Thomas A. Burns

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 - 2020
Selected To Rising Stars: 2015 - 2017
Licensed Since: 2005
Practice Areas:
  • Appellate
Attorney Profile

Thomas A. Burns is the founding shareholder of Burns, P.A. Mr. Burns is a board-certified appellate specialist with extensive experience defending and prosecuting lawsuits at the trial and appellate levels, in both state and federal courts.

Before returning to Florida in 2009, 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, P.A. and Greenberg Traurig, P.A. In those capacities, Mr. Burns represented leading companies from diverse industries in a wide variety of disputes.

Mr. Burns has substantial experience with appellate matters. He has drafted merits briefs, amicus briefs, petitions for writs of certiorari, petitions for writs of prohibition, and petitions for writs of mandamus in the Supreme Court of the United States, the United States Courts of Appeals for the Eighth, Eleventh, D.C., and Federal Circuits, and various state supreme and intermediate appellate courts—including the Florida Supreme Court and all five Florida district courts of appeal. In doing so, Mr. Burns has presented dozens of oral arguments, including 19 oral arguments to the Eleventh Circuit.

Representative past appellate matters include the exclusion of a toxicologist in a $63 million toxic tort case, a federal prosecution regarding $37.5 million mortgage fraud conspiracy, an asserted $10 million personal injury from a medical device, a federal prosecution regarding $6.5 million pain clinic, a $4.6 million defamation judgment, a $2.5 million Chapter 11 bankruptcy, a federal prosecution regarding $2.5 million Medicare fraud scheme, and a $1.7 million personal injury judgment. Some current appeals involve an $820,000 breach of contract appeal and federal prosecutions regarding a 10-day jury trial regarding an expansive immigration fraud scheme and a $10.6 million wire fraud scheme that implicates a 7-4 circuit split regarding the “right to control” theory. Relatedly, Mr. Burns has performed lead appellate trial support in matters such as a $200 million insurance-coverage and bad-faith dispute, a $10.6 million white collar wire fraud and identity theft prosecution, and a $400,000 breach of contract dispute in lengthy 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 dozens of 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. On average, Mr. Burns devotes over 100 hours per year on pro bono cases.

Before entering private practice, Mr. Burns served as a law clerk to the Honorable Susan H. Black of the United States 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, Portuguese, and Spanish. Outside the office, Mr. Burns enjoys playing tennis, reading, and watching movies and sports.

Certificates and Credentials

Florida Bar Board of Legal Specialization

About Thomas Burns

Admitted: 2005, Florida

Professional Webpage:

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

Thomas A. Burns:

Last Updated: 2/18/2020

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