A Voice For Those Whose Rights Are Ignored
When the Declaration of Independence asserted a fundamental right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” it didn’t apply to slaves or even a free black man. It didn’t apply to women, and often didn’t apply to immigrants. Not until the civil rights legislation of the 1960s did the laws catch up with the vision of liberty and justice for all.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” — The Declaration of Independence

….And reality has still not caught up with the law. Attorney John Burris, who came of age during the civil rights movement of the ’60s, still finds himself busy addressing civil rights violations in 21st century America. Despite a long record of notable victories for clients stretching back over 25 years, he knows there is much work to be done. Our firm fights for justice throughout California, including Oakland, San Francisco, & Los Angeles

Helping Citizens Stand Up for Their Rights
Our clients are people who are unable to fight for themselves. For some, previous experience with the legal system has been painful or fruitless — they have no expectation of justice. For others, a criminal record, mental illness or addiction puts them at an automatic disadvantage when alleging police abuse or workplace discrimination. At the Law Offices of John L. Burris, our mission is to give everyone access to justice. Mr. Burris has numerous million-dollar verdicts and settlements to show for it, but some of his most cherished victories have resulted in major policy changes by police departments, government entities and employers — whether achieved through a settlement agreement or mandated by the court. Contact an Oakland lawyer today at 510-839-5200. We do not charge for an initial consultation, and in many cases we do not collect attorney fees unless we win compensation.

We will fight to protect your legal rights under the law.

The Law Offices of John L. Burris represents men and women of every race, every station in life. Our Oakland-based lawyers have represented citizens of the San Francisco Bay Area, San Joaquin Valley, Los Angeles, – through out California in the full spectrum of civil rights and constitutional law litigation.:

  • Police misconduct, including excessive force, deadly force, false arrest, illegal searches, racial profiling or jail abuse
  • Employment discrimination, including racial discrimination, sex discrimination and wrongful termination
  • Violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, including failure to make reasonable accommodations for the blind, deaf and physically disabled
  • Civil rights abuses of people with mental illness or mental impairments
  • Violations of the First Amendment (free speech), Fourth Amendment (search and seizure), Eighth Amendment (cruel and unusual punishment) or Fourteenth Amendment (due process and equal protection)


Police Misconduct

Including police abuse, police brutality, excessive force, deadly force, false arrest, illegal searches, racial profiling, or jail abuse.


If you think you were the victim of any kind of illegal discrimination, contact us today to discuss your possible lawsuit.

Civil Litigation

Helping Citizens Stand Up For Their Rights. If you feel you have been a victim of civil rights abuses Contact Us or call today to request a review of your case.

Criminal Defense / DUI

Put your trust in an experienced criminal defense team. Contact or call our office today to discuss your case.

Personal Injury / Wrongful Death

If your family member will never be the same, we seek the full compensation to provide for their care and improve life to the extent possible. If your family member died, we seek justice by replacing lost financial contributions and holding the guilty accountable.

Class Action – Toxic Torts

CLICK HERE, if you were affected by the Chevron Refinery Fire in Richmond California on Monday August 6, 2012. Email questions should be directed to info@johnburrislaw.com. You can also contact our HOTLINE @ 510-839-5200.

John Burris Lawyer California – Civil Rights

In a career spanning 35 years, attorney John Burris has represented high-profile officials, entertainers and athletes, as well as ordinary people who faced illegal obstacles in employment or abuse at the hands of police. He served as co-counsel in the Rodney King civil trial and lead counsel in the infamous Oakland Police Department “Riders” class action. Those cases are just the tip of the iceberg of notable results and social reforms the Law Offices of John L. Burris has accomplished. This is America. No one can take away your rights. Call us at 510-839-5200 to seek the justice you deserve. We proudly serve Oakland , SF, & Los Angeles.
  • Civil Rights Overview

    ‘Civil rights’ is a term used broadly in the news, the workplace, the government and even everyday conversation. Most United States citizens and residents probably know that they have civil rights, but knowing exactly what those rights are is not necessarily intuitive. If you suspect that your civil rights have been violated, contact an attorney from Law Office of John L. Burris in San Francisco/Oakland, CA, to discuss your situation. The Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights (the first 10 amendments to the Constitution) are key documents in our history of civil rights. The Constitution and its amendments recognize and guarantee many of our civil rights. The most famous civil rights, perhaps, are the freedoms preserved by the First Amendment:

    • Freedom of Religion
    • Freedom of Speech
    • Freedom of the Press

    These fundamental rights provided many of the principles that guided the Founding Fathers in creating our modern federal government.

  • Employment Discrimination on the Basis of Disability

    It is a strongly held belief in the U.S. that people with disabilities should be afforded the same opportunities as everyone else. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act provide the disabled with protection against employment discrimination in both the private and public sectors.

  • Fair Housing: Renters and Owners

    Nobody should be turned down for housing because the owner or manager does not like her religious affiliation or his skin color. The Fair Housing Act (FHA) prohibits discrimination in housing based on race, color, religion, sex, familial status, national origin and disability. The FHA is part of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, and amendments were added in 1988; along with the other sections of the Civil Rights Act, the FHA is designed to provide equal opportunity in an important life matter.

  • Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

    The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) protects the educational interests of children with physical and emotional disabilities. IDEA was enacted to ensure that disabled children receive the education that their unique needs demand. IDEA applies to primary and secondary public schools only; the act does not govern post-secondary institutions such as colleges and vocational schools. The procedures and rights for which IDEA provides can seem complex, but getting the most out of them will maximize the benefit of your child’s education.

  • Fourth Amendment: Search and Seizure

    The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects against unreasonable searches and seizures by governmental authorities. This means that there are limits on when and how the police can search your home, for instance, and take evidence. It does not mean, however, that all searches and seizures are illegal.

– 1985, Opening

The Law Offices of John L. Burris was formed in 1985. While the practice initially focused on criminal defense, it quickly shifted to an emphasis on civil rights litigation, particularly in the context of police misconduct, and racial and sexual discrimination in employment. Located in Oakland, we serve the Bay Area, the San Joaquin Valley, Sacramento, Los Angeles, California.

– Protecting Everyone

Over the years, John Burris and his associated counsel have represented a number of public officials and high profile clients: Earl Sanders, the former Chief of Police of San Francisco; Rodney King; recording artist Tupac Shakur; actor Del Roy Lindo; NFL player Keyshawn Johnson; NBA players Gary Payton, Latrell Sprewell, and Jason Kidd; and Aaron Goodwin, former sports agent for NBA phenomenon LeBron James.

– Accomplished

Our firm has been instrumental in social reforms of police policy governing the use of canines, deadly force, hog tying, pepper spray, and other practices. Our work has also changed police department protocols for crowd control tactics and handling of the mentally impaired

– Sincere

The Law Offices of John L. Burris is committed to justice for all. Our firm serves as a voice for victims of discrimination, abuse of power and negligence. We give hope to the disenfranchised who have little expectation of justice by giving them access to quality legal representation CONTACT US Today!

John Burris Lawyer California

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““We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” — The Declaration of Independence

When the Declaration of Independence asserted a fundamental right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” it didn’t apply to slaves or even a free black man. It didn’t apply to women, and often didn’t apply to immigrants. Not until the civil rights legislation of the 1960s did the laws catch up with the vision of liberty and justice for all.

John Burris