Sarah Burke is a full time mediator, discovery referee and special master.  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 also frequently mediates personal injury and wrongful death cases, landlord/tenant disputes, 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 Mateo, Santa Clara and Sonoma Counties.  Sarah is past chair of the Alameda County Bar Association ADR Executive Committee, past Chair of the Marin County Bar Association ADR section and past President of the Mediation Society.


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.


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 100 hours of advanced mediation training. 


Sarah is available for online mediations statewide and for certain in-person mediations. Click here for availability and scheduling.


2006 – present:  Burke ADR

Serving as special master, mediator and arbitrator in many cases throughout Northern 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.

Tel: 415.307.9740