Bar Admissions
Florida Bar, 1977

Practice Areas
  • Property & Casualty Claims Defense

  • Civil Litigation

  • Expert Witness Consulting Services

  • SIU/Fire Service/Law Enforcement Training

  • Admiralty/Marine Salvage

Florida State University College of Law (J.D., 1977)
Vanderbilt University (B.A., 1974)

Reported Cases
Mr. Burnette has handled and argued numerous cases before every District Court of Appeal in Florida, the Florida Supreme Court, the Alabama Supreme Court, the federal Circuit Courts of Appeal for the 5th and 11th Circuits, and on writ of certiorari before the United States Supreme Court.

Guy Burnette, Jr.

Email :
Phone Number : (850) 597-7247
Fax Number : (850) 597-7249
Vcard:  Download Here

3020 N. Shannon Lakes Dr.
Tallahassee, FL 32309

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GUY E. “SANDY” BURNETTE, JR. is Of Counsel in Chartwell’s Tallahassee office. He practices property and casualty claims defense, civil litigation, expert witness consulting services, and provides SIU/fire service/law enforcement training. Sandy attended Vanderbilt University where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1974. His undergraduate studies included a summer attending the University of Monterey in Mexico and a year attending the University of Madrid in Spain. He is fluent in the Spanish language. He received his Juris Doctorate at the Florida State University College of Law in 1977.

After graduation, he was appointed Assistant State Attorney for the Second Judicial Circuit of Florida as a felony trial prosecutor. Sandy also served as an instructor in legal affairs at the Pat Thomas/Lively Law Enforcement Training Center and the Florida Fire College, where he has provided training spanning five decades. He is a Certified Instructor at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center/ATF National Academy, the IAAI International and the Florida Department of Financial Services. In 1979 Sandy joined the Division of State Fire Marshal as the first Legal Counsel to the Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations. He was legal advisor to the Deputy State Fire Marshals, special prosecutor, and training instructor in legal affairs.

He authored Florida Arson Prosecution, a manual for the investigation and prosecution of arson cases recorded in the Library of Congress and adopted by state and federal prosecuting agencies nationwide. He is the author of the Arson Immunity Reporting Act, Florida Statute 633.126 (1983 and 1995, now 633.126(1)(b); the Fraud Immunity Reporting Act, Florida Statute 626.989 (1997); and the Florida SIU Act, Florida Statute 626.9891 (1995). He contributed to the drafting of the Federal Anti-Arson Act of 1993 and several other state and federal laws relating to arson and fraud issues. He has authored over 100 articles and papers on these subjects and has lectured at conferences and training academies throughout the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, Central America, South America and Europe.

Mr. Burnette Jr. is the recipient of the 2017 FIFEC Insurance Defense Attorney of the Year, renamed in perpetuity as the Sandy Burnette Insurance Defense Attorney of the Year. Other awards named in his honor include the IAAI International Chapter (Sandy Burnette Outstanding Accomplishment Award); FACAP (Keebler-Burnette Scholarship for Fire Service and Law Enforcement); IAAI Florida Chapter (Sandy Burnette Distinguished Service Award).

He was an author and contributor to the NFPA 921 Handbook; the Motive, Means and Opportunity video, and interFire VR--the first interactive virtual-reality training program for fire investigators which has been distributed worldwide. He has written and presented several internet-based webinars on, the program which has now trained over 30,000 investigators in more than 137 countries.

He is the past Chair of the Property Insurance Law Committee of the American Bar Association; past Ethics Chair of the Florida Defense Lawyers Association; past member of the Panel Counsel Group of the International Association of Special Investigation Units (IASIU); past President and Life Member of the Florida Advisory Committee on Arson Prevention (FACAP); Life Member of the California Conference of Arson Investigators (CCAI); Life Member of the New York Fire Academy; past Director and Life Member of the IAAI International; and a Life Member of the Florida Chapter of IAAI, having served as the Legal Advisor to the Chapter for thirty-three years. He is a Member of the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel and is a Fellow in the American College of Coverage and Extra-Contractual Counsel. He is listed in Marquis’ Who’s Who in America; Who’s Who of Emerging Leaders in America; Who’s Who in American Law; and International Who’s Who of Professionals. For over 35 years he has been an AV Preeminent Attorney by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest peer review rating in the legal profession, and has been recognized as a Top Rated Lawyer in Insurance Law by American Lawyer Magazine and a Florida Super Lawyer by Thomson Reuters. He has received numerous awards for his work, including the Award of Recognition from the Department of Justice and the Silver Hammer Award from the Vice President of the United States.

Mr. Burnette Jr. served 21 years on Board of Directors of The Spring (Tampa) and Refuge House (Tallahassee), domestic violence and sexual assault shelter centers (4 terms as President, first male elected President at both shelters); 10 years as Guardian ad litem for abused/neglected children; voluntary training to more than 75,000 Fire and Police Investigators in over 137 countries, through personal presentations and web-based programs.

Professional Associations

Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel
Fellowship in American College of Coverage and Extra-contractual Counsel
Life Member of California Conference of Arson Investigators
Florida Advisory Committee on Arson Prevention
International Chapter of IAAI
Florida Chapter of IAAI

Associated Results