Michael A. Simons

Dean John V. Brennan Professor of Law
School of Law
B.A., College of the Holy Cross (magna cum laude), 1986J.D., Harvard Law School (magna cum laude), 1989

Michael A. Simons joined the St. John's faculty in 1998 and was appointed Dean of the School of Law in 2009.

Dean Simons teaches in the areas of criminal law and evidence, and he has been a frequent lecturer to the bench and bar on both topics. He was selected by the students as "Professor of the Year" in 2000 and 2011. From 2005 through 2008, he served as Associate Dean for Faculty Scholarship.  His own scholarship has focused on sentencing, prosecutorial decision-making, and punishment theory. His articles have appeared in the New York University Law Review, the Vanderbilt Law Review, the George Mason Law Review, the Villanova Law Review, the St. John’s Law Review, The Catholic Lawyer, the Journal of Catholic Legal Studies, the Journal of Civil Rights and Economic Development, and the Temple Political and Civil Rights Law Review

Since 2001, he has been a Fellow with the Vincentian Center for Church and Society.  During 2005 and 2006, he was a member of the New York City Mayor's Advisory Committee on the Judiciary. He has also been involved with St. John's efforts to increase the diversity of the legal profession, including by organizing and hosting the annual Catholic Middle Schools Mock Trial Program, by teaching in the Ronald H. Brown Center's Summer Prep Program, and by lecturing for Legal Outreach.

Dean Simons graduated magna cum laude from the College of the Holy Cross in 1986 and magna cum laude from the Harvard Law School in 1989, where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review. After law school, Dean Simons clerked for the Honorable Louis F. Oberdorfer of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia (1989-90). He later served as a staff attorney for The Washington Post (1990-91), as an associate at Stillman, Friedman & Shaw (1991-95), and as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York (1995-98).

A graduate of Chaminade High School in Mineola, New York, Dean Simons resides on Long Island with his wife Karen and their five children.

Articles

Sense and Sentencing: Our Imprisonment Epidemic, 25 Journal of Civil Rights and Economic Development 153 (2010)

Prosecutorial Discretion in the Shadow of Advisory Guidelines and Mandatory Minimums, 19 Temple Political and Civil Rights Law Review 377 (2010)

Prosecutors as Punishment Theorists: Seeking Sentencing Justice, 16 George Mason Law Review 303 (2009)

Born Again on Death Row: Retribution, Remorse, and Religion, 43 Catholic Lawyer 311 (2004)

Retribution for Rats: Cooperation, Punishment, and Atonement, 56 Vanderbilt Law Review 1 (2003)

Vicarious Snitching: Crime, Cooperation, and "Good Corporate Citizenship," 76 St. John's Law Review 979 (2002)

Departing Ways: Uniformity, Disparity, and Cooperation in Federal Drug Sentences, 47 Villanova Law Review 921 (2002)

Prosecutorial Discretion and Prosecution Guidelines: A Case Study in Controlling Federalization, 75 N.Y.U. Law Review 893 (2000)

Other Publications

Catholic Teaching, Catholic Values, Catholic Voters: Reflections on "Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship," 47 Journal of Catholic Legal Studies 205(2008)

Talking Sense About Sentencing, NPR’s Talking Justice Blog (January 2008)

A New Era for the Catholic Lawyer, 44 Journal of Catholic Legal Studies (2005) (with Susan J. Stabile)

Perjury, in Encyclopedia of Crime and Justice (J. Dressler ed., 2d ed. 2001)

Ray Exercised Proper Discretion with Clinton, Newsday, Jan. 22, 2001, at A3 (with John Q. Barrett)

Student Speech - Free Press in High Schools: Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier, 102 Harvard Law Review 271 (1988)

A Radical Intent (Review of M. Curtis, No State Shall Abridge: The Fourteenth Amendment and the Bill of Rights), 101 Harvard Law Review 869 (1988)

Paper Presentations and Selected Speaking Engagements

Recent Developments in Criminal Evidence, New York State Judicial Institute (Summer 2006, Winter 2007, Summer 2007, Winter 2008)

Prosecutors as Punishment Theorists, Hofstra University School of Law Faculty Workshop (January 2007)

Vincentian Chair of Social Justice Conference: The Just and Moral Society, St. John's University, Vincentian Center for Church & Society (October 2007)

Hon. Lawrence J. Finnegan, Jr. and Prof. Frank S. Polestino Memorial Seminar, Queens County Judges (November 2006)

Religion and Morality in the Public Square, St. John’s University, Journal of Legal Commentary (Conference Co-Organizer) (March 2007)

The Jurisprudential Legacy of John Paul II, St. John’s University, Journal of Catholic Legal Studies (Conference Co-Organizer) (March 2006)

Vincentian Chair of Social Justice Conference: Hope: Foundation of a Civilization of Love and Justice, Immigration Workshop, St. John's University, Vincentian Center for Church & Society (October 2005)

Seeking Justice at Sentencing: The Prosecutor’s Changed Role Under Booker, St. John’s University School of Law Faculty Colloquium (April 2005)

Seeking Justice: The Challenge of Prosecutorial Discretion in an Age of Fixed Sentences, St. John's University School of Law Faculty Colloquium (February 2004)

Vincentian Chair of Social Justice Conference: The Faces and Facets of 21st Century Poverty: Criminal Justice Workshop, St. John's University, Vincentian Center for Church & Society (October 2003)

Post 9/11 Race and War: A Comparative Analysis of the Wars on Poverty, Drugs and Terrorism, St. John's University School of Law (February 2003)

Corporate Fraud in the 21st Century, Alexander Hamilton Inn of Court (November 2002).

The Role of the Professional, Enron and Its Aftermath, St. John's University School of Law (September 2002)

Departing Ways: Uniformity and Disparity in Federal Drug Sentences, New Voices on the War on Drugs, Villanova Law School (October 2001)

The Rules Are Changing: Federal Civil Practice Update, Nassau Academy of Law, Nassau County Bar Association (January 2001)

Litigation Updates: Federal Rules of Evidence, Association of the Bar of the City of New York (October 2000)

Experts in the Jury Room: Professional Jurors after People v. Maragh, Theodore Roosevelt American Inn of Court (October 2000)

Updates in the Federal Rules of Evidence, Association of the Bar of the City of New York (March 2000)