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.