Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Mouthpiece Hall of Infamy: Robert Simels

Robert Simels is said to have been a brilliant criminal defense attorney throughout his 35 year career.  A real aggressive hard-nosed, hardball kind of lawyer.  He represented the mobster turned informant Henry Hill he represented the drug lord Kenneth "Supreme" McGriff.  According to the NYC papers he was highly regarded by colleagues in the defense bar, invariably meticulously prepared for trial.

Last week Simels was sentenced to 14 years in the federal penitentiary for crossing the line during the representation of a Guyanese drug dealer.  Caught on tape talking to an undercover federal agent, Simels  passed along messages from his client Shaheed Khan ordering the man, Simels thought was an associate of Shaheen to "eliminate or neutralize" witnesses.

I found the words of Judge John Gleeson as reported in the New Your Times particulalry chilling,  "Judge Gleeson spoke at length before imposing his sentence, crediting Mr. Simels for his contrite words and acknowledging the torrent of letters filed by supporters on his behalf: “You are — were — a very good lawyer.” He added addressing a statement of contrition by Simels: “You still haven’t quite held yourself accountable for your criminal acts. But you’re not required to. I will.”


  1. kind of puts the whole bad lawyering thing in perspective...I guess if you hedge and rationalize and bend the truth a little here, a little there, you end up knee deep in immorality eventually. This guy probably couldn't tell you--or himself--when he crossed over that line. Kind of scary.

  2. This guy gets caught ordering murders for a drug dealer, makes you wonder what he got away with all those years?