Devin Burstein Attorney Lawyer San Diego
Devin Burstein


Mr. Burstein is the recipient of the San Diego Criminal Defense Bar Association's award for appellate attorney of the year.  Licensed to practice in both California and New York, his work focuses on criminal defense, with a particular emphasis on appellate representation. He also maintains a select, civil-litigation practice, and is frequently retained by other attorneys seeking assistance with complex appeals and pre-trial motions.  He has amassed a lengthy record of victories in the trial court and on appeal.


Mr. Burstein graduated with honors from NYU, where he majored in philosophy. He attended the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, graduating Order of the Coif (top 10% of his class). He began practicing at the global law firm Proskauer Rose LLP. 


At Proskauer, Mr. Burstein focused on white-collar defense and civil litigation. He helped successfully defend a professional sports franchise owner in a major international arbitration and a boxer against an attempt to seize his position as mandatory challenger for the heavyweight championship of the world. In addition, Mr. Burstein developed expertise in reinsurance – including representing several executives during corporate and government investigations. He also represented (pro bono) juvenile delinquents in appealing their delinquency adjudications, and was a core member of the legal team seeking a posthumous presidential pardon for Jack Johnson, the first African-American Heavyweight Champion.


Mr. Burstein left Proskauer to serve as a judicial clerk for the Honorable Judith S. Kaye, then Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals (New York’s highest court). Viewing cases from the Judge’s perspective, Mr. Burstein gained invaluable insight into the most effective way to present an argument. He helped draft judicial decisions on a diverse array of criminal and civil issues, giving him an uncommonly broad range of experience.


With California calling, Mr. Burstein moved from New York to join the nationally renowned Federal Defender office in San Diego. He started as a trial attorney, representing clients in well over a hundred felony cases. He then transferred to the appellate department, where he continued defending his clients in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. In addition, he represented indefinite immigration detainees seeking release from custody, and assisted inmates challenging their convictions through habeas corpus in federal court.


Mr. Burstein left Federal Defenders to form Warren & Burstein.  The firm began with a simple purpose: to bring dedication, diligence, and determination to every case.  Mr. Burstein is firmly committed to that purpose. As a result, his clients benefit from the highest level of representation. 


Mr. Burstein's victories in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, include:

  • US v. Grimaldo, 984 F.3d 876 (9th Cir. 2021)

  • US v. Johnson, 806 Fed. App’x 598 (9th Cir. 2020)

  • US v. Galloway, 802 Fed. App’x 247 (9th Cir. 2020) 

  • US v. Graves, 925 F.3d 1036 (9th Cir. 2019)

  • US v. Ocampo, 873 F.3d 661 (9th Cir. 2017)

  • US v. Johnson, 695 Fed. App’x 304 (9th Cir. 2017)

  • US v. Rains, 674 Fed. App’x 642 (9th Cir. 2017)

  • US v. Igboanugo, 655 Fed. App’x 578 (9th Cir. 2016) 

  • US v. Quintero-Leyva, 823 F.3d 519 (9th Cir. 2016)

  • US v. McKany, 649 Fed. App’x 553 (9th Cir. 2016) 

  • US v. Moser, 803 F.3d 1100 (9th Cir. 2015)

  • US v. Salazar, 598 Fed. App’x 490 (9th Cir. 2015)

  • US v. Pimental, 755 F.3d 1095, (9th Cir. 2014)

  • US v. Thum, 749 F.3d 1143 (9th Cir. 2014)

  • US v. Silerio, 554 Fed. App’x. 612 (9th Cir. 2014)

  • US v. Montes, 745 F.3d 1286 (9th Cir. 2014)

  • US v. Lopez-Cruz, 730 F.3d 803 (9th Cir. 2013)

  • US v. Rivas, 557 Fed. App’x 651 (9th Cir. 2013)

  • US v. Casillas, 538 Fed. App’x (9th Cir. 2013)

  • US v. Muniz-Jaquez, 718 F.3d 1180 (9th Cir 2013)

  • US v. Ramirez, 714 F.3d 1134 (9th Cir. 2013)

  • US v. Rodriguez,97 Fed. App’x 766 (9th Cir. 2012)

  • US v. Salas, 472 Fed. App’x 684 (9th Cir. 2012)

  • US v. Rodriguez, 433 Fed. App’x 557 (9th Cir. 2011)

  • US v. Ramirez, 324 Fed. App’x 663 (9th Cir. 2009)

  • US v. Martinez, 312 Fed. App’x 984 (9th Cir. 2009)


In addition, Mr. Burstein has been recognized by the Legal Aid Society for outstanding legal services, and has published numerous articles, including:


  • Samuel Seabury, The Judges of the Court of Appeals (Rosenblatt, ed.), Fordham Univ. Press (2007).

  • Breed Specific Legislation: Unfair Prejudice and Ineffective Policy, 10 ANIMAL L. 313 (2004).

  • The Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act: Its Problems and Remedies, Including the Possibility of a United States Boxing Administration, 21 CARDOZO ARTS & ENT. L.J. 433 (2003).

  • Control of Defense and Litigation Guidelines, 16-11 MEALEY’S LIT. REP. INS. BAD FAITH 12 (2002).


Mr. Burstein lives with his wife and children in La Jolla.  He can be reached directly at