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Thomas A. Burns

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Appellate Attorney in Tampa, FL

Burns, P.A.
301 W Platt St, Ste 137
Tampa, FL 33606
Phone: 813-642-6350
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2018 - 2022
Selected to Rising Stars: 2015 - 2017
Licensed in Florida Since: 2005
Practice Areas: Appellate, Civil Litigation: Plaintiff, Civil Rights, Criminal Defense
Attorney Profile

As the founding shareholder of Burns, P.A., in Tampa, Florida, attorney Thomas A. Burns provides unmatched appellate support to clients throughout the greater Tampa Bay region, including St. Petersburg, Clearwater and all of the surrounding areas. Board-certified as an appellate specialist, he has a wealth of knowledge and experience dealing with appeals, and he has achieved significant success assisting his clients with challenging a previous ruling regarding their criminal and civil cases.

A native of Nebraska, Mr. Burns received his Bachelor of Arts degree magna cum laude from Duke University in 2000. He then attended Duke University School of Law, where he obtained his Juris Doctor cum laude in 2003. A David Siegel Scholar in law school, he also served as executive editor of the Duke Law Journal. He then served as law clerk for the Honorable Susan H. Black of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Jacksonville, Florida.

Early in his legal career, Mr. Burns worked for several years in the appellate departments of several prominent law firms in Washington, D.C. He then relocated to Tampa, where he continued his appellate practice with prestigious law firms in the area before establishing his own private practice. As an appellate attorney, he has drafted hundreds of briefs and petitions, and he has saved his clients tens of millions of dollars by having substantial monetary judgments overturned.

Along with practicing before all Florida state courts, Mr. Burns holds his admission to practice in Washington, D.C., as well as before the U.S. District Court for the Middle and Southern Districts of Florida, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th and Federal Circuits, and the U.S. Supreme Court. He is an active member of the Herbert G. Goldburg-Ronald K. Cacciatore Criminal Law American Inn of Court, the American Bar Association, the American Constitution Society, and the Appellate Practice Section of The Florida Bar and the Hillsborough County Bar Association.

Recognized for his outstanding professionalism and service, Mr. Burns has earned perennial top rankings and endorsements from his peers, including a Legal Elite designation from Florida Trend magazine. He has also received numerous testimonials and referrals from his satisfied clients.

Practice Areas
  • 70%Appellate
  • 10%Civil Litigation: Plaintiff
  • 10%Civil Rights
  • 10%Criminal Defense


5 Years Super Lawyers
3 Years Rising Stars
  • Super Lawyers: 2018 - 2022
  • Rising Stars: 2015 - 2017

Certificates and Credentials

About Thomas A. Burns

First Admitted: 2005, Florida

Professional Webpage:

Educational Background

  • Duke University, A.B., magna cum laude, 2000


  • Legal Elite, Appellate Practice, Florida Trend, 2018 - 2019
  • Rising Star, Appellate Practice, Super Lawyers, 2015 - 2017
  • Super Lawyer, Appellate Practice, 2018 - 2019
  • David Siegel Scholar, Duke University School of Law

Scholarly Lectures/Writings

  • Speaker, Distinctions between State and Federal Appellate Practice, The Florida Bar Appellate Practice Section, Mar. 18, 2011
  • Note, When Life is an Injury: An Economic Analysis of Wrongful Life Lawsuits, 52 Duke L.J. 807 (2003)
  • Florida State and Federal Appellate Rules: Distinctions with a Difference, Fla. B.J., June 2010, at 74-76
  • Executive Editor, Duke Law Journal, Duke University School of Law
  • Navigating the New Florida Appellate Mediation Rules, Lawyer, Summer 2011, at 14-15
  • Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law Stretches Its Legs, Lawyer, Spring 2013, at 30-31
  • Panelist, Stetson Law Panel Discussion of Arda Goker’s Comment, Florida’s Statutory Sentencing Provisions, the Sixth Amendment, and the Province of the Jury: A Study in Constitutional Conformity, 47 Stet. L. Rev. 450 (2018), Nov. 1, 2016
  • Speaker, 11th Circuit Year in Review, American Constitution Society, July 18, 2018
  • Is It Over Yet? A Primer on Federal and State Appellate Finality Doctrines, 94 Fla. B.J. 35 (Jan./Feb. 2020)


  • Kenning v. Carli, 648 Fed. App’x 763 (11th Cir. 2016)
  • Howard v. Kraus, 642 Fed. App’x 940 (11th Cir. 2016)
  • United States v. Davis, 854 F.3d 1276 (11th Cir. 2017)
  • United States v. Aldissi, Nos. 15-14193 & 15-14194 (11th Cir. 2018)
  • Jenkins v. S. David Anton, P.A., 922 F.3d 1257 (11th Cir. 2019)
  • United States v. Cingari, No. 17-12262 (11th Cir. 2019)
  • United States v. Cavallo, 790 F.3d 1202 (11th Cir. 2015)
  • Howard v. Kraus, 642 Fed. App’x 940 (11th Cir. 2016)
  • Dimanche v. Brown, 783 F.3d 1204 (11th Cir. 2015)
  • Wilson v. City of Tampa, 209 So. 3d 646 (Fla. 2d DCA 2017)
  • Sammons v. Greenfield, 270 So. 3d 534 (Fla. 2d DCA 2019)
  • Davis v. United States, No. 16-9642 (S.Ct.)
  • Aldissi v. United States, No. 19-5805 (S.Ct.)

Pro bono/Community Service

  • American Constitution Society

Bar/Professional Activity

  • Hillsborough County Bar Association (Appellate Practice Section) 
  • The Florida Bar Association (Appellate Practice Section) 
  • The American Bar Association 
  • Goldburg-Cacciatore Criminal Law American Inn of Court
  • Eleventh Circuit
  • Southern District of Florida
  • Middle District of Florida
  • Federal Circuit
  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • Florida
  • D.C.

Special Licenses/Certifications

  • Board Certified in Appellate Practice
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Office Location for Thomas A. Burns

301 W Platt St
Ste 137
Tampa, FL 33606

Phone: 813-642-6350

Last Updated: 5/15/2022

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