Walter F. Becker, Jr., Chaffe McCall Partner and Government Investigations / Criminal Defense Practice Area Chair, was featured in Biz New Orleans “My Toughest Case…” series, which asks top attorneys about challenging cases in their legal career.
Best Lawyers: Deepwater Horizon
My Toughest Case
“I was very aware of crime and became interested in the police and criminal justice when I was very young,” said Walter F. Becker Jr., a native of New Orleans.
Becker now heads the law firm’s Criminal Investigations and White-Collar Criminal Defense Section. In his 34 years of practice he has handled both criminal and civil litigation, representing individuals and companies under federal and state criminal investigation.
He spent four and a half years working as an assistant district attorney with Orleans Parish right out of law school before launching into a 14-year career as an assistant United States attorney in the Eastern District of Louisiana, during which he tried more than 100 jury cases. Becker then transitioned to his current position as a criminal defense attorney.
In that role, Becker represented Kurt Mix, a BP engineer and one of the defendants in the Deepwater Horizon explosion. Becker refers to this as one of the more challenging cases in his career. Mix was brought in shortly after the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon well on April 20, 2010 to plug the spill.
“He was instrumental in that aspect of it. A few weeks after the well had been plugged he deleted two text messages off his iPhone. He was indicted for two felony counts of obstructing justice. It took us three years to work on his case,” said Becker. “It was all-consuming.”