J. Burr Shields

Practice Areas

Employment attorney and mediator Burr Shields provides counseling to employers and employees in a wide range of issues and has litigated numerous cases in state and federal trial courts.

Burr’s approach to practicing law and to mediating employment disputes is greatly influenced by his self-assessment, “I love people, and I despise inefficiency.”

Burr has been practicing employment law in Arizona since 1987. Burr earned Martindale-Hubbell’s AV-Preeminent rating over 10 years ago and has been listed by The Best Lawyers in America since 2009. In 2016, Best Lawyers named him “Lawyer of the Year” (Phoenix) for Labor and Employment Litigation.

More About Burr

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More About Burr

Burr is rated by Chambers and Partners in the area of Labor and Employment. According to one of Burr’s clients who participated in the Chambers survey:

“His knowledge is absolutely incredible – it’s mind-blowing how we can present a situation and he understands where it should go. I trust him 100%.”

The current scope of Burr’s practice encompasses:

  • counseling employers, particularly in the healthcare area, in regard to all labor and employment matters;
  • drafting employment agreements, non-competition agreements and employer manuals and policies;
  • representing employers and employees in litigation, arbitration and mediation;
  • representing employers in matters pending before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Civil Rights Division of the Attorney General’s Office, the National Labor Relations Board, and the United States Department of Labor;
  • representing healthcare professionals in licensing matters; and
    serving as a mediator of employment disputes.

Professional Memberships

  • State Bar of Arizona
  • Maricopa County Bar Association

Articles & Presentations

  • Presenter at Apogee Physicians February 2018 Summit
  • “Opening/Closing Statements” (co-presenter), Trial Tuesdays Luncheon Series, Maricopa County Bar Association, June 2016

Employment Mediator

As an employment mediator trained at the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at the Pepperdine School of Law, Burr brings strong subject matter expertise to every employment dispute in which he is engaged.​

For almost 30 years, Burr has represented employers and employees, both as an advisor and as a litigator. This breadth of experience enables him to understand and analyze the plight of both sides in an employment dispute. It also enables him to be more objective in evaluating the parties’ positions.

Honors & Awards

  • The Best Lawyers in America®, “Lawyer of the Year,” Labor and – Employment Litigation (Phoenix), 2016
  • The Best Lawyers in America (Employment Law -Management, Employment Law – Individuals, Labor Law -Management, Labor and Employment Litigation), 2009-2020
  • Chambers and Partners Rated, 2015 – 2018
  • AV Preeminent® Rating: Martindale-Hubbell®
  • Super Lawyers, 2019

Bar & Court Admissions

  • Arizona, 1987
  • U.S. District Court, District of Arizona, 1987
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, 1987
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit, 1987


Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science, Economics, Cum Laude, 1983

University of Arizona, Law School, 1987


Peru, Indiana

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