Caleb focuses on advising participants in the political process on compliance with all aspects of political law, including campaign finance, government ethics, and lobbying. His clients include Fortune 50 corporations, trade associations and other business organizations, non-profit and tax exempt 501(c) advocacy organizations, federal officeholders, political candidates and committees, and private individuals. He has particular experience with the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA), the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA), the Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA), the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act (HLOGA), as well as analogous state and local laws regulating campaign finance, government ethics, and lobbying. Caleb frequently represents clients subject to these laws in matters before the Federal Election Commission (FEC), other federal and state administrative agencies, and in federal and state courts.
Rated among the nation’s leading lawyers by Chambers USA, he is recognized as "a real expert in the political law arena." He is described as "a meticulous and thorough practitioner who has an excellent reputation in the market" and "always very prompt." Clients value his "very practical advice," noting that he “is always accessible and provides very thorough, accurate and helpful legal advice." Caleb has appeared as a nationally broadcast commentator on Fox News and National Public Radio, and is regularly cited and quoted on political law topics in The New York Times, The Washington Post, ABC News, Bloomberg Government, Time, Politico, The Huffington Post, Salon, Roll Call, The Hill, Law360, The Washington Times, Washington Business Journal, and Washington Examiner.
Caleb also serves as a member of the Wiley Management Committee.
- Provides regular counsel regarding compliance with campaign finance, government ethics, and lobbying laws.
- Litigates campaign finance cases in state and federal courts, notably the constitutional challenge to the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, McConnell v. FEC, 540 U.S. 93 (2003), and the Administrative Procedures Act challenge to FEC disclosure regulations, Center for Individual Freedom v. Van Hollen, No. 1:11-cv-00766 (D.C. Cir. Sept. 18, 2012). Files briefs amicus curiae in the Supreme Court of the United States in campaign finance cases including Citizens United v. FEC, 130 S. Ct. 876 (2010).
- Assists clients with responses to and appearances in connection with grand jury, congressional, Department of Justice (DOJ), FEC, and state Attorney General investigations.
- Represents clients in FEC and state campaign finance enforcement proceedings, rulemakings, and advisory opinion requests.
- Represents clients before the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE), the Office of Government Ethics, the Senate Select Committee on Ethics, and the House of Representatives Committee on Ethics in government ethics matters.
- Counsels members of Congress, Executive branch officials, Executive branch nominees, and others regarding compliance with ethics laws and rules, including financial statements and other disclosure obligations associated with confirmation proceedings.
- Conducts legal compliance audits and internal investigations in connection with campaign finance, government ethics, and lobbying activities.
- Lecturer, George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management
- Faculty, Practising Law Institute
- Commissioner, Town of Chevy Chase Ethics Commission (2016)
- Member, Lawyers for Bush-Cheney (2000). Participated in the 2000 election recount efforts
- Outstanding Scholar Program, U.S. Department of Justice, Antitrust Division (1996-1997)
- American Bar Association (ABA)
- Vice-Chair, Section on Administrative Law & Regulatory Practice, Committee on Legislative Process & Lobbying (2007)
- The Council on Governmental Ethics Laws (COGEL)
- Public Affairs Council (PAC)
- State Government Affairs Council (SGAC)
- Named by The Legal 500 US a "recommended lawyer" in Appellate: Courts of Appeal (2019)
- Named one of "Washington's Top Lawyers" (2015, 2017, 2018) by Washingtonian magazine
- Listed by Chambers USA as one of "America's Leading Lawyers for Business" in Political Law (2012-2021)
- Named one of DC's "Super Lawyers" (2015-2020) and "Rising Stars" (2013-2014) for Legislative & Governmental Affairs and Political Law by Super Lawyers magazine
J.D., New York University School of Law
B.A., cum laude, Duke University
Bar and Court Memberships
- District of Columbia Bar
- Supreme Court of the United States
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
Related News & Insights
- Media MentionCaleb Burns Discusses Anti-Fraud Measures Imposed on Politically Active NonprofitsThe Daily BeastJuly 26, 2021
- NewsletterLouisiana to Remove PAC Limits for CampaignsElection Law NewsJuly 2021
- Press ReleaseChambers USA Recognizes 35 Wiley Attorneys Across 10 Practice Areas as Among Best in the CountryMay 20, 2021
- Media MentionCaleb Burns Discusses Drop in Political Contributions from Legal IndustryLaw360May 18, 2021