Colin Burns


Areas of Practice

  • Litigation
  • Political Law
  • Public Contracting


  • University of California, Hastings College of the Law (J.D. 2003, cum laude)
  • Arizona State University (B.A., Political Science, 2000)

Memberships / Admissions

  • State Bar of California
  • U.S. Dist. Court, Central and Southern Districts of CA
  • League of California Cities
  • California Assn. of Sanitation Agencies
  • Western Riverside County Regional Wastewater Agency - Alternate Director
  • Fair Political Practices Committee - League of California Cities, City Attorney Division (2013, 2014)

Contact Details


Colin Burns is the attorney for the City of Fountain Valley and provides special counsel-deputy city attorney services to the City of Norco. Colin also serves as associate counsel to the Costa Mesa Sanitary District, Home Gardens Sanitary District, Orange County Vector Control District, and Rubidoux Community Services District.

Mr. Burns has extensive experience advising public agencies on open government and conflict of interest laws, including the Public Records Act, Ralph M. Brown Act, Political Reform Act, Government Code section 1090, and incompatible offices doctrine. His municipal law expertise also includes the Planning and Zoning Law, Subdivision Map Act, Mitigation Fee Act, Permit Streamlining Act, public works and contracting, municipal liability, public property, environmental and public utilities laws.

He has tried jury and bench trials and has a successful track record litigating public works, employment discrimination, harassment, building code and access, election, contract, tort, land use, and environmental lawsuits. Mr. Burns has also handled municipal prosecutions and tried numerous criminal matters. He has shut down marijuana dispensaries, closed massage establishments, obtained court ordered receiverships to abate substandard properties, and obtained numerous public nuisance injunctions. He is also an experienced Pitchess attorney.

Mr. Burns graduated, cum laude, from the University of California, Hastings College of Law and is a member of the Order of the Coif and Thursten honor societies. He is an Eagle Scout and was named “Honored Citizen” by the Orange County Board of Supervisors.

Summary of Experience

  • Over thirteen years advising councils, boards, commissions, and staff on all matters pertaining to municipal law
  • Successfully litigated scores of actions on behalf of public agencies
  • Successfully prosecuted hundreds of municipal code violations

Publications & Presentations

  • Presenter: The Fourth Amendment and the Orange County Vector Control District’s Efforts at Controlling West Nile Virus, American Mosquito Control Association (2015) & Mosquito and Vector Control Association of California (2015)
  • Editor: The California Municipal Law Handbook (2015, 2016) Continuing Education of the Bar
  • Reviewer: The California Municipal Law Handbook (2010 & 2014) Continuing Education of the Bar
  • Presenter: Homelessness: A Criminal Prosecution Perspective, Orange County, Community Police Officers Association (2012)
  • Presenter: Massage Parlor Enforcement Strategies, Orange County Police Commanders’ Association (2010)
  • White Paper: District Liability for a Sewage Spill from a Private Lateral (2008)