Susan K. Burkhart

Susan K. Burkhart: Attorney with Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP AV stamp icon
Attorney Awards

Biography

Susan K. Burkhart, a partner with Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP since its founding in 1992, has a dual focus in her practice: insurance defense litigation and municipal land use litigation. In these areas, she has instituted or defended over 100 declaratory judgment actions, and has defended numerous class actions. She has tried numerous jury and bench trials in state and federal court, and has appeared before the North Carolina Court of Appeals, the North Carolina Supreme Court, all three districts of the United States District Court of North Carolina, and the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Susan’s decades of professional achievement as a litigator are recognized in her attainment of an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell. She has also served as Chair of the Litigation Section of the North Carolina Bar Association, and has served on the Board of Directors of the North Carolina Bar Association and the Wake County Bar Association. She is a member of both the Insurance section and the Planning and Zoning section of the North Carolina Bar Association.

Susan is a frequent lecturer on insurance coverage and land use issues. She has been honored and selected by her peers as one of The Best Lawyers in America in the area of insurance coverage. She has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America publication since 2007 and has been selected through balloting as one of North Carolina’s Super Lawyers since 2009.

Susan has achieved numerous successes, through dispositive motions, at trial, and on appeal, in defense of insurers and agents in coverage and bad faith actions. She has successfully defended numerous towns and cities, across North Carolina, in response to constitutional and statutory challenges to zoning, planning, and development ordinances. She also counsels insurers and municipalities on best practices to avoid litigation.

Accomplishments

•Selected by North Carolina Super Lawyers as a Super Lawyer (2009 - 2019)
•Martindale-Hubbell, AV Rated
•Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America in the field of Insurance Law (2007, 2013 - 2019)
•Named the Best Lawyers Raleigh Insurance Law Lawyer of the Year (2014, 2017)
NC Super Lawyers Business Edition (2014)
•Recognized as a Lawyer of the Year Honoree in the 2017 Women in the Law by Best Lawyers Business Edition (2017)
•Selected for inclusion in the 2017 Women in the Law by Best Lawyers Business Edition in the field of Insurance Law (2017)

Articles, Presentations, and Publications

•Author and Speaker, “Water and Sewer Impact Fee Cases: Town of Carthage and Beyond,” North Carolina League of Municipalities, June 8, 2017.
•Author and Speaker, “Coverage for Cyber Liability Claims,” North Carolina Bar Association Insurance Law annual meeting, April 11, 2014.
•Author and presenter, “Hot Topics in Commercial General Liability Insurance,” North Carolina Bar Association, Fall 2009.
•Author and Speaker, “Insurance Coverage Issues in Construction Claims,” N.C. Defense Attorneys Association, Fall 2007.
•Co-Author, “North Carolina Bad Faith Insurance Compendium,” Defense Research Institute, 2008, 2009.
•“Recent Developments in CGL, Auto and Property Law: 2008,” Fall CSH Educational Seminar 2008.
•“Recent Developments in CGL, Auto and Property Law: 2007,” Spring CSH Educational Seminar 2007.
•Author and Speaker “Recent Developments in CGL, Auto and Property Law,” Annual CSH Educational Seminar 2005 to present.
•Author and Speaker, “Material Misrepresentations and Other Ways to Avoid Coverage,” North Carolina Bar Association.
•Author and Speaker, “Civil Procedure, Nuts and Bolts of North Carolina Law,” North Carolina Bar Association.
•Author and Speaker, “Vested Rights Can Cost You,” North Carolina League of Municipalities Fall Seminar 2010.

Most Recent Posts

News

21 Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog Attorneys Named to 2019 North Carolina Super Lawyers and Rising Stars Lists

Today Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP (CSH Law) proudly announced that 21 of its attorneys have been selected for inclusion in the 2019 North Carolina Super Lawyers and 2019 North Carolina Rising Stars lists....

News

32 Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog Attorneys Selected for Inclusion in the Best Lawyers in America 2019

Thirty-two attorneys from Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP (CSH Law) were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2019 (Copyright 2018 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, SC)....

News

20 Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog Attorneys Named to 2018 N.C. Super Lawyers and Rising Star Lists

Today Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP (CSH Law) proudly announced that 20 of its attorneys have been selected for inclusion in the 2018 North Carolina Super Lawyers and 2018 North Carolina Rising Stars lists....

News

33 Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog Attorneys Selected for Inclusion in the Best Lawyers in America 2018

Thirty-three attorneys from Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP (CSH Law) were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2018 (Copyright 2017 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, SC). Eight attorneys were selected for inclusion in the list for the first time....

News

CSH Law Attorneys Recognized by Women in the Law List

Seven female attorneys from Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP (CSH Law) were recently listed among the 2017 Women in the Law by Best Lawyers Business Edition. The list was printed in the Spring 2017 edition and recognizes female attorneys from each state....

News

CSH Law Attorneys Participate in 4ALL Statewide Service Day

Six attorneys from Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP (CSH Law) participated in the North Carolina Bar Association’s 10th Annual 4ALL Statewide Service Day on Friday, March 3. The statewide event is sponsored by the North Carolina Bar Association Foundation and the North Carolina Bar Association (NCBA)....

News

17 Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog Attorneys Named to 2017 North Carolina Super Lawyers and Rising Stars List

Today Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP (CSH Law) proudly announced that 17 of its attorneys have been selected for inclusion in the 2017 North Carolina Super Lawyers and 2017 North Carolina Rising Stars lists....

News

CSH Law Attorneys Receive Best Lawyers “Lawyer of the Year” Recognition

Attorneys chosen for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2017 Five attorneys from Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP (CSH...

News

26 Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog Attorneys Selected for Inclusion in the Best Lawyers in America 2017

Twenty-six attorneys from Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP (CSH Law) were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2017 (Copyright 2016 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, SC)....

News

CSH Law Attorneys Listed Among 2016 Women in the Law

Best Lawyers Business Edition featured Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP attorneys among its Best Lawyers Business Edition 2016 Women in the Law list. This is the inaugural year for the Women in the Law list by the publication....

News

Susan Burkhart Speaks About Cyber Insurance

Susan Burkhart, Chair of the Insurance Law & Coverage Practice Group at Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP, will discuss “Insurance Coverage for Cyber Exposures” at the 2016 Insurance Law Section Annual Meeting and CLE on April 25. Susan’s presentation will address recent caselaw addressing coverage for cyber events under CGL policies and new cyber liability policies....

News

CSH Law Attorneys Participate in 4ALL Statewide Service Day

Eight attorneys from Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP (CSH Law) participated in the North Carolina Bar Association’s 9th Annual 4ALL Statewide Service Day on Friday, March 4. The statewide event is sponsored by the North Carolina Bar Association Foundation and the North Carolina Bar Association (NCBA)....

News

17 Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog Attorneys Named to 2016 North Carolina Super Lawyers and Rising Stars Lists

Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP (CSH) is proud to announce that 16 of its attorneys have been selected for inclusion in the 2016 North Carolina Super Lawyers and 2016 North Carolina Rising Stars lists....

News

28 Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog Attorneys Selected for Inclusion in the Best Lawyers in America 2016

Twenty-eight attorneys from Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP (CSH Law) were selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2016....

News

Susan Burkhart to Address PLAN Meeting

Susan Burkhart, Chair of the Insurance Law & Coverage Practice Group at Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP, will speak at the 2015 PLAN Regional Meeting in NYC....

News

Susan Burkhart to Speak at I-Day 2015 Event

Susan Burkhart, the Chair of the Insurance Law & Coverage Practice Group at Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP (CSH Law), will be a featured speaker at “Meeting Tomorrow’s Challenges I-Day 2015.”...

News

20 Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog Attorneys Named to 2015 North Carolina Super Lawyers and Rising Stars Lists

CSH Law announced that 20 of its attorneys have been selected for inclusion in the 2015 North Carolina Super Lawyers and North Carolina Rising Stars lists....

News

Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog Attorneys Named to 2014 Super Lawyers Business Edition

CSH Law is proud to announced that nine of its attorneys have been selected for inclusion in the 2014 Super Lawyers Business Edition....

News

CSH Law Presents Client Education Conference at McKimmon Center

CSH Law hosts Client Education Conference: Workers’ Compensation & General Liability Law Updates at the McKimmon Conference and Training Center in Raleigh. ...

News

24 CSH Law Attorneys Selected for Inclusion in the Best Lawyers in America 2015

Twenty-four attorneys from Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America....

News

Susan Burkhart Receives 2014 “Lawyer of the Year” Recognition From Best Lawyers

Susan Burkhart, an attorney with Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP (CSH Law), was named the Best Lawyers 2014 Raleigh Insurance Law “Lawyer of the Year.”...

News

CSH Law Attorneys to Speak at Insurance Law Section Annual Meeting

Ted Smyth and Susan Burkhart, attorneys based in the Raleigh office of CSH Law, discuss Emerging Data Breaches at the Insurance Law Section Annual Meeting....

News

21 CSH Law Attorneys Named to 2014 North Carolina Super Lawyers and Rising Stars List

CSH Law announced that 21 of its attorneys are selected for inclusion in the 2014 North Carolina Super Lawyers and 2014 North Carolina Rising Stars lists....

News

25 Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog Attorneys Selected for Inclusion in the Best Lawyers in America 2014

CSH Law is proud to announce that 25 of its attorneys were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America ....

News

24 CSH Law Attorneys Selected as 2013 North Carolina Super Lawyers & Rising Stars

Ten CSH Law attorneys were selected as 2013 North Carolina Super Lawyers and 14 CSH Law attorneys were selected as 2013 North Carolina Rising Stars....

News

23 CSH Law Attorneys Selected for Inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2013 Edition

Twenty-three lawyers from CSH Law were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2013...

News

Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog Lands 17 Attorneys in the Best Lawyers in America 2012 Edition

CSH Law, one of the largest civil defense firms in North Carolina, announced today that 17 of its attorneys selected The Best Lawyers in America....

Areas of Practice (7)

  • Attorneys (Professional Liability)
  • Cyber Liability and Privacy
  • Insurance Brokers & Agents (Professional Liability)
  • Insurance Law & Coverage
  • Professional Liability
  • Bad Faith
  • Errors and Omissions

Education & Credentials

Contact Information:
(919) 863-8709  Phone
(919) 863-3537  Fax
www.cshlaw.com
Mailing Address:
PO Box 27808, Raleigh, NC 27607
University Attended:
University of Michigan, B.A., with High Honors, 1977
Law School Attended:
Wayne State University Law School, J.D., Marshall D. Goldberg Award, Best Oralist, Moot Court, American Jurisprudence Award, Property, 1981
Year of First Admission:
1981
Admission:
U.S. District Court, Western District of North Carolina; U.S. District Court, Eastern District of North Carolina; U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit; U.S. District Court, Middle District of North Carolina; 1981, North Carolina
Memberships:

Community Involvement

•DRI, Insurance Coverage Committee, Member
•NCBA, Litigation Section and Women in the Profession Committee, Member
•NCBA, Board of Directors
•NCBA, Litigation Section Chair
•Harmonie Group Insurance Coverage Section, Representative

Reported Cases:
REPRESENTATIVE MATTERS: Cases or matters referenced do not represent the lawyer's entire record. Each case is unique and must be evaluated on its own merits. The outcome of a particular case cannot be predicated upon a lawyer's or a law firm's past results.; Insurance Coverage: Obtained judgment from the United States District Court declaring a single occurrence for e.coli outbreak.; Obtained reimbursement for insurer in primary/excess declaratory judgment action in the United States District Court.; Obtained judgment and decision affirmed by the North Carolina Supreme Court declaring that a commercial general liability and professional liability insurance policy afforded no coverage for a police officer for alleged sexual misconduct.; Obtained judgment affirmed by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals declaring that an insurer owed no liability coverage under a commercial auto policy for an additional insured driving a non-owned auto.; Obtained judgment affirmed by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals declaring that another insurer owed pro-rata liability for prejudgment interest on a large settlement.; Obtained judgment from the United States District Court declaring that an insurer owed no UM/UIM coverage for injury to a passenger in a non-owned vehicle.; Obtained judgment from the United States District Court declaring that an insurer owed no liability coverage for a vehicle in dead storage.; Obtained judgment and successful appeal to the North Carolina Court of Appeals declaring that a commercial excess insurance policy did not drop down and become excess upon the insolvency of the primary insurer.; Obtained judgment and successful appeal to the North Carolina Court of Appeals declaring that an insurer properly cancelled a policy of automobile liability insurance despite a technical departure from the prescribed cancellation notice.; Obtained judgment and successful appeal to the North Carolina Court of Appeals declaring that an insurer properly cancelled an automobile liability insurance policy by mailing the cancellation to the insured's policy address despite the return of such notice for nondelivery.; Obtained defense verdict for agent at trial in a claim that the agent failed to procure insurance coverage on a tractor/trailer.; Obtained judgment and successful appeal for agent on statute of limitations defense.; Municipal Land Use Defense: Obtained discretionary review from the North Carolina Supreme Court on a challenge to the validity of water/sewer impact fee ordinances.; Successfully argued to the North Carolina Supreme Court that a landowner's constitutional challenges to a zoning ordinance were mooted upon the sale of the property.; Successfully argued to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals that a landowner had no valid equal protection or due process claim arising from the town's allocation of sewer services.; Successfully argued to the United States District Court that a landowner had no valid constitutional challenge to a town's enactment of a moratorium on new construction.; Successfully argued to the United States District Court that a landowner had no vested rights to proceed with its development after an amendment in a zoning ordinance.; Successfully argued to the United States District Court that a landowner had no valid constitutional or statutory challenge to a town's alleged delay in the issuance of a building permit to a developer.; Successfully argued to the North Carolina Court of Appeals that a landowner's common law, statutory and constitutional challenges to a zoning ordinance were barred by the statute of limitations.
ISLN:
908663024
Payment Information:
  • Credit cards accepted
  • Accepts Visa and MasterCard

Peer Reviews

5.0/5.0 (1 review)
A Martindale-Hubbell Peer Rating reflects a combination of achieving a Very High General Ethical Standards rating and a Legal Ability numerical rating.
  • Legal Knowledge

    5.0/5.0
  • Analytical Capability

    5.0/5.0
  • Judgment

    5.0/5.0
  • Communication

    5.0/5.0
  • Legal Experience

    5.0/5.0

*Peer Reviews provided before April 15, 2008 are not displayed.

Raleigh, North Carolina

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