. Karen subsequently attempted to illegally bill the client an additional $930 by falsely claiming to the court and trustee that she was hired on an hourly fee bases and not on a flat fee.
The Bankruptcy Judge found that Karen “abused her clients badly” and “misled the court” and then went on to state:
“Were I to conclude, as contends, that she and her clients agreed to an "hourly against retainer" fee arrangement, she would be left to explain why her Rule 2016(b) statement misrepresented that arrangement to the trustee, to creditors, and to the court. As it stands, her situation is little different. Having undertaken the Beesleys' representation for a flat fee, and having disclosed that arrangement to the court in plain English, she deliberately proceeded to bill the debtors on an altogether different basis.”
Karen also attempted to defraud several other bankruptcy clients by agreeing to represent them for a flat fee and then tried to bilk them by charging an hourly fee. Eventually she was made to refund her victims nearly $7,000.
As a consequence of her misconduct, the Patron Saints for Attorney Misfits sitting on the grievance panel punished Karen by gifting her with a complimentary reprimand.

As we speak (ca. October 2012) Karen practices at 20 Green Street in Winthrop, Maine

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