J. Daran Burns

Attorney J. Daran Burns

J. Daran Burns
Rated by Super Lawyers

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J. Daran Burns

Managing Partner & Founder

Born in 1967 in Jacksonville, Florida, Mr. Burns moved to Marietta, Georgia, at the age of five. After graduating from Sprayberry High School in 1986, Mr. Burns attended Kennesaw State University, where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.

In 1993, Mr. Burns graduated from the University of Georgia School of Law, Doctor of Jurisprudence. Subsequent to his graduation from law school, Mr. Burns opened his own practice and has since been practicing law in Northern Georgia and the greater metro Atlanta area. Upon relocating to Cherokee County over 20 years ago, he formed Burns Smith Law, a recognizable name and top-rated law firm.

Currently, Mr. Burns maintains a trial practice concentrating in criminal defense and family law, and has earned the reputation as a top trial lawyer in Georgia. Mr. Burns is married and a parent of two children.

Notable Achievements

  • Multiple not guilty verdicts in Murder, Aggravated Assault, Molestation, Felony Drug Cases, DUI Cases and many others
  • Successful representation of Cherokee County homeowner against HOA discrimination concerning the 2006 Freedom to Display the American Flag Act
  • Named Super Lawyer of 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 & 2023; Only top 1% of lawyers have this special designation and recognition
  • Former Vice President of Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Founding member of Cherokee County Indigent Defense Firm


  • University of Georgia School of Law, Athens, GA
  • Doctor of Jurisprudence – 1993
  • Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, GA
  • B.A., Business Administration

Associations & Memberships

  • Cherokee County Bar Association
  • Georgia State Bar Association
  • Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Vice President
  • Indigent Defense Council for Cherokee County, Founding Member

Areas of Specialization

  • Murder/Homicide
  • Aggravated Assault
  • Family Law & Divorce
  • Alimony & Post Separation Support
  • Child Custody & Visitation
  • Business Law and Litigation
  • Civil Law and Litigation
  • Contract Disputes
  • Criminal Law & Litigation
  • Felonies
  • Misdemeanors

Bar Admissions

  • Georgia, 1993 (Active)
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Georgia (Active)
  • U.S. District Court Middle District of Georgia (Active)
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of Georgia (Active)
  • Georgia Court of Appeals (Active)
  • Supreme Court of Georgia (Active)