Donald Burris

Mr. Burris, the senior founding partner in the AV-rated firm of Burris & Schoenberg, LLP, has been actively involved in a national and international business litigation and business practice based first in Washington, D.C. and later in Los Angeles, California.  He is admitted to practice in California, the District of Columbia and Maryland and has been involved in cases in state and federal courts throughout the United States, including the United States Supreme Court and cases before international tribunals.

During his thirty-six 40 years of practice, Mr. Burris' clients have varied in size and have included companies involved in a number of enterprises such as venture capital, publishing, international trade, technology, shipping, manufacturing, entertainment, and the apparel trade, and have further ranged from small and medium-sized entrepreneurs to large publicly traded entities. In the course of representing these clients Mr. Burris has been called upon to perform diverse tasks ranging from overseeing litigation as lead or local counsel to the providing of legal opinions as to proposed corporate actions to supervising the actual acquisitions or sales of businesses.

He is actively involved in the LA West American Inns of Court and the Beverly Hills Bar Association Business Law Executive Committee, has been designated as an expert witness in a number of cases with regard to various legal issues relating to various aspects of litigation and legal ethics.

Mr. Burris has worked with Mr. Schoenberg in the successful pursuit of art works and other assets stolen by the Nazi authorities before and during World War II.  The culmination of these efforts was the case of Altmann v. Republic of Austria 541 U.S. 677 (2004), at the conclusion of which the Austrian Government was ordered to, and did, return to the firm's clients' possession a number of priceless historic paintings by Gustav Klimt.

Education | Appointments

  • Alfred University, B.A., 1965.
  • Georgetown University Law Center, J.D., 1969.
  • Los Angeles County and American Bar Associations
  • The District of Columbia Bar
  • State Bar of California
  • Pi Gamma Mu. Editor-in-Chief, Georgetown Law Journal, 1968-1969.
  • Adjunct and Associate Professor: Georgetown Law Center, 1972-1976;
  • Loyola University of Los Angeles Law School, 1976-1979.
  • Law Clerk to Judge James R. Browning, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 1969-1970.
  • Special Counsel, Senate Watergate Committee, 1973-1974.
  • Judge Pro Tem, Santa Monica Superior Court, 1987-
  • Lecturer, Orientation in U.S. Legal System, International Law Institute, Washington, D.C.


Mr. Burris lives with his wife of forty-one years, Patricia Ann Burris, in Santa Monica, California. They have two grown children, Darren Robert Burris, a computer company executive, who lives in Venice, California and Tamar Alisa Burris, a writer and educational program planner, who lives in Petrolia, California. They have two grandchildren, Reef Burris and Sierra Fire, of Venice, California.


Mr. Burris has been called upon to lecture at a number of venues, including the Vanderbilt Law School, Pepperdine Law School, Texas Tech Law School, and the John Marshall School of Law.