Jay Simmons is one of the new Federal Public Defenders at the US District Court for the Southern District of New York.


Swearing-in CeremonyEdit

On the day he was set to be sworn in as a new FPD, Jay arrived at the courthouse early and joined Kate and Sandra, who were already there waiting. He quickly upset Kate by eating a breakfast taco, which she said wasn't allowed. They were steadily joined by the other new attorneys. At eight, Leonard Knox came in and walked into the courtroom, despite Kate Littlejohn informing him that Sandra had arrived there first to wait. Inside the courtroom, Tina Krissman introduced herself and had the two sides sit on opposite sides, knowing they wouldn't want to sit together. She then explained to them what would be happening and introduced Nicholas Byrne, who gave a speech about their work and swore them all in.[1]

First CaseEdit

After meeting Jill Carlan, Jay was assigned his first case. It was a fraud case and he decided to talk to and trust his client instead of what the file said. He met with Adam Dyle and then argued in court to get his bail lowered so he could care for his terminally ill twin brother. He was shocked to learn that Adam wasn't actually his real name, nor did he have a twin brother. The request was denied. When Jay met with Adam again, Adam said he was disappointed and kept up the con act, convincing Jay that he really believed he was part of a secret government organization. Jay went to Kate with this, but she showed him a video of Adam in jail talking on the phone to someone about getting his attorney to believe everything. After this realization, Jay and Kate came to a deal for a 64-month jail sentence.[2]

Carl Wayne ClarkeEdit

After his loss in his first class, Jill called Jay into her office to make sure he was up for the job of defending Carl Wayne Clarke. He insisted that he could do it and he was all in. After meeting Clarke, a Nazi accused of shooting Assemblywoman McCray, he went back to Jill to question having to defend someone so openly hateful. She told him it wasn't his job to judge him, just defend him. Jay initially wanted to use make-up to clean up Clarke's face for the jury, but ultimately decided to let him go as he was, realizing that while Clarke looked like the kind of person to shoot McCray, there was reasonable doubt among the prosecution's case. The jury returned a not-guilty verdict. Jay went home and told his father about it, not feeling quite right with having defended a Nazi. His father told him a story of one of his mother's cousins, who was imprisoned without a trial and told him he had won the trial because he had a trial to win.[3]

Chloe DanielsEdit

Chloe Daniels was arrested for attacking a mailman. Because there was a chance he could die, Jill took the case and had Sandra, Jay, and Allison assist. They quickly became suspicious of Chloe when holes appeared in her story, but Jill believed Chloe didn't attack him with an intent to kill him. She continued to look for answers and eventually got a diagnosis of CTE for Chloe. The prosecution agreed to deferred prosecution in her case.[4]

Rodrigo PuenteEdit

Jay was assigned to defend Rodrigo Puente, who was accused of drug trafficking because he'd been found with 57 grams of meth in his backpack. He was subject to a mandatory minimum of ten years in federal prison. When Judge Byrne heard the case, he said he didn't like it and wouldn't sentence Rodrigo to ten years, the mandatory minimum. He sent Seth back to reconsider the charges. When Seth came back with the same case, Byrne asked to meet with Roger. He couldn't convince Roger to budge either, so he said he'd instruct the jury about the mandatory minimum. To prevent that, Seth filed a writ. The jury ultimately returned a guilty verdict and after giving a speech, Byrne reluctantly sentenced Rodrigo to the minimum ten years.[5]

Guy WatsonEdit

Jay was assigned to defend Guy Watson, who was being charged with bribery in a sporting event because it was believed that he threw a match to a lower-ranked player in order to help his coach win a bet against him. His coach had recently loaned him $20,000, which he said was to bail him out of debt. He said his ankle was injured and he'd wanted to forfeit, but since he was ranked so low, his coach believed Guy could still beat him. Jay worked out a deal for Guy to serve three months, but the plea wouldn't be entered until after he played in the U.S. Open, his dream.[6]

Kool & KleanEdit

Jay was concerned when he learned his father was driving for Mobl. He asked his father about it and learned that his dad had invested thousands of dollars into a multi-level marketing scam selling water filters. His dad insisted that it wasn't Jay's concern and he'd earn the money back. Despite this, Jay asked Seth to look into the company to see if there was anything to prosecute, but Seth didn't find anything illegal. Jay then offered to help his father himself, but his father refused, saying it was his responsibility to take care of the family.[7]

Helping SandraEdit

When Sandra ended up handcuffed to a bar while defending a client at the hospital, she called Jay to get an injunction to stop a CT scan on her client. He came down to the hospital with the injunction, got Officer Staub to release Sandra by recording him and the injunction and explaining what was happening with Sandra. He and Sandra then ran to where the CT was about to be performed and stopped it.[8]

MDMA CaseEdit

While visiting Lara Abkin, Jay pretended he was on duty as a cover for Tina and got assigned to a case against Kate. A mother at the Whitley School had MDMA in her car and claimed it wasn't hers. Jay interviewed her and believed her story. Kate met with the couple backing the prosecution and thought something was odd, but because of their connection to Douglas Delap, she couldn't do anything about it directly. She and Jay decided to interview the principal and get the names of other parents who might have more insight. During the interview, Jay noticed the principal mentioned a detail about the case that wasn't public, meaning she had to be involved. Kate filed an indictment against the principal instead.[9]




Lara AbkinEdit

Jay developed a crush on Lara when he saw her at the desk when he went to visit Tina. Allison encouraged him to ask her out. Despite Tina's objections, he asked her to go to a tennis game with him.[10]

He continued to see Lara and learned about large, dead birds because she liked them. They spent four hours at the Natural History Museum looking at them.[11]



Tina KrissmanEdit

He's known Tina Krissman for years. When they met, he was a dope-smoking bike messenger and she pushed him to become a lawyer.[12]

Tina is very protective of Jay and doesn't want any distractions because she knows as a brown man without an Ivy League Education, he already has two strikes against him and he needs to be the best.[13]


He has a friend named Mike whom he says is an idiot. Mike is the one who informed Jay that his father was driving for Mobl.[14]


Jill CarlanEdit

Jill is the Federal Public Defender overseeing the newest lawyers in her department.

Allison AdamsEdit

Allison encouraged Jay to pursue a relationship with Lara.[15]

Sandra BellEdit

Jay helped Sandra when she was unlawfully detained for defending her client’s rights. Jay got an injunction on Sandra’s behalf and took a photo of her chained to a railing. He threatened to leak the image if the guard didn’t let Sandra go.[16]


Jay is a federal public defender.

Notes and TriviaEdit

  • He was a bike messenger before law school.[17]
  • He doesn't like pirates.[18]
  • He describes himself as a basketball guy.[19]
  • He says he'd rather get food poisoning than talk to Kate Littlejohn.[20]
  • The character was named Jay Dawson in the early stages of development. He's named after one of creator Paul William Davies' best friends.


A more complete gallery with pictures of Jay Simmons can be found here.

Notable EpisodesEdit

These episodes are Jay-centric or are otherwise very informative about his life:

Memorable QuotesEdit