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Loudoun County Attorneys > Our Firm > J. Stephen Simms
J. Stephen Simms

J. Stephen Simms


Steve Simms is a Principal of the Firm. His practice concentrates in complex civil and bankruptcy litigation for both defendants and plaintiffs, businesses and individuals, including maritime and intermodal transportation litigation and casualty claims, intellectual property and computer law, antitrust, directors and officers’ liability, insurance coverage, and civil False Claims Act litigation. Mr. Simms’ practice is international in scope, assisting and advising businesses and individuals on international distribution and export of their products and services. Mr. Simms was selected for the U.S. Department of Justice, Attorney General’s Program for Honor Law Graduates and served as a Trial Attorney for the Department of Justice, Antitrust Division until he entered private practice.


Complex Civil and Bankruptcy Litigation

Mr. Simms has successfully defended a range of complex business and insurance coverage disputes , including a $4 million lender and directors’ and officers’ liability civil racketeering claim, $5 million suit alleging civil racketeering and legal malpractice after a financial institution collapsed, and defense of the former Chief Financial Officer of Maryland’s largest health insurer in a $50 million action brought by that insurer’s subscribers. He continues to be involved in defense and prosecution of antitrust disputes involving alleged price fixing and market allocation, and patent abuse.

Closely related is Mr. Simms’ work with complex national and international bankruptcy litigation. Mr. Simms has represented clients in each major, recent United States maritime bankruptcy; including the world-wide bankruptcies of prominent international steamship lines and marine fuel suppliers. He has also participated in major international bankruptcies involving Canadian, United Kingdom, Dutch, Venezuelan, Singapore and Brazilian bankruptcy proceedings. His reported opinions in bankruptcy include the first to determine the legal standard for post-petition “use and benefit” of marine containers under 11 U.S.C. §365(d)(10) and the first determining who is an “officer” under 11 U.S.C. §101(31) for the purpose of recovering preferences under the U.S. bankruptcy laws.

Casualty Defense

He has successfully defended a range of corporations and individuals in connection with personal injury, cargo, and property damage, including one of the tug owners involved in a multi-vessel collision on the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal and the defense of wrongful death and injury suits brought against a marine surveyor alleging failures to detect defects in a charter fishing boat that capsized in the Chesapeake Bay.

Vessel Arrest

Mr. Simms’ maritime practice also emphasizes the arrest of vessels world- wide and has recovered over U.S. $25 million for clients as the result of ship arrest and maritime attachment proceedings in India, Chile, Japan, at the Panama Canal, the Canary Islands, Guam, New Zealand, Israel, Houston, New Orleans, Savannah, Ft. Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Baltimore, New Jersey, and New Haven.

Civil False Claims Act

(“Qui Tam”) Litigation

Mr. Simms is recognized as one of the nation’s leading lawyers working in the area of civil False Claims Act litigation. Simms Showers currently represents whistle blower clients in a significant number of ongoing False Claims Act and related cases, alleging health care, defense contracting and education loan fraud.


United States Supreme Court
United States Court of International Trade
United States Courts of Appeal:

  • District of Columbia Circuit
  • Court of Federal Appeals
  • Second Circuit
  • Third Circuit
  • Fourth Circuit
  • Fifth Circuit
  • Seventh Circuit
  • Ninth Circuit
  • Eleventh Circuit

United States District Courts:

  • Northern District of Illinois
  • District of Maryland
  • District of Columbia
  • Court of Federal Claims

States Courts:

  • Maryland
  • District of Columbia

Education & Experience

  • Northwestern University School of Law (J.D.) Journal of International Law and Business, Editor-in-Chief, Outstanding Editor

  • Trial Attorney, Attorney General’s Program for Honor Law Graduates, United States Department of Justice, Washington, D.C. and Chicago, Illinois

  • Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (M.A.)
    Johns Hopkins University (B.A., International Studies)

Leadership and Bar Associations

  • Chair, Legal Working Group, International Bunker Industry Association (“IBIA”); Board member emeritus
  • Legal Advisor, SEA/LNG, the industry group for LNG bunkering
  • Elder, St. Moses Church, Baltimore
  • Board Member, First Fruits Farm, Freeland, Maryland
  • Member, Maritime Law Association of the United States, Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute (“SEALI”), Maryland State Bar Association, Christian Legal Society

Community Leadership

Mr. Simms is a member of the Maryland Department of Transportation Private Sector Port Committee, lectures for the Maryland World Trade Center Institute, and serves as an Elder of Central Presbyterian Church, Baltimore.


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