APPELLATE JUDGESEx-Lawyer Burt Burnett Receives a Big Bonus from a Specially Appointed Judge. No Jail Time. Zero. Nada.

It’s just about a year since we wrote the main article about former Abilene Attorney Burt Burnett.

On circling back around, we see he’s received not even a single minute in jail for his financial fraud. He stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from his clients, was fined $200k, gave back $100k of his stolen funds and gets to earn interest on the rest and repay the remaining $100k at $833.33 p.m. over a 10 year, interest free loan. Not a bad deal folks. Only available to corrupt, lyin’ thievin’ lawyers though, everyone else goes to jail.

The math doesn’t reconcile: Court documents  show the amount of theft by Burnett totaling around $838k originally but by the time of his criminal trial this was revised to around $575k – however, as stated, he’s only to repay $200,000. That leaves $275,000 that we can only assume is taken care of by claims against the Texas Bar fund (which covers up to $40k per claim – assuming there is more victims than the five named in this article). In effect it’s a freefall down to appx. a quarter of the original sum he stole (at the time of his Texas Bar resignation).

That’s all folks but rest assured, we’ll be tailgatin’ some Maserati’s checkin’ out if Burnett is burnin’ the rubber on a new set of shiny wheels to celebrate.



A former Abilene attorney who in October pleaded guilty to financial crimes was sentenced to 10 years of deferred adjudication.

Burt Lee Burnett, 52, was sentenced Feb. 19, 2020. He pleaded guilty in an open plea to second-degree felony misapplication of fiduciary property in the 42nd District Court.

A special appointed judge and prosecutor handled the case after both Judge James Eidson and Criminal District Attorney James Hicks recused themselves.


According to court documents, Burnett also was ordered to pay $200,000 in restitution to five victims.

Darlene King, of Baird, will receive 34 percent of the money, the documents said. Betsy Robbins, of Dallas, will receive 28.8 percent, while Nancy Edwards, of Clyde, will receive 25.3 percent.

The remaining will be split between Alvin Tolliver (8.5 percent), of Midlothian, and Gerhta Arterberry (3.3 percent), of Desoto.

The final 0.1 percent of the money will be distributed annually to all recipients, court documents said.

Burnett paid the first $100,000 upon his sentencing, documents said, with the remaining money due monthly in installments of $833.33.

As for his sentence, Burnett was ordered to community supervision for 10 years, the documents said. He’ll be required to check in with the corrections department at least monthly, forbidden from consuming drugs or alcohol and from visiting bars.

He’ll also be required to perform community service within the first year.

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