Criminal Defense – Avoiding Convictions, Avoiding Jail

James W. Burdick, Esq.

From a nurse whose license had been permanently revoked in another State, but whose license and career in Michigan we were able to save: "Thank you so much for all your help over the last few years. I can never thank you enough. None of this could have been accomplished without your guidance." (LE)

"Apart from being an extraordinary lawyer, you are a great human being. Thanks for doing all that you have done for me. You understood my situation, fought and still continue to fight for me. Nobody could have provided such immense help that you did. You earned great respect in my heart, my life and my prayers." KA, a physical therapist who was facing 10 years in prison, but received a sentence of probation instead.

From the wife of a physician who was never charged with the false accusations from a patient because of Jim Burdick's expertise: "I really want you to know how thankful we are for all the help you have given us. We really think the world of you and found you a superb and caring attorney. [We know] you're out there saving other innocent victims' lives!" (CC)

A pharmacist's license was saved by Jim Burdick's diligence and hard work; he wrote: "Thanks for everything you did for me. I will never forget you!" (KB)

This target of a federal investigation walked away without charges because of Jim Burdick's help, and wrote: "I'm most grateful for your help making what could have been a very distressing experience rather unremarkable. After meeting you the first time, I knew I was in the 'best hands.'" (GA)

A physician whose license Jim Burdick saved wrote: "Just to clarify, without you I wouldn't have a job. Plain and simple. Thank you." (CV)

A nurse who avoided all disciplinary problems because of Jim Burdick's hard work wrote: "Thank you so much for getting this right. You're the best!" (HF)

"I am so thankful to have had you as my attorney." (A physician whose license was permanently revoked in one state, denied in another, but where Jim Burdick kept him his license in Michigan with only a $250.00 fine.)

"I want to express my grateful thanks for your excellent counsel and representation," wrote a man when his son's multi-count drug case was dismissed because of Jim Burdick's expertise.

From one of the criminal defense lawyers who have turned to Jim Burdick for help over the years: "I cannot thank you enough for taking my calls, and dropping what you were working on; the wisdom you gave me was priceless."

From another lawyer: "With your expert guidance, I was able to fashion a [critical strategy] which enabled me to appear in court with a sense of confidence I would not otherwise have and to successfully articulate my client's position, respond to every question the judge asked, with the winning case law, which wouldn't have been in my arsenal without your invaluable help."

From the parents of a man save a long prison sentence by Jim Burdick's passion and relentlessness: "I can't tell you how grateful we all are for your expertise in saving [our son] from prison, the time you always spent with us to make sure we understood everything that was happening, and for your amazing devotion to finding a solution to his problems."

A Client Saved from Conviction: A man came to Jim Burdick for help after he had been indicted in a 44-defendant drug conspiracy involving a notorious biker gang. The client had previously been addicted to prescription painkillers and had bought some from one of the defendants a couple times 5 years before the indictment. Instead of facing prison time himself, Jim Burdick was able to convince the federal prosecutors that the client was a former addict, not a conspirator, and he was placed on pre-trial diversion instead of facing a massive trial with a long prison sentence if convicted.

Physician's Conviction Expunged: A highly regarded physician was convicted of stalking a former boyfriend. She had pled guilty and was placed on probation. But this conviction as wreaking havoc with her hospital privileges and she came to Jim Burdick for help. He successfully petitioned the Court to remove that conviction from her record, and her problems with privileges disappeared.

Defendant Avoids Prosecution and Certain Conviction: A man was charged with aiding the escape of an inmate at the County Jail by switching write IDs with him. (This client was in the jail because of a fight with his step-father.) He was facing very serious charges but, working with a very honorable Assistant United States Attorney, Jim Burdick was able to avoid any criminal conviction and, instead, won a pre-trial diversion for his client, by demonstrating the client's extensive psychological history and emotional issues as the cause of his conduct.

Drug Conspiracy Sentence Halved: Facing over eight years in prison, Jim Burdick won a sentence of less than half that through his relentless efforts at pleading his client's case, his horrible childhood and difficult life, and with an extensive sentencing memorandum and vigorous argument at sentencing, convinced the judge to give his client this substantial reduction.

Psychologist Saved from Criminal Prosecution: A hardworking and sincere psychologist was accused of healthcare fraud and theft of government funds but, because of Jim Burdick's efforts, the government agreed not to prosecute, accepting Burdick's arguments that there had been no violations and therefore should not be any prosecution.

Medicare Fraud Trial - Convicted but No Jail: After a several weeks' long trial in federal court, every defendant was convicted. All of them were sentenced to prison for up to 17 years - except Jim Burdick's client, the only one to receive straight probation. (Her appeal is pending and she will be exonerated.)

Victory in Prescription Fraud Conspiracy Case: This client, a physician, was one of eight individuals indicted in a prescription drug conspiracy. He was facing a virtual life sentence given his age and the 300,000 Oxycontin pills he prescribed without objective testing, but through Jim Burdick's efforts to "find a path" to avoid prison, this physician was permitted to enter a pre-trial diversion program. After 15 months of probation, all charges will be dismissed, while the other defendants were sentenced to as much as 84 months.

Healthcare Fraud Conspiracy - Dismissal: Despite a 20-month investigation, and conviction of all the other defendants in a Medicare fraud conspiracy, Jim Burdick won a dismissal of all charges against his client.

Medicare Conspiracy - Avoiding Indictment: Jim Burdick was able to convince federal prosecutors in an eastern seaboard state not to indict Jim's client who owned a chain of therapy clinics, despite some hard-to-explain billing activities. Jim Burdick explained them well enough to avoid charges for his client.

Healthcare Conspiracy - No Jail: Two brothers were the targets of State and federal investigations into Medicaid and Medicare fraud involving millions of dollars. Jim Burdick saved one from being charged at all, and worked out a reduced plea for the other so that he could receive probation instead of 10 years in prison.

Medicare Fraud Conspiracy - Avoiding Years in Prison: A social worker was accused of defrauding the Medicare Trust Fund of nearly $800,000.00. Through Jim Burdick's persistence and hard work, he was able to get her certain three-year sentence reduced to only six-months.

Blue Cross Fraud - All Charges Dismissed: A key employee of a large medical clinic was charged with submitting false billings to Blue Cross. After weeks of a probable cause hearing, Jim Burdick succeeded in getting the judge to dismiss all charges. And then successfully sued Blue Cross for $650,000 in losses suffered by the clinic.

Interstate Narcotics Conspiracy - Acquittal: In a highly-charged drug conspiracy trial, despite photos of this executive in a California Post Office taping together a package later found to contain a huge quantity of narcotics, and even though all of the other defendants pled guilty, Jim Burdick was able to win an outright acquittal for her by proving that federal agents had lied during their trial testimony.

Interstate Narcotics Conspiracy - Acquittal: A client of Jim Burdick's was indicted for cocaine distribution conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy and all of his property accumulated over a lifetime was seized by the government. But Mr. Burdick was able to achieve an agreement with the federal government by which most of the client's real estate, and hundreds of thousands of dollars were returned. Mr. Burdick also obtained an agreement with the government for dismissal of all of the criminal charges. Instead, the government agreed with Mr. Burdick to impose a one-year "diversion" - with no criminal conviction, no "probation" or fine, and no criminal record at all.

Narcotics & Money Laundering Conspiracy - Case Dismissed: After a hard-fought high-profile drug conspiracy trial in Kansas federal court, the defendant's conviction was reversed on appeal, and the charges dismissed, because of the United States Court of Appeals ruled that the trial judge should have granted Jim's motion to dismiss in the first place. All charges were dropped.

Money Laundering - Avoiding Indictment: A federal grand jury and federal agents were in hot pursuit of two real estate executives in a southern state because of their purchases and sales of real estate for an accused drug "kingpin." Jim Burdick's effective representation of these men resulted in the government's agreement not to prosecute either of them.

Police Corruption Conspiracy - Acquittal: The only police officer defendant in a 15-defendant corruption conspiracy proceeding to be acquitted of charges after a lengthy and contentious trial was Jim Burdick's client. He is still in law enforcement today because his innocence was proven.

Counterfeiting Conspiracy - Avoiding Indictment: A young man caught by security cameras passing a great deal of counterfeit U.S. Currency was saved from criminal charges because of Jim Burdick's impassioned pleas in his client's behalf. He is a productive citizen today, with no further bumps in his road.

Mortgage Fraud - Avoiding Indictment: An otherwise law-abiding building contractor had become deeply enmeshed in someone else's mortgage fraud scheme - defrauding banks of millions - but Jim Burdick kept him from having any criminal charges brought against him.

High-Profile Conspiracy - Avoiding Indictment: It was Jim Burdick who successfully represented the chief suspect in the tragic kidnapping and murder of labor leader Jimmy Hoffa. Though his client was innocent, public and media hysteria pushed federal investigators to find a scapegoat. An otherwise deadly series of coincidences and misunderstandings propelled very aggressive F.B.I. investigators who, because of the intense media scrutiny and enormous public pressure, were intent on bringing charges against his client for a murder he didn't commit. Jim's steadfast representation made the government back off and not indict.

Tax Fraud - Avoiding Indictment: A major Michigan business was being vigorously pursued because of allegations of tax fraud, and Jim Burdick represented one of the employees. Even though the attorney representing senior corporate officers had antagonized all the government officials, it was Jim who was able to bring calm to the situation, and to convince both the Internal Revenue Service and the government lawyers that no criminal charges could be sustained. This saved the company from certain financial collapse just from being indicted. The media scrutiny attendant to such charges alone would have ruined the company's business.

Racketeering Conspiracy - Acquittal: In a three-week long trial in federal court, Jim Burdick's client faced a vigorous prosecution, a turncoat witness and thirteen separate and highly inflammatory recorded conversations in which the client all but confessed to conducting a high-interest (4% per week!) loan sharking operation. But Jim was still able to win an acquittal on all nine counts, conviction of any one of which would have sent his client to federal prison for ten years or more.

Medicare Kickback Scheme - Avoiding Prison: Jim Burdick was able to save a client from a certain prison sentence, despite the client's admission of responsibility in a Medicare kickback scheme involving a million dollars of money improperly charged to Medicare. This client, because of Jim Burdick's expertise and relentlessness, was able to avoid the fate of others in the case who had been sentenced to Federal prison.

Explosives - Avoiding Conviction: A young man charged with using and possession of explosives - the State wanted a 20-year conviction. Jim Burdick succeeded in getting the judge to take a "plea under advisement," then dismissing all eight charges.

Embezzlement - No Prison: An in-house company bookkeeper admitted to embezzling more than a million dollars from her employers. She turned to Jim Burdick for help, and he successfully avoided all prison time for her.

Narcotics Diversion - Case Dismissed: A pharmacist was accused of diverting huge numbers of narcotics. Jim Burdick got the criminal charges dismissed.

Narcotics Diversion - Case Dismissed: A dental surgeon had been diverting narcotics for his own use, and was arrested at a drug store filling a phony prescription he had written. By convincing the authorities that this was an addiction matter, not criminal, Jim Burdick won a short probation instead for his client, with charges all dropped after a year.

Narcotics Diversion - Avoiding Conviction: A physician in charge of a large hospital's emergency room had been writing himself dozens of prescriptions for narcotics. When he was caught, Jim Burdick convinced the authorities that he had an addiction, and that a short probationary period, with an in-patient recovery program, was the better answer than prison and loss of his license. His probation lasted a year, and the charges were all dropped.

Successfully Fighting False Charges: A highly regarded physician was wrongfully accused of sexually assaulting a patient. Using his expertise and diligence, Jim Burdick convinced the prosecution not to bring any criminal charges. Mr. Burdick was also able to convince the State not to being licensing discipline action. This physician is still working.

Successfully Fighting False Charges: A young man accused of date-rape after a night of voluntary relations saw all his charges dismissed by the prosecution because of Jim Burdick's diligence and hard work to prove his innocence.

Successfully Fighting False Charges: A licensed pharmacist "confessed" to stealing $10,000 in drugs, but Jim Burdick got the criminal charges of embezzlement dismissed (and avoided any license sanctions) by proving the confession was false and had been coerced.

Successfully Fighting False Charges: Another doctor was falsely accused of molesting patients; Jim Burdick's efforts kept him from even being charged with a crime by convincing the prosecutors that the patients' claims were lies.

Successfully Fighting False Charges - A well-regarded psychiatrist was falsely accused by a patient of molesting her. Jim Burdick's diligence convinced the authorities not to prosecute and not to file discipline charges.

Successfully Fighting False Charges: A school athletic coach was falsely accused of sexually assaulting one of his students. Jim Burdick's persistence, extensive research on the Internet, proved that the student had made up the whole thing. All the charges were dropped, and now that coach is back doing what he does best - helping young people through athletics, instead of facing 20 years in prison.

Criminal Sex Assault - Avoiding Charges: A well-regarded psychologist was falsely accused of sexually molesting a patient, but it was Jim Burdick's focus and force, despite a police detective's intent to "bring down" this innocent man, that finally convinced the prosecutors to back away from the case and not file charges.

The "Basketbrawl" -Avoiding Jail: An NBA star involved in an infamous brawl at an NBA basketball game was saved from a jail sentence by Jim Burdick's diligence.

Drunk Driving & Injury - Avoiding Jail: Another NBA star was involved in a serious injury-accident while driving drunk. Because of Jim Burdick's intervention, he avoided all but a few days in a local jail, even though the judge is notorious for handing out 60-day sentences for all alcohol & driving convictions.

Murder - Avoiding Life in Prison: In the infamous Jenny Jones Murder Trial, only Jim's steady hand and relentless pursuit of the truth saved his client from a First Degree Murder conviction, which would have brought an automatic life sentence with no hope of parole. Despite a taped confession to 911 operators and to police, Jim was able to convince the jury to return a verdict of a lesser offense, resulting in a sentence that will set his client free while he is still a young man.


Since leaving the Board of Medicine as a highly respected member, Jim Burdick has carefully and skillfully created individualized programs for personal rehabilitation and redemption, leading to successful petitions for reinstatement of health care provider licenses. Burdick has achieved nearly 100% success in obtaining license reinstatements, even when clients have had multiple disciplines or multiple criminal convictions. He has successfully represented physicians, nurses, dentists, psychologists, podiatrists and pharmacists who have developed substance abuse problems, or suffered criminal convictions - or both - and has always either kept their licenses for them, or succeeded in winning reinstatement in every case. He successfully represents clients in Blue Cross de-participation and re-participation actions, in United States Department of Health and Human Services (Medicare-Medicaid) exclusion and reinstatement litigation, as well as all discipline and license matters.

Nurse Saved from Licensing Action: A nurse was falsely accused by the nursing home where she worked of failing to report another nurse for negligence. Jim Burdick filed a 16-page detailed self-report, explaining how his client had done nothing wrong. Instead of an administrative complaint, the Nursing Board decided, based on that self-report, that this nurse had done nothing wrong. She was saved from the rigors and expense of defending an administrative complaint process because of the detailed and compelling self-report which exonerated her.

Nurse's License Saved: A nurse turned to Jim Burdick when she received a complaint against her license for something that she did not do. After relentless pressure on the State and the Attorney General's office, Jim was able to convince the AG to file a motion with the Nursing Board to ask them to dismiss the complaint entirely. She did, they agreed, and this nurse's life is completely back on track.

Keeping a Nurse's License: A registered nurse turned to Jim Burdick after she had been convicted by a guilty plea of drunk driving, resisting & obstructing a police officer, and assault on an officer. (Clearly she had been drinking heavily.) She was facing a long suspension of her license, but through Jim Burdick's efforts, he was able to win a resolution providing for probation only, and allowing her to continue practicing her profession, uninterrupted.

Pharmacist's License Limitations Lifted: A pharmacist whose license had been limited against owing a pharmacy (because of terrible record-keeping and mismanagement of a store he had opened "too early" in his short career) won elimination of those limitations through Jim Burdick's convincing Application for Dissolving Limitation. The application was sufficiently compelling that the attorney general's office did not even oppose it, and the Board agreed to lift the sanction.

Falsely Accused VA Nurse Saved from Licensing Action: A nurse working for the VA was falsely accused of failing to take proper action when a patient had died, was saved from an administrative complaint and potential loss of her license by Jim Burdick's extensive and detailed self-report. That report proved to the State's satisfaction that, not only was this nurse innocent of the claims, but showing through eight supporting exhibits that this was an exemplary nurse who was nothing more than the VA's scapegoat. Less than two months after receiving this self-report, the State stated in a letter that the facts - presented by Jim Burdick - showed there was no basis for the VA's accusations.

Health Care Fraud Accusations Dismissed: A client of Jim Burdick's was falsely accused of participating in a healthcare fraud conspiracy at a client where she had been a part-time receptionist. The government tried and tried to get her to plead guilty, but Jim Burdick insisted on a trial where he knew he could prove her innocence. Finally, on the eve of trial, the government agrees to dismiss all charges against her. Never backing down pays off again.

Doctor Saved from License Sanctions: A doctor was fired from a VA hospital in Oregon for alleged violations of patient protocols. Jim Burdick filed an extensive, and compelling, 111-page self-report to the Michigan Board of Medicine in the client's behalf, demonstrating that this doctor had been falsely accused, and showing that he was very highly regarded by his peers and patients. Five months after filing that document, the State of Michigan wrote to say that it was closing its file on the matter without pursuing any license action.

Reinstatement: A physician who had been convicted several years before of trading narcotics prescription for the promise of sexual favors had lost his license, but Jim Burdick got it reinstated for him after a long and contentious administrative law hearing, convincing the Board of Medicine that he should be re-licensed.

Reinstatement: Jim Burdick was able to obtain reinstatement of a psychologist's license, after she had been suspended for 18 months, and despite the fact that, during her suspension, two separate allegations of practicing without a license had been filed. Mr. Burdick was able to convince the State and the Psychology Board that she should still have her license reinstated, and it was.

Reinstatement: Jim Burdick was able to get a pharmacist's license reinstated, despite allegations that he had been practicing pharmacy while without a license. The pharmacist had lost his license years before, and failed (with another attorney) to win reinstatement before he came to Jim Burdick, and became victorious.

Reinstatement - A physician was accused of prescribing thousands of units of narcotics without medical necessity - Jim Burdick won him reinstatement of his license after a short suspension.

Summary Suspension Lifted: A registered nurse was alleged to have been diverting opiates from the hospital where he worked, and his license was summarily suspended. Jim Burdick got him into a treatment program and was able to get the summary suspension of his license lifted, with an agreement that the Nursing Board would not suspend it so long as he remained successful in his treatment program.

Avoiding Suspension: In another matter, yet another nurse was alleged to have been diverting drugs and was fired from the hospital where he worked and reported to the State. Instead of facing a license suspension action at all, Mr. Burdick was able to get this nurse into a State authorized recovery program which monitors his continuing work as a nurse.

Avoiding Suspension: A physician who had been convicted of smuggling non-FDA-approved medications into the United States was able to keep his license to practice because of Jim Burdick's hard work and passion for his client.

Avoiding License Sanctions: An innocent doctor accused of ignoring a post-operative patient who died in recovery. . . . Jim Burdick saved him from losing his license.

Avoiding Suspension: A nurse was accused of stealing a medical device, but Jim Burdick saved her license with only a reprimand.

Avoiding Suspension: A pharmacist accused of "losing" 9,000 opiates - Jim Burdick saved his pharmacy license.

Avoiding Suspension: Jim Burdick salvaged the license of a nurse who had failed to properly record a TB test, and was fired from her hospital. Instead of a suspension, she received only a minor reprimand.

Avoiding Discipline - Another nurse was accused of failing to notify the facility that a patient had fallen in his room; she was fired and reported to the State, but Jim Burdick helped her avoid all disciplinary sanctions.

Avoiding Suspension: A physician whose license was permanently revoked in Ohio because of an addiction followed and narcotics conviction, asked Jim Burdick to help. He was able to keep him licensed in Michigan with only a short probation.

Avoiding Suspension: Another physician, also permanently revoked in Ohio, asked Jim Burdick to fight for him. And the result: a $250.00 fine - no suspension, no reprimand, nothing else.

Avoiding Suspension: A New York Physician who had been denied a license in Nevada, but failed to self report that to Michigan, also avoided suspension of his Michigan license because of Jim Burdick's hard work and persuasive arguments.

Avoiding License Sanctions: A nurse accused of altering a medical record kept her license with no discipline because of Jim Burdick's expertise and aggressive pursuit of justice, convincing the State that she had done nothing wrong.

Avoiding Suspension: A dentist who was dispensing narcotics from his office without the proper license was able to keep his dental license because he had Jim Burdick in his corner.

For decades, surgeons, nurses, psychologists, pharmacists, physician assistants, dentists, chiropractors, family medicine docs . . . all have had their licenses saved, or reinstated, for them by Jim Burdick.