Apple TV+’s medical drama ‘Five Days at Memorial’ revolves around the discovery of 45 dead bodies in New Orleans’ Memorial Medical Center. After conducting the autopsies of the bodies, the New Orleans Parish coroner Frank Minyard finds morphine in them. Louisiana Assistant Attorney General Arthur “Butch” Schafer and Special Agent Virginia Rider start their investigation into the same, which leads them to Dr. Anna Pou.
As she becomes the principal suspect, Pou seeks the service of Richard T. Simmons, Jr., one of the famed lawyers working in the city of New Orleans. Simmons tries his best to guide and protect his client throughout the investigation period. Naturally, the viewers must be eager to find out whether the character has a real-life counterpart. Let us answer the same!
Is Richard T. Simmons, Jr. Based on a Real Lawyer?
Yes, Richard T. Simmons, Jr. is based on a real lawyer. Upon serving as Chief of the Criminal Division of the United States Attorney’s office in New Orleans from 1978 to 1982, Simmons joined a distinguished Louisiana law firm in the latter year. Dr. Anna Pou reached out to Simmons through her then-employer, the Louisiana State University Healthcare Network. Simmons accompanied Pou and nurses Cheri Landry and Lori Budo to the Memorial hospital building to go through the events that happened during the five days they were stuck in the establishment. As her lawyer, Simmons was Pou’s spokesperson.
When NPR’s Carrie Kahn asked him whether Pou had euthanized patients in Memorial, Simmons shielded her. “Dr. Pou did not engage in any criminal actions,” he told Kahn, as per Sheri Fink’s source material for the show. When investigators tried to interview Tenet employees to know what Pou had said to them, Simmons filed motions to stop the same. To avoid a surprise arrest of his client, Simmons had even reminded Schafer of their willingness to self-surrender. But Pou was eventually arrested by Rider and Simmons facilitated his client’s release on Pou’s recognizance.
Simmons didn’t react well to the arrests of Pou, Landry, and Budo. He accused Attorney General Charles Foti, Jr. of arresting them to get mug shots for a “media event” for the sake of his reputation, as per Fink’s book. Simmons also tried to garner copies of the forensic test results performed on the dead bodies discovered at Memorial through ADA Michael Morales in return for his experts’ input on the case, but the deal wasn’t materialized. Eventually, the grand jury that was sworn in to consider Pou’s case decided against indicting Pou.
Where is Richard T. Simmons, Jr. Now?
Richard T. Simmons, Jr. is currently a Managing Partner in the Metairie office of Hailey McNamara, one of the famed law firms in the state of Louisiana. Simmons has been working at the firm since 1982. After the grand jury’s decision to not indict Pou, Simmons joined her to play a major role in writing and passing three laws in Louisiana that provide immunity to health care professionals from most civil lawsuits, except cases of willful misconduct, for their work in future disasters that range from hurricanes to pandemic influenza.
Simmons was the attorney of David Warren, who shot Henry Glover and was sentenced to 25 years and 9 months in federal prison for a federal civil rights violation of committing manslaughter with a firearm. After the re-trial, Simmons’ client was found “not guilty” of all charges as he testified to his actions in self-defense. Warren became a free man after getting imprisoned for three and a half years. Over the years, Simmons was part of several significant cases and continues to do so. Since he has chosen to keep his personal life private, his relationship status is unknown. He also seemingly doesn’t maintain any social media presence.
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