The Honorable Judge Joseph T. Burke





Joseph T. Burke graduated from St. Ignatius High School and received his B.A. from Denison University; J.D. from Case Western Reserve University School of Law; and M.B.A. from Cleveland State University. At Denison, he was an Academic All-American, University Scholar, Fellow of the Religion Department, member of the Mortar Board Honor Society and Captain of the Cross-Country team. At CWRU, Joseph was a member of the National Moot Court team, Order of the Barristers and Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society. He has served judicial clerkships with Justice Paula A. Nakayama of the Supreme Court of Hawaii, Judge Ann McManamon of the Eighth District Court of Appeals and Judge William K. Thomas of the U.S. District Court in Cleveland, Ohio. Joseph is licensed to practice law in the State of Ohio and State of Hawaii.

Joseph previously served as a partner with Polito Burke Rodstrom Szep LLP concentrating in business litigation, real estate, personal injury, criminal defense and probate and estate planning and practiced law for over thirty-one years before being elected to the bench. Joseph was trained as a trial attorney, and has extensive appellate experience. He previously served as Magistrate in the Rocky River Municipal Court, Vice President of the Westshore Bar Association, a member of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association (CMBA)ís Lawyer Referral and Information Service, and is a graduate of the Leadership Academy. He currently serves on the CMBAís Membership Committee and the Steering Committee for the Cleveland Legal Collaborative. He has also served as a Legal Advisor for the Rocky River High School Mock Trial Team, former Chairman of the City of North Olmstedís Board of Zoning Appeals and arbitrator for the Better Business Bureau.

Joseph has successfully argued three cases in the Ohio Supreme Court: (1) State v. Codeluppi 139 Ohio St. 3d 165 (2013) involving standards for criminal motions to suppress; (2) State v. Kona 148 Ohio St. 3d 536 (2014) involving non-citizen advisements in pre-trial diversion programs; and (3) Beverage Holdings v. Valentino VAL, LLC 159 Ohio St. 3d 194 (2019) involving contract construction in commercial real estate contracts.

Joseph was elected to serve as Judge of the Rocky River Municipal Court with a six-year term commencing in January of 2024. He is a member of the Lawyers Guild of the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland, Fairview Park Chamber of Commerce, Rocky River Chamber of Commerce, North Olmsted Chamber of Commerce and the West Shore Chamber of Commerce.