Meet our Office
At Burke & Domercq, APC, in Carlsbad, California, two attorneys with outstanding credentials have partnered to create a firm focused exclusively on divorce and family issues.. We address matters at all levels of complexity and conflict with emphasis on focused personal attention, strategic preparation and cost-efficiency.
Daniel V. Burke has practiced family law since 1977, and has been certified as a Specialist in Family Law by the California Board of Legal Specialization of the State Bar of California since 1991. Mr. Burke is a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and a Fellow of the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. Mr. Burke has also served as a Judge Pro Tem of the San Diego County Superior Court since 1986.
Mr. Burke has lectured extensively throughout the state of California on a wide variety of family law matters for many organizations, and has also written extensively on family law matters. Daniel V. Burke will devote his 30+ years of skill, experience and expertise and the resources of a sophisticated and dedicated office to assist you in achieving your goals in your family matters.
Pierre A. Domercq gained extensive, invaluable experience in business prior to entering the practice of law in 1997, and he has since built an excellent reputation in San Diego area courts and among his professional peers. Mr. Domercq has been certified as a Specialist in Family Law by the California Board of Legal Specialization of the State Bar of California and serves as the Chairman elect on the Carlsbad Certified Legal Specialist Committee, as well as Chair of the Carlsbad Family Law Bar.
Mr. Domercq is a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers as well as a Member of the Board of Delegates to the Conference of the California Bar Association. Pierre Domercq stays on the cutting edge of emerging family law issues, and he has appeared on television to comment on a prominent appellate case.
Susan Minnick Gathman received her Juris Doctor from the University of San Diego School of Law, where she was awarded scholarships for academic merit, student leadership, contributing to campus diversity and for her work in indigent defense.
Ms. Gathman has been certified as a Specialist in Family Law by the California Board of Legal Specialization of the State Bar of California and is a member of the Minor’s Counsel Panel.
During law school, she served on the Student Honor Court and earned concentrations in Criminal Litigation and Public Interest Law. Sue interned with the Vista Family Law Facilitator’s Office, as well as the San Diego Public Defender, the Employee Rights Center in City Heights, and USD’s Veterans’ Clinic. She currently serves as a Volunteer Attorney with Casa Cornelia Law Center in San Diego, representing unaccompanied children in immigration court, and with the San Diego Volunteer Lawyers’ Program’s Carlsbad restraining order clinic, where she earned the 2015 Distinguished Volunteer Award. She finds family law especially rewarding, and enjoys the opportunity to assist clients as they navigate challenging life situations.
Sue earned her B.A. in German Linguistics from the University of California at Davis, and lives in Carlsbad with her three children. She enjoys traveling, cooking, history, live music, quilting, postcards, trivia and the written word.
Karissa Ann Piralla, a local native: Karissa earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication from the University of California, San Diego, and then a Juris Doctorate from the University of San Diego School of Law. With more than a decade of legal experience in appellate practice, she brings a diverse set of skills to our firm.
Karissa began her professional career as a criminal defense attorney, representing clients from arrest through post-judgment proceedings. She worked as a research attorney for the Superior Court. Karissa’s six years with the court helped shape her into a uniquely well-rounded attorney. She appreciates the court’s complexities and understands the everyday demands experienced by the judicial officers she now appears before.
As a passionate advocate, Karissa capitalizes on her strong research and writing skills in trial court proceedings and when appropriate during appellate review. When combined with a natural presence in the courtroom and her thoughtful client rapport, Karissa plays a key role in helping our clients achieve their legal goals.
When not at the office, Karissa enjoys spending time with her family and friends, cuddling with her baby girl, eating delicious food, and reading mystery novels.
Penni Delagnes joined Burke & Domercq, APC in 2004 and is our senior paralegal. Penni has 20+ years paralegal experience, primarily in the areas of family law and civil litigation. Penni works alongside our attorneys in all aspects of a case to provide superior personalized representation of our clients. Penni received her paralegal certificate with honors from the University of San Diego and Bachelor of Arts in political science from San Diego State University. In 2006, Penni was named Legal Assistant of the Year by Northern San Diego County Legal Professional’s Association.
Penni is originally from New York and resides in Oceanside with her husband and two children. Penni spends her free time enjoying all that San Diego has to offer, being outdoors as much as possible, travel, yoga, reading, and just spending time with her family and close friends.
Penni received her American Bar Association paralegal certificate with honors from the University of San Diego after obtaining a Bachelor of Arts in political science from San Diego State University. Penni joined Burke & Domercq, APC in 2004 and is our senior paralegal. Penni has 20+ years paralegal experience, primarily in the areas of family law and civil litigation. Penni works alongside our attorneys in all aspects of a case to provide superior personalized representation of our clients. Penni was named Legal Assistant of the Year by Northern San Diego County Legal Professional’s Association.
Rebecca Robson joined Burke & Domercq in 2012 and is our lead paralegal. Rebecca has over 5 year’s paralegal experience in family law and over 7 years’ experience in the legal field. Rebecca received her paralegal certification from the University of California, San Diego’s American Bar Association approved paralegal program in 2011 after obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Minor in Anthropology. Rebecca is a certified Master Teacher. Rebecca’s lengthy experience and training in early childhood education is an asset to our clients confronting custody and visitation cases, as well as domestic violence matters.
At Burke & Domercq, APC, Rebecca assists our clients and attorneys throughout the legal process, oversees and manages legal calendaring and our website contacts. Rebecca also trains and oversees administration staff and paralegals. Outside the office, Rebecca enjoys running, fishing, swimming, cooking, traveling, snowboarding and spending time with her family.
Rebecca regularly attends conferences and seminars, and participates in additional education and training. Rebecca has been a key speaker and presented at a Family Law Webinar and continues to review and provide feedback for upcoming seminars. Currently, Rebecca is enrolled in law school where she received a scholarship for scoring above the top 5% on her entry exams.
Jennifer Osorio is an integral member of our paralegal team. Jennifer discovered her passion for law while interning in a family law firm during her undergrad at Hawaii Pacific University. After graduating in 2007 with a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies, she fell in love with a local non-profit called REINS Therapeutic Horsemanship Program, that specialized in providing life-changing therapy for children and adults with disabilities. Jennifer worked for REINS, as their Development Coordinator, for nine years. In 2015, she decided to expand upon her extensive experience working with children and adults to assist families with their domestic and family law matters. She successfully completed the Paralegal Program at the University of San Diego and in September 2015 obtained her American Bar Association Paralegal Certificate.
At Burke & Domercq, APC, Jennifer keeps our clients informed about their case and assists them and the attorneys, working towards resolution throughout all aspects of the legal process. Outside of the office, Jennifer enjoys exploring San Diego and spending time with family and friends.
Jennifer regularly attends conferences and seminars, along with additional education and training. Jennifer has completed the following seminars and continuing education courses:
- 2015 – Preparation and Processing Family Law Judgments by Commissioner Patti Ratekin;
- 2015 – Military Pay and Benefits in Family Law by Commissioner Patti Ratekin & Alexander Verduci, Esq.;
- 2015 – The Paralegals Handbook to Ethical Communications and Relationships by The Institute for Paralegal Education;
- 2015 – “The Psychology of Domestic Violence” by The San Diego Family Law Bar Association;
- 2016 – Social Media Secrets by The American Association of Matrimonial Lawyers;
- 2016 – Family Law Orders and Enforcement Remedies by The Carlsbad Certified Family Law Specialists and the Carlsbad Bar Association; &
- 2016: Stock Based Compensation in Family Law Proceedings by Th e American Association of Matrimonial Lawyers.
Claire Hamilton completed the University of San Diego’s paralegal program and received her paralegal certificate with honors in August of 2014, after earning her Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and a minor in human rights from the University of California San Diego in June of 2013.
In her spare time, Claire enjoys volunteering with the San Diego Paralegal Association to strengthen, promote, and empower the paralegal profession and attending their continuing education events for paralegals. She also delights in etymology and word play.
Michelle Dukes is one of the newest additions to the Burke & Domercq team and serves to be the firm’s document processor. At Burke and Domercq, Michelle processes many different types of documents and makes sure that they are circulated to the client and their corresponding paralegals and attorney. She also assists in basic clerical and administrative tasks, from filing, billing, mailing, and much more.
Originally hailing from Los Angeles, CA, Michelle grew up in a military family and has enjoyed the experience of travelling and living all over the United States during her youth. Michelle’s hobbies include reading, listening to music, and hanging out with her friends and family.
For more on our lawyers’ backgrounds and accomplishments, please follow the links below to their individual profiles. To request a consultation focused on your needs and concerns, please contact our firm.