Francis P. Burns III was admitted to practice in Pennsylvania in 1978. He is also a member of the bar of the United States Third Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Pennsylvania.
Mr. Burns’ practice is varied but focused principally on defense of product liability actions and all dimensions of insurance coverage including coverage opinions, declaratory judgment actions and bad faith. Coverage engagements have arisen under commercial general liability, professional liability, life and disability, commercial and personal auto, commercial property and homeowner policies. He has defended insurance companies in bad faith actions and counseled businesses confronted with high exposure suits but limited insurance. In the area of products liability he developed and directed a national program for field investigation, discovery management, risk assessment, expert witness selection and trial preparation for a body of actions involving allegations of defective design and failure to warn. He has been admitted to practice on a pro hac vice basis in more than ten states in products cases. In 2003 Mr. Burns completed work on a Master of Laws in Health Law to supplement his practice interest in health care insurance coverage, HIPAA privacy regulations, and fraud and abuse laws applicable to federal benefit programs. Most recently, Mr. Burns has expanded his practice to include counseling religious communities on a variety of matters, including abuse claims, liability insurance, and the duties of persons who serve as directors on boards of for-profit and non-profit corporations.
Mr. Burns is a 1975 graduate of St. Joseph’s College, earned his Juris Doctor from Villanova University School of Law in 1978, and his Master of Laws (Honoris Causa) from the Widener University School of Law Health Law Institute in 2003. Mr. Burns is a member of the Philadelphia Bar Association, Pennsylvania Defense Institute, Defense Research Institute (DRI), and the American Health Lawyers Association. He has lectured on the topics of case preparation and expert witnesses in the graduate program in trial advocacy at Temple Law School. He was appointed effective June 30, 2014 as a member of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Civil Procedure Rules Committee. Mr. Burns was reappointed to the Committee to serve a new three year term commencing July 1, 2017.