Thomas Burns

Thomas A. Burns

Curriculum Vitae

Sample Briefs

O'Donnell v. North Florida Land Trust, Inc. in the Florida First District Court of Appeal
Kirschner v. JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. In the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
Lukie v. Metlife Group, Inc. in the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
Semaan v. Kavanagh In the Second District Court of Appeal for the State of Florida
Jacob v. Mentor Worldwide, LLC in the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

Sample Oral Arguments

United States v. Aldissi in the United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit (3/21/18)
Jacob v. Mentor Worldwide, LLC In the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit (03/10/2022)
United States v. Cingari In the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit (07/26/2019)
Jenkins v. Anton In the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit (09/27/2018)

Thomas A. Burns

Thomas Burns is board-certified by The Florida Bar as an appellate specialist. He is experienced with appellate matters, as well as having extensive experience defending and prosecuting lawsuits at the trial level in both federal and state courts. 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. He was selected as a Florida Super Lawyer in Appellate Practice in 2018-2021 and  highlighted in Florida Trend Magazine's Legal Elite for appellate practice in 2018-2020.

Mr. Burns opened a firm as a sole practitioner in 2013, and while he continues to maintain a separate practice, he also joined Creed & Gowdy in 2015 in an of-counsel capacity. Before opening his own firm, Mr. Burns practiced for five years with the appellate departments of Sidley Austin LLP and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP in Washington, D.C. and served as a law clerk for the Hon. Susan H. Black of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.

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.


Notable Cases:

  • Jacob v. Mentor Worldwide, LLC, 40 F.4th 1329 (11th Cir. 2022) (No. 20-10132) (argued March 10, 2022 in Jacksonville, Florida before Lagoa, Brasher, and Tjoflat, JJ.) (reversing dismissal of manufacturing defect lawsuit regarding leaky breast implants because it wasn't federally preempted)
  • Howarth v. Lombardi, 313 So. 3d 729 (Fla. 2d DCA 2020) (No. 2D20-1239) (per curiam) (quashing circuit court's appellate opinion in residential landlord-tenant dispute for lack of appellate jurisdiction and misinterpretation of Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.170(j))
  • Bates v. Sec'y, Dep't of Corr., (11th Cir. 2020) (No. 17-14960) (Pryor, C.J.) (reversing dismissal of habeas petition as untimely because amended postconviction motion, which contained a signed oath, related back to original postconviction motion, which had omitted a signed oath)
  • Sammons v. Greenfield, 270 So. 3d 534 (Fla. 2d DCA 2019) (No. 2D17-755) (Kelly, J.) (reversing dismissal of medical malpractice lawsuit because plaintiffs' attorney's failure to timely file a motion to substitute the decedent's estate due to her endocrinological condition was excusable neglect)

Recent Publications:

  • Navigating the New Florida Appellate Mediation Rules, LAWYER,Summer 2011, at 14-15
  • Florida State and Federal Appellate Rules: Distictions with a Difference, FLA. B.J., June 2010, at 74-76

Recent Speaking Engagements:

  • Distictions between State and Federal Appellate Practice,the Florida Bar Appellate Section Practice Section (March 18, 2011)