John D. Burns focuses his practice on financial services litigation, general commercial litigation, arbitrations and appeals. He frequently represents clients in corporate contract and tort disputes, loan workouts, commercial foreclosures and collections, and construction contracting disputes. He has pursued his clients’ interests in bankruptcy proceedings throughout North Carolina and in Delaware, and has extensive and varied general litigation experience at all levels of the North Carolina state trial courts and in all North Carolina federal courts, in the state courts of California, and appellate cases before the North Carolina Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court of North Carolina and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. He also represents clients before U.S. and International panels of the American Arbitration Association.

 

 

John D. Burns focuses his practice on financial services litigation, general commercial litigation, arbitrations and appeals.

John frequently represents clients in corporate contract and tort disputes, loan workouts, commercial foreclosures and collections, and construction contract disputes. He has pursued his clients’ interests in bankruptcy proceedings throughout North Carolina and in Delaware, and has extensive and varied general litigation experience at all levels of the North Carolina state trial courts and in all North Carolina federal courts, in the state courts of California, and appellate cases before the North Carolina Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court of North Carolina and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. He also represents clients before U.S. and International panels of the American Arbitration Association.

John has represented solar power producers in rulemaking proceedings before the North Carolina Utilities Commission and assisted Williams Mullen’s government relations attorneys in advising representatives of the solar industry on issues pending before the North Carolina General Assembly. He has also advised landowners and solar developers in the negotiation and interpretation of leases for solar power production. His extensive experience in litigation and dispute resolution includes representation of energy developers and investors before arbitration tribunals of the American Arbitration Association and other dispute resolution forums.

Representative cases include representation of a North Carolina construction contractor for the collection of fees due in the construction of a medical office building; arbitration of a complex commercial dispute regarding a failed Central American garment manufacturing relationship; arbitration of claims of his client, a disabled-veteran-led government contractor, against a major international oil and gas company; representation of a consortium of parties responsible for remediation of groundwater pollution at a North Carolina site in international arbitration against a foreign equipment supplier; and representation of a plaintiff in a suit for neurological injuries related to exposure to toxigenic mold. His pro bono practice has included representation of children denied Medicaid coverage for life-saving bone-marrow transplants as well as representation of tenants and homeowners in wrongful foreclosure and constructive eviction cases.

In November 2014, John was elected as a Wake County Commissioner in a countywide election. He now serves as one of seven commissioners responsible for the operations and policy of Wake County, with over one million people in twelve municipalities and a budget of over $1 billion. John chairs the board subcommittee on Growth, Land Use and Environment and serves as a member of the Education, Intergovernmental Relations, and Emergency Services subcommittees.

He serves First Presbyterian Church of Raleigh as an elder and youth leader. He also is a past board president of the First Presbyterian Church Foundation, Inc. and a trustee of the William Black Lodge, a church retreat center in Montreat, NC. He served for six years on the City of Raleigh’s Environmental Advisory Board, including two years as chairman, helping to guide the City of Raleigh in achieving the City’s sustainability goals. He received an Oak Leaf Award from the city as a reward for this service. He was appointed by the Raleigh City Council to the Raleigh Convention Center Commission and is a board member of the Raleigh Hall of Fame.

John earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Davidson College and his Juris Doctor degree from Wake Forest University School of Law, where he was on the editorial staff of the Wake Forest Law Review and a member of the national board of governors of the American Bar Association, Law Student Division. After graduating from Wake Forest, John served as a law clerk to Senior U.S. District Judge W. Earl Britt of the Eastern District of N.C. and practiced law in High Point and Raleigh, N.C.

He has been named to Business North Carolina magazine's "Legal Elite" six times, in Litigation (2007 and 2011), Bankruptcy (2009, 2014) and Young Guns (Best Under 40) (2010 and 2011). He is also listed in North Carolina Super Lawyers magazine (2011-present) and The Best Lawyers in America© (2013-present). He was listed in North Carolina Super Lawyers Rising Stars magazine in 2010.