I was born in
Yerington Nevada in 1942. I attended the
local grammar, Junior High, and High Schools there, graduating in 1960. While in high school, if I wasn’t
participating in a school or sports activity, I either worked in my father’s
grocery store or at one of the local farms or mines in the Valley.
attended the University of Nevada, Reno Campus, graduating in January
1965. In college, I was active in campus
politics (Senior Class President), athletics (football), and a fraternity
(Alpha Tan Omega). I also had a part
time job most of the time. Additionally,
I enrolled in the advanced ROTC program and, upon graduation I received a B.S.
in Physical Education, a minor in business and was commissioned a Second
Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Field Artillery.
entered active duty with the U. S. Army in April of 1965 and was honorably
discharged as a Captain in August 1970.
I served in South Korea, Oklahoma, and South Vietnam. My primary assignment during those years was
as a commander of company-sized units.
In addition to the theater ribbons associated with duty in South
Vietnam, I was awarded two Army Commendation medals and the Bronze Star.
discharged, I entered law school at Hastings College of the Law, University of
California, which is located in San Francisco.
Three years later I graduated and moved to Las Vegas with my wife Judy,
son Mitchell, and daughter Jennifer.
After graduation and before moving, I took, successfully, the California
While in law
school and for a year or so thereafter, I served in the US Army Reserves as a
Unit Commander in San Francisco and Las Vegas.
In 1973 I went
to work for the Clark County Public Defender’s Office as a law clerk and then
as a deputy upon passing the Nevada Bar exam.
After a little over two and a half years the law firm of Bell, Leavitt
and Green hired me.
leaving Bell, Leavitt and Green, I worked briefly at a law firm called Swanson,
Momot, and Burns. Since 1979 I have been
practicing as Thomas M. Burns, Ltd., a sole practitioner. My practice is about thirty percent criminal,
the remainder is domestic, probate, civil litigation and bankruptcy.