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John Thomas Burns Jr

Divorce and separation Attorney at Burnsville, MN

4.4   26 reviews
Free consultation
Free consultation
  • Licensed for 31 years
    State MN
    Acquired 1992
    Status
    Authorized to Practice No misconduct found

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

About John

Learn John’s areas of practice.

5
Practice areas
  1. Divorce and separation
    30%
    Practice limited to and includes all areas of family law including alimony, adoption, child custody, child support, divorce/separation, antenuptuals/prenuptuals. One of the most experienced family law appellate lawyers in the state of Minnesota with over 60 cases argued to the MN Court of Appeals and MN Supreme Court.

    32 years, 3,000 cases

  2. Child custody
    25%

  3. Family
    25%

  4. Appeals
    10%

  5. Child support
    10%

PRACTICE LIMITED TO FAMILY LAW FOR OVER TWENTY YEARS.

 

At Burns Law Office our practice is limited to family law matters such as  divorce/separation, child custody, child support, father's rights, alimony/spousal maintenance, prenuptials and related matters.  John is one of the most respected and experienced attorneys in divorce appellate law throughout the state of Minnesota.  He has successfully argued more than 60 cases to the MN Court of Appeals and the MN Supreme Court as well as countless motions, trials and contested matters in district court.

John handles complex and high-conflict divorces, high-asset cases, hidden accounts and property investigation matters, protection of business assets, and contested child custody as well as many straightforward and amicable divorce resolutions.  He practices primarily in Dakota, Scott, Hennepin, Ramsey, Washington and Carver counties but takes cases throughout the state. 

John grew up in Bloomington, Minnesota and graduated from Jefferson High School in 1985. He attended Mankato State University on a football scholarship and graduated in 1989. After that, John attended Law School at Indiana Universtiy where he graduated with honors in 1992.

John returned to Minnesota and began his practice in Rosemount, Minnesota. He moved his office to Burnsville in 1994 and has remained in the same location for over twenty years. 

In his free time, John likes traveling and perfecting his chilli recipe. He coaches youth sports and cheers for the Vikings and Timberwolves. He has completed over 15 marathons including the Boston Marathon and dozens of triathlons capped off with the Hawaii Ironman.

 

 

Awards

Client's Choice 2014
Client's Choice
2014

Photos and videos

Location

Burns Law Office

Reviews

4.4 / 5.0
  26 customer reviews
5 Star
 
85%
4 Star
 
0%
3 Star
 
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2 Star
 
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1 Star
 
15%
Client's Choice 2014
Client's Choice
Client's Choice is an Avvo award granted to attorneys with a significant number of client reviews over 4 stars in a given year.
Posted by Eric | February 27, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Law expertise
John gave me great confidence - his command of the law and professionalism can not be overstated. John successfully defended my case understanding fairness, and my rights under the law, not to mention his superior expertise vs opposing counsel. I can not emphasize the level of character - integrity - and knowledge you have in your corner with Burns Law Office.
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Posted by Joleen | November 25, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Highly Recommend
I hired John to represent me for a child custody case after initially using an attorney I wasn't happy with. I was referred to John by a family member who had used John in his divorce. I am SO thankful I decided to go with John. He is thorough, knowledgeable, and has a strong court presence. His legal assistant was great too! I'm an extremely detail oriented person and wanted to make sure every important aspect in my case was being addressed. They both worked with me to make sure my case was fought the best way possible. The other party in my case ended up violating the terms of our court order more than once, so we ended up back in court three times - John represented me every time and EVERY time we have been back to court, I have had a favorable outcome. I highly recommend John and his team.
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Posted by Jill | April 22, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
BEST FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY IN MINNESOTA!!
BEST FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY IN MINNESOTA!!! I hired John Burns based on a referral from a friend who told me that John was the BEST divorce lawyer in the state. She was right!! John was INCREDIBLE!! He listened attentively to my concerns, he was reassuring and made me feel at ease when things were chaotic and upside down in my life. Additionally, he was very clear about what to expect from the process of divorce, he answered every phone call and email, he was tough as nails when he needed to be and I was impressed to discover his skills at negotiation when it came time to settle. My divorce took only a few months from start to finish and his fees were extremely fair and reasonable. His staff were very responsive when I had random questions. Overall, John Burns and his team are AMAZING and I would HIGHLY recommend him to anyone and would gladly go back to him if I need legal help again.BEST FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY IN MINNESOTA!!!
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Posted by Kat | November 4, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Solid compassionate lawyer
John is a lawyer who knows his business. He expertly walked me through a very difficult divorce and fought for me every step of the way. His compassionate nature was needed during a very delicate time.
Posted by Nancy | October 6, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Fights and advocates for you
I had a narcissistic ex that was going to take me for everything. John stopped that from occurring. He fought for me and the kids and we overcame so many obstacles my ex threw at us. My ex continues to try to drag this out but John will not allow for this. We are taking the matters to the judge and hopefully we will be final soon. If it weren’t for John and his amazing team my ex probably would have got more of what he wanted. John believed in my fight and has backed me up 100% and fought for me. I highly recommend John and his team. I refer him all of the time in my divorce groups and they have been successful with John as well.
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Posted by Nicole | March 13, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Well-versed and seasoned attorney
After finding myself in a very confusing legal process pertaining to the parenting time with my son, I knew I needed to find a new attorney who could help untangle what the court had done. I met with a dozen attorneys and I am so grateful I hired John! Within our first meeting, John gave me immediate confidence that he could not only help with the current proceedings, but that we would win an appeal. Every step of the 18 month process, John's expertise, persistence, and exceptional understanding of the law allowed us to prevail at the court of appeals. He assured us he would win our case and would fix everything that had been done - and he did! I would recommend John to anyone who finds themselves in a challenging legal situation - especially custody and parenting time. He is strategic in his approach, confident in his delivery, and assertive in protecting the interests of his clients. Without John, I'm not sure if my appeal process would have gone as successfully as it did. My family will forever be indebted to John and the diligence and care he placed on our case. He will do the right thing, all the time and that is irreplaceable in family law.
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Posted by Dinesh | July 23, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Right lawyer for complicated cases and appeals
When I presented my case to John Burns in late 2018 I was in need of representation for an appeal of a district court divorce decree involving a very uncooperative party. When he took this case, it was a very uphill battle as the other party painted me as the worst father and human being you could imagine in front of the trial court. The case was complicated and involved matters of several OFP requests to prevent parenting time as well as significant alimony and child support. As you can imagine, it is very stressful and of great importance to get the appeal right because it is something that impacts the rest of your life, including whether I would be able to ever be a part of my children’s lives and whether I could ever be financially stable as long as I live, being that lifetime alimony was awarded and sole physical and legal custody was given to the other party. It was a really, really bad situation for everyone involved. It is comforting to go into John's office and see the many awards he has won. But what matters most is having someone who believes in your case after studying it and really believing in it...not just saying something to make you feel good. John did that for me. The support team around him in the office from the reception desk to his legal assistant Dawn were responsive and well informed. They tackled my case as a great team and genuinely work hard throughout. John reviewed my case and explained step by step the process and his honest thoughts on appeal and assured me he would work hard on the case. John has kept his word and more over the last 9 plus months. Throughout this emotional journey he has been aware of how hard it has been for me as well, and has fought for me with genuine concern for my wellbeing. Throughout the case John has been helpful to answer questions promptly and involve me in the case. He has helped me come up with a plan to manage the case most effectively and keep costs down when possible. This was huge for me considering the exhausting financial damage already underway as a result of the trial court’s orders. Inside the courtroom John is well-spoken, provides a powerful argument, and knows the case and potential comeback arguments and delivers responses eloquently. I have been proud when he represents me in court. John is clearly ethical and does not engage in unproductive back and forth that does not matter to the judges who actually make the decisions. Trust has never been an issue because he proved himself with his contact and work. In an already emotionally charged situation (what divorce isn’t) John is exactly the type of lawyer you want to have. He is far more effective than many divorce lawyers, because he is more competent and delivers arguments with legal reason and not emotion-driven attack games. He is respected and does not expect to get more out of a situation by yelling about it, but by providing sound argument in a dignified way. When appearing before the Court of Appeals he was confident, knowledgeable, well prepared, and it showed. He was able to answer difficult questions without a blink of an eye and I saw his hard work and preparation on that day. I felt proud walking out of there. No matter the outcome of the case I know John has worked as hard as possible on my case and because of the way he is as a person I am sure he does that for all of his cases. I would absolutely recommend John because he is ethical, very competent, experienced, well-connected, and talented at what he does.
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Posted by Kelly Merdan and Thomas Zahler | July 23, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Most Professional In Minnesota
John is a professional through and through. His candor and legal acumen are second to none. We appreciated John's expertise and robust defense of us in light of ongoing school choice matter. We would not hesitate to recommend him to any of our friends and family.
Posted by anonymous | June 17, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Burns Law Office was able to grant me joint-physical custody even with an OFP in place!
John Burns and his Legal Team went above-and-beyond to make sure the unfortunate Criminal Charges I faced didn't stand in the way of me raising my two year old daughter. John's representation truly embodies my views on what to fight for, giving me peace of mind on how he is responding to the opposing counsel. I have gained a wealth of knowledge on my case due to John describing the immense mandates of Divorce Law in layman's terms. Every decision made on my behalf is explained to me so I don't walk out of the courtroom second guessing his. We have yet to settle the final divorce, but the outcome in the last year has been amazing. I genuinely feel like John is part of my family fighting for me and my daughter. I truly can't thank you him and his team enough for everything they have done for me. The decision to go with Burns Law Office will be one that I will never forget and always be grateful for.
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Posted by Karen | December 14, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Very helpful.
I was referred to John by another attorney. I moved out of state during my divorce so I was concerned that I would have to travel back many times to finish my case. I was very pleased with how John was able to handle everything over a long distance. I’m sure it took extra time and energy from him to make it work. I would recommend Mr. Burns to anyone needing a family law attorney.
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Posted by Jan | December 12, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Outstanding Attorney -- Highly Recommended!!!
Mr. Burns provided excellent advice and helped me manage a difficult situation. He found professional experts to assist in my claim, he prepared me for court and he artfully negotiated a settlement that exceeded expectations and eliminated the need for a hearing. I can recommend him without reservation.
Posted by David | July 21, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Effective, well-established and caring Lawyer
I can not express my gratitude for Attorney John Burns enough! John came in on my case years after it was ordered. He started by meeting with me, finding out what I needed, and what I was looking for in the future. He expertly combed through my case files and explained to me what my options were and helped me develop a list of priorities according to my needs and wants. Having a lawyer willing to speak candidly with me worked well and allowed me to realistically focus on the items that would make the most positive impact in my child's life and my home. Through John's positive relationships with his fellow constituents and years of experience he was able to negotiate resolutions without dragging out final decisions and extending the timeline months or years out. I highly recommend Attorney John Burns to all looking for a conscientious, effective, well-established, and most of all - caring lawyer to represent you as you navigate a custody case.
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Posted by anonymous | October 28, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
"Dakota County Super Lawyer"
Burns Law, and John Burns are professional, we'll educated in all family law, and extremely knowledgeable in the divorce court setting. I hired John 13 years ago, and the way he handled my divorce back then, led me to calling on his services again here in 2016. He's confident, and has the ability to always get the job done. I would recommend him as a divoice attorney in a second.
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Posted by Dawn | January 31, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
He is the BEST!!
We did not have a divorce case but John Burns took the case anyway. It was for a restraining order for my daughter's rapist. He made my 16 year old daughter feel very safe and did everything he could to make it comfortable on the stand. He spoke directly to her so she felt like he understood what she was saying. He was able to read her body language when she needed some help and confidence from him and John Burns was able to keep this creep away from her by winning the restraining order!! She was shaking in her chair and he calmed her down so much, he has a way about him to make you feel very comfortable and that he is really listening to what you are saying and what you are not saying. I hope not to ever need him again but if I ever did for any family legal help, John Burns would be the first and only call I would every make!
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Posted by Lisa | October 1, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
John is the real deal! He is an 11 out of 10
I was a fearful mom who needed her kids safe. Burns is methodical and sees the whole picture. He listens to the needs of the client while being ethical for what he is fighting for. He guides with reason and knowledge while some clients, such as myself are in emotion mind. If you want your case done right this is the man for the job!
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Posted by Daniel | November 18, 2014
Top Notch Divorce Attorney
John is a well respected colleague and divorce attorney who can handle complex and difficult divorce matters on Clients' behalf. John is a very knowledgeable and competent attorney. He is very responsive and thorough in his handling of cases and has served in numerous leadership positions for the bar. He is excellent in court and can find solutions for even the most difficult issues. He also has good rapport with his clients and fellow attorneys.
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Posted by Robert | October 30, 2014
THE GUY for divorce
John Burns is "THE GUY" for divorce in Dakota County and any county for that matter. I have a few lawyer friends who don't do divorce so I asked them who to go to. His name kept coming up and I can see why. When we were at the courthouse everyone there knew him. Apparently everyone there is a friend of his-the judges, the lawyers, even the clerks and everyone wanted to chat with him. I felt like I was in the popular kids group at high school. He is very well connected in the legal community and it was a big help, especially in my custody battle. Having him represent me was an advantage when dealing with other people in the case like the parenting consultant, the guardian ad litem, and my children's counselor. They all seemed to know Mr. Burns well and they respected him and trusted him which meant that they trusted what I had to say too. I felt like we were a team and my goals were his goals. I had a great outcome and feel lucky that I found Burns Law Office.
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Posted by Matt | October 29, 2014
Better than downtown firms
For my divorce I interviewed several lawyers in the area and even some at the top downtown Minneapolis firms. I knew within 5 minutes with John that he was the attorney for me. He was able to answer all of my questions in a way that made sense to me but really I knew I wanted to work with him because he is just a great guy. Since he only does family law he has done a lot of divorces so nothing in my case was new to him. John is very professional!
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Posted by anonymous | October 15, 2014
Best appeals lawyer
John represented me in my divorce appeal. He was recommended to me by my first lawyer who thought my case had taken a bad turn and was getting too complex. At first I was reluctant to continue fighting for what I knew was right. After I met John I knew I should keep going. I found out that he has argued more than 100 cases to the court of appeals. His experience showed as he was so composed and has such a commanding presence in the courtroom! I won my appeal and I have John to thank for that. I wish I had known about him at the beginning of my case.
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Posted by anonymous | October 3, 2014
Great lawyer!
After delaying my divorce for far too long, John helped me to finally take the big step forward in a very caring way. Part of the reason I waited was because I was afraid the process would be so difficult. My case went much smoother and more quickly than I expected and I have John to thank for that. I was extremely satisfied with the results.
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Cost

Rates
  • Free Consultation 30 minutes
Payment methods
Cash, Check, Credit Card

Resume

AVVO RATING 9.6 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Partner
  • Sheridan & Burns
  • 1996 - 1998
  • Partner
  • Knutson, Stier, Earley, Knutson, Sheridan & Burns
  • 1994 - 1996
  • Owner
  • Burns Law Office
  • 1994 - 2014
  • Lawyer
  • McMenomy, Hanson & McCann
  • 1992 - 1994
  • law clerk
  • Indiana Supreme Court
  • 1990 - 1992
View all work experience

Education

  • Indiana University School of Law
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 1992
  • Minnesota State University, Mankato
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • 1989

Sample of Legal Cases

  • Anne Heaney v. Bruce Heaney
  • Court of Appeals reversed award of custody to wife.
  • Heather McGraw v. Timothy McGraw
  • Court of Appeals reversed extension of Parenting Consultant's term.
  • Mary Myhre vs. Steven Myhre
  • Court of Appeals reversed awards of spousal maintenence, child support and attorney's fees and remanded the case back to the District Court for further proceedings.

Associations

  • Dakota County Bar Association
  • Board of Directors
  • 2004 - Present
  • First Judicial District Ethics Committee
  • Member
  • 1993 - Present
  • First Judicial District Bar Association
  • Member
  • 1992 - Present
  • Minnesota State Bar Association
  • Member
  • 1992 - Present
  • American Bar Association
  • Member
  • 1992 - Present
  • Dakota County Bar Association
  • President
  • 2004 - 2006
  • First Judicial District Bar Association
  • President
  • 2000 - 2002
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • English

Honors and Awards

  • Distinguished
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2020
  • BV Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2015
  • BV Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2014
  • Super Lawyer
  • Super Lawyers
  • 2014
  • Clients Choice
  • AVVO
  • 2014
  • Dakota County Hero's Award
  • Legal Aid of Dakota County
  • 2006
  • Super Lawyer
  • Super Lawyers
  • 2003
  • Who's Who in American Law
  • Law & Politics Magazine
  • 2003
View all awards

Publications

Speaking Engagements

  • Litigation & Alternative Disputes Seminar
  • Practitioners Guide to Navigating Early Neutral Process
  • 2014
  • Minnesota Family Law Las Vegas Seminar
  • Trends in Family Law
  • 2007
  • Minnesota Family Law Brainerd Seminar
  • Trends in Minnesota Family Law
  • 2006

Attorney endorsements

Received (2)
Given (2)
Endorse John
Divorce and separation Attorney | Nov 17
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I wholeheartedly endorse this attorney. John is one of the best family lawyers in Minnesota. I met him many years ago as an adversary and his tenacious representation of his client immediately earned my respect. Since then I have referred countless clients to him and consistently receive positive feedback about his representation. If you need a family lawyer, I strongly encourage you to contact John Burns."
Family Attorney | Nov 13
Relationship: Family member
"John is a well respected divorce attorney who has done a very good job zealously advocating for the clients I have referred to him. I endorse John and will continue to encourage friends and referral sources to send family law matters in the south metro to him as well."
Divorce and separation
Criminal defense