Clients may be initially confronted with the criminal justice system by service of grand jury subpoenas or may be thrust into the system by arrest or indictment. Grand jury practice requires counsel to make an initial assessment of the client's exposure, to determine "target" status, to monitor grand jury developments and to manage news media events to avoid adverse publicity. Trial defense practice requires counsel to understand the prosecutorial system, to marshal the resources necessary for the defense, to coordinate with other defense lawyers and, finally, to exercise the trial skills for an effective presentation to the jury. Whether the need for advice occurs during the investigative stage or in the post-indictment stage, highly experienced counsel is necessary to obtain knowledgeable advice as to critical decisions which may affect the client's representation and, perhaps, the liberty of the client.


Since leaving the U.S. Attorney's Office in 1982, Rick Simmons has had extensive experience as defense counsel in a number of the major criminal investigations in Louisiana.


Major federal prosecutions are spearheaded by a team of experienced U.S. Attorneys supported by the unlimited investigative resources of federal agencies such as the FBI. Co-counsel Glenn Burns was an assistant U.S. Attorney from 1980-85 and previously worked with Rick Simmons in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorneys Office. This team of former federal prosecutors, along with support from long time para-legal Ruth Curcuru and outside investigators (former FBI agents), provides the resources necessary to achieve a level playing field for the defense of such prosecutions.

U.S. vs Michael H. O'Keefe Sr., served as defense counsel for former State Senator Michael H. O'Keefe, Sr, indicted on charges of insurance fraud and money laundering. After a conviction, the district court granted a new trial based upon findings of perjury by a government witness and government misconduct. After a lengthy appellate battle (5 years), the conviction was re-instated.


Michael O'Keefe, left, arrives at federal court with defense counsel Rick Simmons.


<<Staff photo by Times Picayune, Andrew Boyd 1/7/96


Other Federal Court Representations


Nationwide health care providers investigated by the Department of Justice.

Various medical professionals accused of Medicare and Medicaid fraud.

Plant manager of Marine Shale Processors; investigation as to environmental criminal matters; charges resolved by compromise.

Secretary to Baton Rouge District Attorney on perjury charges; all charges dismissed.

State District Judge indicted on false statement to bank;

Shipyard executive investigated on government contract fraud;

Vice President of State bank charged with bank fraud.


State Court Cases


Graduate student indicted on charges of 2nd degree murder of her boyfriend. Jury acquittal based on self-defense (1988)


State employee accused of public malfeasance. Charges dismissed (1995)


High school student indicted on charges of attempted forcible rape. After a conviction on lesser charges was reversed by the Court of Appeals, the case was compromised to a misdemeanor offense (2001)


Military Cases (See JAG/Military Section)


Appellate representation of Lt. William Calley (My Lai, Vietnam incident) (1973-74)


Representation of Captain Derrick Robertson (Army's trainee sex scandal at Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD) (1997)