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Thomas Arnold Antoine Beller Burns

Appeals Attorney at Tampa, FL

Not yet reviewed

Licensed for 17 years

About Thomas

Learn Thomas’s areas of practice.

Practice area

Thomas A. Burns is a board-certified appellate specialist 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 has substantial experience with appellate matters. He has drafted merits briefs, amicus briefs, petitions for certiorari, petitions for writs of prohibition, and mandamus petitions 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 all five Florida district courts of appeal. In doing so, Mr. Burns has presented a dozen oral arguments before the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit and the Second District Court of Appeal for the State of Florida. Finally, Mr. Burns has performed lead appellate trial support in matters such as a $200 million insurance-coverage and bad-faith dispute, a $10 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 has devoted approximately 200 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 and Spanish. Outside the office, Mr. Burns enjoys playing tennis, reading, and watching movies and sports.

Licensed for 17 years
State DC
Status Good Standing
Acquired 2006
Updated 06/08/2022
State FL
Status Member in Good Standing
Acquired 2005
Updated 02/23/2023

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

Contact Thomas

Burns, P.A.
301 W Platt St Ste 137
Tampa, FL, 33606-2292


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  • Hourly Rates $ 400-400 per hour
  • Pro bono 8 %
  • Retainer Always
Payment methods
Cash, Check, Credit Card


AVVO RATING 10.0 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Founding Shareholder
  • Burns, P.A.
  • 2012 - Present
  • Senior Associate
  • Greenberg Taurig
  • 2011 - 2012
  • Senior Associate
  • Hill Ward & Henderson
  • 2009 - 2010
  • Mid-Level Associate
  • Gibson Dunn & Crutcher
  • 2007 - 2009
  • Junior Associate
  • Sidley & Austin
  • 2004 - 2007
  • Law Clerk
  • U.S. Court Of Appeals, 11th Circuit
  • 2003 - 2004
View all work experience


  • Duke University School of Law
  • 2003
  • Duke University
  • A.B.
  • 2000

Legal Cases

  • State v. Amore, No. 2D15-1073 (Fla. 2d DCA)
  • Affirmed
  • Dempsey & Assocs., P.A. v. Lindon, No. 5D14-3730 (Fla. 5th DCA)
  • Affirmed
  • RRY, Inc. v. Chisler, No. 2D15-1035 (Fla. 2d DCA)
  • Affirmed
View all legal cases


  • Herbert G. Goldburg Criminal Law American Inn of Court
  • Barrister
  • 2013 - Present
  • Hillsborough County Bar Association
  • Member
  • 2009 - Present
  • Hillsborough County Bar Association, Appellate Law Section
  • Member
  • 2009 - Present
  • American Bar Association
  • Member
  • N/A
  • Defense Research Institute, Appellate Advocacy Committee Pro Bono Appeals Subcommittee
  • Vice Chair
  • 2011 - 2011
  • Defense Research Institute, Appellate Advocacy Committee
  • Marketing Chair
  • 2010 - 2012
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Member
  • 2009 - 2012
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • English

Honors and Awards

  • Rising Star
  • Super Lawyers
  • 2016
  • Board Certification in Appellate Practice
  • The Florida Bar
  • 2016
  • Rising Star
  • Super Lawyers
  • 2015
  • Frank Wheat Memorial Award
  • Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher
  • 2008
  • Vincent Prada Pro Bono Award
  • Sidley Austin
  • 2007
  • Vincent Prada Pro Bono Award
  • Sidley Austin
  • 2006
  • David Siegel Scholarship
  • Duke University School of Law
  • 2003
View all awards


  • Lawyer
  • Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law Stretches Its Legs
  • 2013
  • Lawyer
  • Navigating the New Florida Appellate Mediation Rules
  • 2011
  • The Florida Bar Jounal
  • Florida State and Federal Appellate Rules: Distinctions with a Difference,
  • 2010
  • Duke Law Journal
  • When Life is an Injury: An Economic Analysis of Wrongful Life Lawsuits
  • 2003
  • Duke Journal of Economics
  • Theologians with Slide-Rules: Nietzschean Perspectives on Smith, Jevons, Marx, and Keynes
  • 2001
  • CSIS Intern Web Journal
  • Globalization: Culture or Economics?
  • 1998
View all publications

Speaking Engagements

  • Meet the Clerks: Filing and Pleading Tips for Federal and State Appeals
  • Distinctions between State and Federal Appellate Practice
  • 2011

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Tampa Appeals Lawyer Thomas Arnold Antoine Beller Burns
Thomas Arnold Antoine Beller Burns
Appeals Attorney
Tampa, FL
Licensed for 17 years