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.