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Timothy M. Burke
Timothy M. Burke
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Timothy M. Burke "The role of a lawyer is to assist a client in obtaining justice."

Much of Timothy M. Burke’s practice is devoted to local government law and the government decision-making process. His background prepared him for that. He spent four years in Cincinnati City Hall as Legislative Assistant to then Council member Jerry Springer (yes, that Jerry Springer), served as Executive Director of Little Miami, Inc., a non-profit corporation dedicated to the preservation of the Little Miami River, a state and national scenic river, and twice served on the staff of Congressman Tom Luken. Today, 50% of his practice involves representing governmental entities, representing clients in front of governmental decision-making bodies, or litigation for or against governmental entities. He served as Law Director for one of Cincinnati’s suburbs, Lockland, for more than 40 years, retiring from that position at the end of 2021. Tim also served as Law Director for another suburb, the Village of Evendale for 20 years, retiring from that position in May of 2022. He has frequently served as Special Counsel to numerous other local governments and often is asked to speak on topics including municipal law, land use and zoning, eminent domain, civil rights and elections law. He has also served as Special Counsel to the Attorney General of Ohio.

Mr. Burke also maintains an extensive national practice, representing fraternities and sororities and speaks at several national conferences each year.


Quick Facts



225 West Court Street

Cincinnati, OH 45202


Practice Areas:

Land Use & Zoning

Constitutional Law & Civil Rights

Local Government




All Ohio State Courts

United States Supreme Court

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio

Admitted for specific cases in Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri, Delaware, New York and Pennsylvania


1973, J.D., University of Cincinnati

1970, A.B., Xavier University


Professional Associations


Cincinnati Bar Association

American Bar Association Ohio

Municipal Attorneys Association


Recognized by Best Lawyers in America for Government Relations Practice and Litigation in two areas- Municipal and Land Use & Zoning- since 2007


Rated as an “Ohio Super Lawyer” since 2004

Rated AV Preeminent by the highest available peer rating

Four-time Lawyer of the Year for Land Use & Zoning (2011, 2012, 2015, 2017) 



Three-time Lawyer of the Year for Municipal Litigation (2016, 2019, 2021)


Served as adjunct faculty member at both Xavier and University of Cincinnati

Community Affiliations

Ohio Board of Regents,  2008-2014


Hamilton County Board of Elections 1993-2019, more than 20 years as Chair


Chair, Hamilton County Democratic Party, 1993-2018


Trustee, Cincinnati Zoo, 1980-1991

Chair, Senator Sherrod Brown’s Committee to Advise on Selection of the U.S. Attorney and U.S. Marshall for the No. District of Ohio, 2009


Get Out The Vote training session, four cities in Slovakia – under contract to U.S. State Department, 2002

President, Xavier University, Alumni Board of Governors, 1981-1982


International Supervisor of Election, Bosnia/Herzegovina, 1997


Commissioner, Cincinnati Park Board, 1991-1994


Member, 2020-2021, Cincinnati, 9 Member Panel on Economic Development Reform. Established following the arrest of 3 City Council Members in one year by the FBI.


Numerous articles in Fraternal Law, published by Manley Burke for last 40 years, at least four times an academic year

Formerly served as frequent guest commentator on local NPR station

“The Right to Freedom of Association: Public/Private Distinctions (Chapter XII) in the Administration of Fraternal Organizations on North American Campuses: A Pattern for the New Millennium,” by Dennis E. Gregory and Associates, 2003


2019, 2018, 2017, 2015 Presenter of Legal Updates Involving Fraternities and Sororities at the Annual National Conference on the Law and Higher Education Sponsored by Stetson Law School


2011 – Panelist, National Conference on Law and Higher Education, “The Roberts Court and Free Speech,” Orlando, Florida


2010 – Presenter, “Christian Legal Society v. Martinez, 561 US __ (June 28, 2010). A Discussion of the Decision and its Impacts,” a national webinar sponsored by the Center for Excellence in Higher Education Law & Policy at Stetson University College of Law, August 2010

2010 – Lecturer, “The Consequences of Failing to Uphold Standards,” Chi Omega National Convention, Orlando, Florida, June 2010


Previous National Convention Presentations on fraternity legal issues for Pi Beta Phi, Chi Omega, Delta Sigma Pi, Alpha Gamma Delta, Fraternity Executives Convention, Association of Fraternity Advisors and National Panhellenic Conference, and National Association of College and University Attorneys


Campus presentations have included Xavier University, Ohio State University, Miami University, Wittenberg University, Cornell University, Washington and Lee University, Morehead State University, Findlay College and the University of Cincinnati

Previous National Convention Presentations on zoning and land use, American Planning Association, National Trust for Historic Preservation, National Recreation and Parks Association, National Association of Community and Economic Development Officers


Numerous regional, state and local presentations on zoning and land use, eminent domain and election law