Shaun Clarke


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.

Additonal Representative Matters

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.

Bar Admissions:
California (Inactive)

Court Admissions:
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).

Brown University
B.A., Theatre Arts

Yale Law School
J.D., 1987
Editor, Yale Law Journal

Law Clerk
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

Shaun -Clarke

Best Lawyers Award Badge

Benchmark Future 16


Super Lawyer Shaun Clarke


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