Michael W. Burns

Co-founder of Burns White, Michael W. Burns has more than 40 years of litigation experience representing individuals, businesses, and governmental agencies across multiple jurisdictions. He currently serves as Of Counsel to the firm.

Michael has extensive experience litigating catastrophic loss personal injury, toxic tort, and dram shop cases in federal and state courts throughout the nation. His clients have spanned a variety of industries, including transportation, oil and gas, food and beverage, and manufacturing. With regard to the transportation industry, Michael handles a significant number of occupational disease cases on behalf of the railroad industry.

A Pittsburgh native, Michael also represents several locally based performers in the entertainment and communications industries. He counsels clients in a variety of business and legal matters, including contract negotiations, employment-related disputes, and litigation.

A present and former member of the boards of various community and social organizations, Michael takes an active interest in numerous philanthropic activities.

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Areas of Law

  • Commercial Litigation
  • Catastrophic Loss Personal Injury Litigation
  • Toxic Torts Litigation
  • Entertainment and Communications Industry
  • Transportation Industry
  • Labor Law


  • University of Pittsburgh School of Law (J.D. 1972)
  • Princeton University (B.A. 1969)

Bar Admissions

  • Pennsylvania


  • Federal Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association
  • Allegheny County Bar Association
  • American Board of Trial Advocates
  • National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel
  • Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel
  • Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association
  • Pennsylvania Association for Justice
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Western Pennsylvania Defense Research Institute
  • The Pennsylvania Society


  • Selected for inclusion on the 2005 and 2006 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers® lists.
  • Selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2007-2017; named Pittsburgh Railroad Law “Lawyer of the Year” in 2016 and Pittsburgh Media Law “Lawyer of the Year” in 2017.

News & Updates

[email protected]

Burns White Center
48 26th Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15222