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2020 Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame Recipient

John Burris

John Burris has practiced law for more than 40 years. He is primarily known for his work in the areas of Civil Rights with an emphasis on police misconduct excessive force cases raising federal questions under Federal Code Section 1983. His other practice areas include employment litigation, criminal defense, personal injury, and toxic torts and mass class actions. Mr. Burris frequently provides legal commentary for local and national print and televised media including KTVU Channel 2, KRON 4, MSNBC and other cable Television and radio. He is a frequent lecturer on the topics of police and criminal justice issues. Mr. Burris has an MBA from UC Berkeley and JD from Berkeley School of Law.

The nomination period is now closed.

To read about past Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame award recipients, click here.

Please click the drop down menus below to view the different criteria.


Please email all nomination materials with “TLHOF 2020” in the subject line to by 11:59 p.m. on Friday, May 15, 2020.


Any dues-paid member of the Litigation Section may nominate a member of the State Bar of California (either currently active or, if retired, previously active). Self-nominations are not accepted.

Nomination Materials

To submit a nomination, provide the following necessary materials:

  • A completed nomination form
  • A summary of your nominee’s lifetime achievements as a trial lawyer that you think makes your nominee worthy of being inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame, including, but not limited to the following criteria:
    • contributions made by your nominee to the law, the legal profession, the State Bar, the Litigation Section, trial practice, and/or the general public
    • notable cases, verdicts, and/or judgments, including matters of precedential importance (with citations and case numbers, if known)
    • law-related public interest and non-law-related public interest work
    • other honors or awards the nominee has received
    • contributions the nominee has made to diversity of the legal profession and/or areas of practice
  • A law firm biography (or other available biography) about your nominee
  • Optional three letters of recommendation in support of your nominee, with each letter not exceeding three pages.

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