Orleans Parish District Attorney Jason Williams on Monday joined the roster of the New Orleans law firm that last month defended him in a federal tax fraud trial, in which he was acquitted of all charges.
In addition to running the district attorney’s office, Williams will serve as “of counsel” at Schonekas, Evans, McGoey and McEachin, where he will represent clients involved in commercial disputes, personal injury cases and other civil matters, according to a news release from the New Orleans-based firm.
There, he will work alongside lawyer Billy Gibbens, who represented him in his trial in US District Court. Williams’ “priority will be the district attorney’s office,” Gibbens said in an email, “and he will be spending most of his time there, and we will…give him the support he needs on civil cases.”
Louisiana law allows district attorneys to work privately on civil but not criminal cases. Many district attorneys balance their public office with private civil work, including in Jefferson Parish, where District Attorney Paul Connick Jr. civil law practices.
But few, if any, parish district attorneys face the criminal caseload of the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office.
The “of counsel” designation typically denotes an attorney who has a close relationship with a firm but is not considered to be an associate or partner there.
Gibbens declined to discuss how Williams will be paid through the firm. It wasn’t clear whether Williams continues to operate his own private law firm, Jason Roger Williams and Associateswhich had handled civil litigation since his 2020 election victory.
In his biography on Schonekas, Evans, McGoey and McEachin’s website, Williams’ private firm is mentioned in the past tense, and attempts to reach anyone at the firm’s office were unsuccessful.
The district attorney‘s office did not respond to requests for more information on Monday.
A prepared statement by Williams, included in the release, also seemed to indicate he closed his private practice: “After years of running my own law practice, I am excited to join the experienced, talented lawyers at the Schonekas firm,” Williams said in the prepared statements.
Unlike his predecessor Leon Cannizzaro, Williams has frequently tried cases himself as a district attorney. Speaking to the New Orleans City Council criminal justice committee on Monday, Williams said he would continue to be a presence in the Orleans Parish Criminal District Court.
“The week immediately following my own hiatus — when I was on my trial over in federal court — I went back into the courthouse, with my colleagues,” said Williams, noting that his team secured a guilty verdict in a murder case that week. “I’m in the trenches at Tulane and Broad with my troops in this battle, and I will stay in those trenches.”
Staff writer Matt Sledge contributed to this report.
- Sa'ar denies Likud talks, but says vote to renew civil law for settlers must pass
- Basic Japanese Civil Law - US News SkillBuilder
- Pamplin Media Group - Students in Sauvie Island gain experience with civil law
- Knesset debate over Civil Law in Israel threatens protections on settlers
- Civil rights attorneys, police review footage of Black man paralyzed in back of Connecticut police van