Get to Know Joe Simon


Joe Simon is the founding member of the Law Offices of Joseph A. Simon, PLLC in Ann Arbor. For more than 30 years, he has concentrated his practice exclusively in criminal defense in matters ranging from drunk driving to homicide throughout Washtenaw, Wayne, Jackson, Lenawee and Livingston counties. 

Simon attended both the University of Michigan and Michigan State University for undergraduate studies and received his J.D. from the University of Detroit.

A life-long Ann Arbor resident, Simon is the youngest of seven children born to George “Big George” and Julie Simon.

In the specialty of criminal defense, Simon has been listed in the Best Lawyers in America directory since 1999; named a Michigan Super Lawyer since 2007; named as a criminal defense Leading Lawyer since 2014; and has achieved Martindale-Hubbell's AV-Preeminent peer-reviewed rating for the highest standards in ethics and legal ability.

Simon is a regular contributor to the Institute of Continuing Legal Education and volunteers his time to provide courtroom training for the Washtenaw County Police Academy.  In his spare time, he coaches youth football and enjoys working with his hands, repairing and restoring old toys. 

Simon lives on the west side of Ann Arbor with his wife, Lisa. Their daughter is graduating this spring from the University of Michigan and their son is a freshman at Michigan State University.

By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

Residence: Ann Arbor.

Why did you become a lawyer?
When I was 12, I saw the movie “Twelve Angry Men.”  It made a tremendous impression on me and I became very interested in the criminal justice system and the role of defense attorneys in particular.  I wanted to be a criminal defense attorney pretty much ever since.

What are your favorite law-related movies?
Twelve Angry Men; The Shawshank Redemption; A Few Good Men; My Cousin Vinny.

What advice do you have for someone considering law school?
It’s far more a challenge of managing volumes of material than an intellectual exercise.  Learn to manage your time and find your own pace.

What’s your proudest moment as a lawyer?
Getting an award of costs against a city attorney who tried to appeal an acquittal following trial, in violation of Double Jeopardy, and refused to abandon the attempt.

What do you do to relax?
I like to work with my hands and I am a tinkerer.  I’ve developed a skill for repairing and restoring old toys and I do that for other people for relaxation.

What other career path might you have chosen? Football coach.

What would you say to your 16-year-old self? “You are not going to get any taller.”

Favorite local hangouts: The Black Pearl; any Starbucks.

Favorite App:
Microsoft OneNote.

Favorite Music:
I have been a major Bruce Springsteen fan since 1975; way before it was fashionable.

What is your most treasured material possession? A Panasonic radio that was the first thing I purchased with my own money that I earned working at my father’s store when I was 8 years old. I still use it regularly.

What is the most awe-inspiring place you have been?
North Lake Tahoe, Nevada.  For whatever reason, I really connect with that place. I think I must have lived there in another life.

If you could have one super power, what would it be?
Being in two places at the same time.

What is one thing you would like to learn to do?
How to ice skate.

What is something most people don’t know about you?
I hold a few patents for an invention I conceived for football helmets.

If you could have dinner with three people, living or dead, who would they be? My late father, Bruce Springsteen, and Jack Nicklaus.

Favorite place to spend money: Costco.

What is your motto? There, but for the grace of God, go I.