Shaun Clarke tries civil and criminal cases.
Recently, he obtained "Not Guilty" verdicts in two federal jury trials. In one, our client had been charged with insider trading arising from the Shaw Group/CB&I merger. In the other, our client was the BP rig worker charged with causing the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Described by Chambers USA as a "master in handling government investigations on behalf of a nationwide clientele," Mr. Clarke has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America for over a decade, and has been named a "Litigation Star" by Benchmark and a Texas and Louisiana Super Lawyer. Mr. Clarke honed his trial skills as a San Francisco Deputy City Attorney and as an Assistant United States Attorney in New Orleans. He has led defense teams in nearly every area of white collar defense and has represented clients ranging from Fortune 50 companies to individual employees. He has successfully represented clients in SEC and other government investigations as well as at every level of both the civil and criminal court systems. A few other noteworthy criminal cases include
- the landmark "constructive amendment" reversal in U.S. v. Hoover
- reversal of a $17 million restitution award in U.S. v. D.L.
- dismissal of criminal charges against an individual under the Commodities Exchange Act in U.S. v. Radley
- successful representation of a former New York Yankee in the congressional investigation into performance enhancing drug use
- successful defense of a New Orleans hospital in the investigation of alleged euthanizing of patients following Hurricane Katrina
Mr. Clarke has enjoyed equal success in civil litigation:
- In Shell v. St. Charles Parish, he prevailed at trial on behalf of a corporate client that challenged taxes imposed by a local entity
- In LOPA v. Shalala he obtained an injunction that prevented the federal government from implementing a system that would have limited access to transplants for Louisiana residents
- He won dismissal of civil RICO charges filed against a major law firm and one of its partners
- He successfully represented employee of U.S. defense contractor who was falsely accused in a civil suit of raping a coworker in Iraq
Mr. Clarke is admitted to the Bars of Texas and Louisiana and regularly speaks before their members on issues related to trial tactics, white collar and environmental crime, and corporate investigations.
United States v. Kaluza, et al. (BP Deepwater Horizon Case)
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. Roberts
Lead trial counsel for individual charged with insider trading from merger of The Shaw Group with Chicago Bridge & Iron. Led team that obtained "Not Guilty" jury verdict on all charges.
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.
Qui Tam/False Claims Act
Represented a government contractor in a case alleging that our client had defrauded the Small Business Administration in connection with the SBA’s sale of its ownership in the company. Successfully convinced the government not to intervene and the relator dismissed the case.
Represented a medical billing company in a case alleging fraudulent billing practices to Medicare. Case settled favorably.
Represented a company that owned nursing homes in a case alleging failure to provide patient care that was billed to Medicare.
Represented an employee of a medical device manufacturer in a case alleging fraudulent billing for hip replacements.
Represented a steel manufacturer in a qui tam case alleging $275,000,000 in damages before trebling (and an accompanying federal grand jury investigation). The claim was that the manufacturer had provided non-conforming culvert steel that was used in state and federally funded roadway projects. Case settled on favorable terms; no criminal charges were filed.
Represented an energy company in a qui tam case alleging failure to report and pay royalties on natural gas. The government/relator claimed $330,000,000 in unpaid royalties before trebling. Case settled on favorable terms.
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.
"Super Lawyer" by Thomson Reuters, 2007-2017
Recognized as one of the "Best Lawyers" in America in White Collar Defense: General Practice and Criminal Defense: White Collar for over 11 years
New Orleans "Top 50 Lawyers," 2006
Chambers USA, “Top Ranked” White Collar Crime & Government Investigations
Named a Benchmark "Star," 2016-Present
State Bar of Texas
State Bar of Louisiana
State Bar of California (Inactive)
United States Supreme Court
Louisiana 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 Southern and Western Districts of Texas
American Bar Association, White Collar Crime Committee Member
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
Federal Bar Association
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
Deputy City Attorney
City and County of San Francisco
Assistant United States Attorney
Eastern District of Louisiana
Liskow & Lewis
Assistant Professor (Adjunct)
Tulane Law School, 2006-11
Gerger & Clarke
Smyser Kaplan & Veselka, L.L.P.