With a legal background ranging from duties as a U.S. Air Force Courts Martial Judge lawyer to services as Texas' top drug traffic prosecutor, Skip Simpson has created a private law practice that has covered a wide range of intriguing matters both civil and criminal.
Nationally recognized for his expertise in suicide and repressed memory cases, he also has claimed successes in commercial litigation, and toxic torts lawsuits. A natural curiosity and an obsession with gathering background research have given him opportunities to handle cases in groundbreaking fields of the law.
Profiled in The Wall Street Journal in 1997 for his pioneering work in suicide litigation, Skip has been most active in cases where psychiatry and mental health questions have arisen. But his personal background reveals a varied career with stints as a military prosecutor, defense lawyer and general courts martial judge; an in-house corporate lawyer, a state and federal criminal prosecutor; and, a privately practicing trial lawyer.
Officially named Texas's top narcotics prosecutor in 1985, he launched his legal career from a position in the U.S. Air Force, which funded his way through law school at St. Mary's University in San Antonio. After earning his law degree in 1974 - fives years after joining the Air Force, Skip became a military prosecutor and handled numerous cases of alleged recruit abuse by training instructors at Lackland Air Base. Later he served as a military defense counsel and handled numerous insanity cases, duty that stimulated his curiosity in the mental health legal arena.
Although Skip left active duty in 1981 to join the Dallas County District Attorney's office, the U.S. Justice and Defense departments teamed up one year later to recall Major Simpson for service as a special prosecutor investigating public integrity issues in the military. Highlights of that tenure included the conviction of the highest ranking civilian in the military in Texas.
Moving to the U.S. Attorney's office in Dallas, he won recognition in 1985 from the Texas Narcotics Officers Association and Texas businessman H. Ross Perot as the state's most effective narcotics prosecutor that year. He left the U.S. Attorney's office to accept a position as a trial lawyer for Southwestern Bell Telephone Company in 1985. He launched his own law firm in 1987.
Following his interest in psychology, he's become one of the nation's ranking experts on the legal aspects of psychological problems, handling numerous cases that deal with everything from memory repression and multiple personalities to satanic cult worship and suicide. Simpson settled the first case ever brought by a sexual abuse "retractor" against her therapist based on repressed memory issues.
He also won a $3 million jury verdict against a doctor accused of causing a suicide through the prescription of depression-invoking medications and negligent follow-up to the patient's complaints. In 1996, he scored a $40 million verdict in an intellectual property and breach of contract dispute largely by preventing a key psychologist from testifying against a corporate client. Again in 1997 he scored a $5.9 million verdict in another mental health case.
In recognition as a leader in the mental health field, Mr. Simpson in 2003 was selected as a Research Associate of the Program in Psychiatry and the Law, Dept. of Psychiatry, Beth Israel-Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School.
On January 1, 2004 he was appointed as a Clinical Instructor at The University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, Texas. In 2006 he was promoted to Adjunct Associate Professor. In these roles, Mr. Simpson teaches medical residents subjects focusing on psychiatry and the law.
In 2004 Skip was featured in a book, "The Suicide Lawyers: Exposing Lethal Secrets," authored by C.C. Risenhoover. This book was endorsed by Harold Bursztajn, MD, Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, and Co-Director of Harvard Medical School Program in Psychiatry and the Law. Dr. Bursztajn stated "Skip Simpson is a very thoughtful and kind observer of human beings. He practices a brand of therapeutic jurisprudence that law school far too often neglect to teach. He is a wonderful teacher, colleague, and advocate...I have had the privilege of wholeheartedly recommending him highly for appointment to medical school faculty, as well as to patients in search of a talented and ethical advocate..."
In 2005 Skip was named to the board of directors for the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill in Collin County, Texas which he believes is among the best honors he has received. In addition, Mr. Simpson is a legal consultant to National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in New York, New York.