Shaun Clarke has successfully tried cases in areas ranging from corporate taxation to civil rights, from personal injury to complex criminal frauds. Described by Chambers USA as a "master in handling government investigations on behalf of a nationwide clientele," he has also earned accolades from The Best Lawyers in America, Super Lawyers and Benchmark Litigation. He has led defense teams large and small on behalf of clients ranging from Fortune 50 companies to individuals.
Shaun was lead trial counsel in the successful defense of the BP rig worker charged with manslaughter arising from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The manslaughter charges were dismissed and the client was found "Not Guilty" by a jury on the remaining charge. A few other noteworthy cases include the "constructive amendment" reversal in U.S. v. Hoover, reversal of a $17 million restitution award in U.S. v. Lapin, dismissal of charges under the Commodities Exchange Act in U.S. v. Radley, and the successful representation of former New York Yankee Chuck Knoblauch in the congressional investigation into performance enhancing drug use.
Shaun honed his trial skills as a San Francisco Deputy City Attorney and later as an Assistant United States Attorney in New Orleans. In 1996, he entered private practice. He received his J.D. from Yale Law School where he was an editor of the Yale Law Journal, and his undergraduate degree from Brown University. He then clerked for Judge D. Lowell Jensen on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. He is admitted to the Bars of Texas and Louisiana and regularly speaks before their members on issues related to white-collar and environmental crime and corporate investigations.
United States v. Kaluza, et al. (BP Deepwater Horizon Case)
Served as lead trial counsel for a BP "well site leader" charged with manslaughter and environmental crimes in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Led team that obtained dismissal of manslaughter charges and a "Not Guilty" jury verdict on the remaining charge.
United States v. Hoover
Mr. Clarke successfully obtained reversal of a business executive's conviction based on government's violation of his fifth amendment rights. The indictment was later dismissed.
Shell Oil Company v. St. Charles Parish
In a multi-million dollar dispute, Mr. Clarke prevailed at trial and on appeal on behalf of his corporate client. The dispute involved taxes and fees imposed by a local tax entity.
Government Investigations and Prosecutions
United States v. Lapin – Won reversal of $17,000,000 restitution award imposed on defendant following conviction in investment fraud case.
Successfully avoided criminal charges against major energy company in Department of Interior investigation of alleged criminal violations of Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act.
Successfully represented former New York Yankee in congressional investigation of performance enhancing drug use in major league baseball.
In Re Memorial Medical Center – Successfully represented hospital in Louisiana Attorney General's investigation of alleged euthanizing of stranded patients following Hurricane Katrina.
Successfully represented major steel manufacturer in grand jury investigation and civil False Claims Act case alleging over $500,000,000 in damages. Obtained favorable civil resolution with no criminal charges.
Successfully represented medical scientist in federal investigation of alleged illegal importation of research animals. Resolved case with no civil or criminal charges against client.
Successfully represented senior executive of oilfield services company in congressional investigation of alleged bribery of state and federal judges.
Successfully represented hospital in antitrust litigation that prevented takeover attempt by its major competitor.
Obtained injunction for Louisiana organ transplant centers that prevented federal government from implementing allocation system that would have limited access to transplants for Louisiana residents.
City v. Municipal Administrative Services – Prevailed at trial and on appeal for client corporation in fee dispute with public entity.
Won dismissal of Civil RICO charges filed against a major law firm and one of its partners. Also prevailed on appeal.
Successfully represented employee of U.S. defense contractor who was falsely accused in civil suit of raping coworker in Iraq.
Recognized as a Super Lawyer by Thomson Reuters, 2007-2016.
Recognized as one of the Best Lawyers in America in White Collar Defense: General Practice and Criminal Defense: White-Collar for over 11 years.
Named one of New Orleans Top 50 Lawyers in 2006.
Named a Benchmark Litigation Star, 2016.
United States Supreme Court
United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
United States District Court for the Eastern, Middle, and Western Districts of Louisiana
United States District Court for the Western and Southern Districts of Texas
Louisiana Supreme Court
Tulane Law School:
Assistant Professor (Adjunct), Tulane Law School, 2006-11
American Bar Association, White Collar Crime Committee Member
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Member
Federal Bar Association, Member
Teach for America, New Orleans Board, 1994-2004
What were They Thinking? Mens Rea in White Collar Cases, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (2017).
Environmental Criminal Enforcement, 2017 University of Michigan Law School Environmental Law and Policy Conference (2017).
When Disasters Strike - Pipelines, Platforms, Poisons & Other Perils: Who is Criminally Liable for Tragic Mishaps?, ABA White Collar Crime Institute (2017).
The BP Criminal Litigation - A War Story, 28th Annual Texas Environmental Superconference (2016).
The Deepwater Horizon Litigation: Civil, Criminal and Administrative, New Orleans Bar Association (2016).
Getting to "Not Guilty" in U.S. v. Kaluza, Houston Bar Association (2016).
Recent Developments in White Collar Criminal Law, Louisiana State Bar Association (2014-2017).
The Expanding Scope of Environmental Crimes Prosecutions, American Bar Association, White Collar Crime Institute (2014).
Emerging Issues in White Collar Criminal Law, Louisiana State Bar Association (2013).
What Your Employees are Thinking During a Criminal Investigation, Institute for Energy Law (2011) (with David Gerger).
Crossing the Forbidden Line in the Business Arena, 28th Annual River and Marine Industry Seminar (2010).
Parallel Proceedings: Litigating a Civil Case during a Criminal Investigation, Louisiana State Bar Association (2009).
Corporate Internal Investigations, Louisiana State Bar Association (2009).
The Attorney-Client Privilege and Work Product Protections, Tenet Healthcare Legal Conference (2008).
Turning Torts into Crimes: The Alchemy of White-Collar Criminal Law, Institute For Energy Law (2008)(with M.D. Rubenstein).
Ethical Issues in Organizational Representations, South Texas College of Law Corporate Crime Institute (2007).
Erosion of the Attorney-Client Privilege, Tulane Law School Inn of Court (2006).
When Competition Becomes Criminal: A Primer on Antitrust, Price-Fixing and Bid-Rigging (2004).
B.A., Theatre Arts
Yale Law School
Editor, Yale Law Journal
to the Honorable D. Lowell Jensen
United States District Court for
the Northern District of California
Smyser Kaplan & Veselka, L.L.P.
Gerger & Clarke
Liskow & Lewis
Assistant United States Attorney
Eastern District of Louisiana
Deputy City Attorney
City and County of San Francisco