Justin M. Burns


Justin is no stranger to complicated or sensitive litigation matters.  He has been successful in trial courts and on appeal for a variety of cases, which includes defending against multi-million dollar disputes and securing multiple million-plus judgments on behalf of firm clients.  Although most of his practice focuses on complex business litigation, he devotes significant time defending municipalities and public officials in Ohio, especially when there are allegations of civil rights violations.  He also advises Ohio municipalities in Ohio’s Sunshine Law and other matters, and he oversees prosecutions of criminal offenses in a local court.

Justin’s practice is a natural extension of the two years he spent after law school as a law clerk to a federal judge.  Justin had a front-row seat for observing how judges think through decisions and how the law develops – because he was there supporting a federal judge with resolving complex matters involving  the U.S. Constitution and federal statutes.  Justin leverages this unique perspective when advising clients not just on the law, but also on how a court might think through disputed legal and factual issues.

In addition to a busy litigation practice, Justin is often called-upon to publish and speak in the legal community.  He has led dozens of continuing education classes for other lawyers, and he has presented his own research to international audiences on a variety of topics.  He frequently speaks on matters involving the Supreme Court of the United States, and he has spoken on his personal research interests focusing on the intersection of societal developments as a factor in evolving judicial philosophy.  He has presented to, among other organizations, the Ohio Bar Association and Columbus Bar Association, and he has led trainings throughout Ohio for police departments on evolving areas of the law.  His written work has been featured in the National Law Review, the Akron Law Review, and Ohio Lawyer magazine.

Justin’s success, both in the courtroom and in the community, earned him recognition as a Rising Star® by Super Lawyers Magazine each year since 2021an honor received by only 2.5% of attorneys in each stateAdditionally, in 2023, the Firm awarded him with the Alice J. Neeley Difference Maker Award, which recognized Justin’s dedication to the Firm and its clients, as well as Justin’s uncompromising ethics and professionalism in the community.

Outside the law, Justin is an avid sports fan, cheering on Ohio State and the Columbus Crew, and he is studying to become fluent in French.


  • University of Akron School of Law  (J.D., magna cum laude, 2015)
    • Akron Law Review, editor-in-chief
    • ABA’s National Appellate Advocacy Competition finalist
    • CALI Award for Excellence (highest grade): School Law I and Civil Procedure II
  • University of Tennessee  (M.S., 2012)
    • College Student Personnel
  • The Ohio State University  (B.S., 2007)
    • Atmospheric Science

Bar Admissions

  • Ohio

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit


  • Super Lawyers Magazine 
    • Ohio Rising Stars®, Business Litigation (2021-Present)