Thomas A. Burns is the founding shareholder of Burns, P.A. Mr. Burns is a litigator with extensive experience defending and prosecuting lawsuits at the trial and appellate levels, in both federal and state courts.
Before returning to Florida, Mr. Burns practiced for five years in Washington, D.C., with the appellate departments of Sidley Austin LLP and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP. In Tampa, Mr. Burns practiced for three years in the appellate departments of Hill Ward Henderson and Greenberg Traurig, P.A. In those capacities, Mr. Burns represented leading companies from diverse industries in a wide variety of disputes.
Mr. Burns is experienced with appellate matters. He has drafted merits briefs, amicus briefs, petitions for certiorari, and mandamus petitions in the U.S. Supreme Court, Eighth,Eleventh, D.C., and Federal Circuits, and various state supreme and intermediate appellate courts—including all five Florida district courts of appeal. Mr. Burns has also conducted oral argument before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Additionally, Mr.Burns has performed lead appellate trial support in matters ranging from a $200 million insurance-coverage and bad-faith dispute to a $400,000 contract-breach dispute in federal jury trials.
Mr. Burns also has substantial trial litigation experience. For instance, as lead counsel, Mr. Burns litigated a $15 million, 70-party, consolidated real estate case. Additionally, Mr. Burns has conducted oral argument of over two dozen dispositive motions in state and federal trial courts.
Finally, Mr. Burns has a demonstrated commitment to pro bono service, having won Sidley Austin LLP’s Vincent Prada Pro Bono Award in 2006 and 2007 and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP’s Frank Wheat Memorial Award in 2008.
Before entering private practice, Mr. Burns served as a law clerk to the Honorable Susan H. Black of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in Jacksonville, Florida. Mr. Burns graduated from the Duke University School of Law cum laude in 2003, where he was elected Executive Editor of the Duke Law Journal and was the David Siegel Scholar. Mr. Burns graduated from Duke University magna cum laude in 2000.
Mr. Burns was born and raised in Lincoln, Nebraska. His mother is a retired architect from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and his father is a retired atomic physicist from Belfast, Northern Ireland. Mr. Burns is proficient in French and speaks rudimentary Greek and Spanish. Outside the office, Mr. Burns enjoys playing tennis, reading, and watching movies and sports.