Simone R.D. Francis

Shareholder St. Thomas | New York City

Simone Francis effectively spearheads and collaborates with external and internal teams to identify and deliver solutions to clients. As a civil litigator with more than 20 years of experience, Ms. Francis has managed the defense of lawsuits involving a range of federal and territorial laws, including lawsuits alleging claims of discrimination, retaliation, and harassment. Ms. Francis has acted as lead counsel in several trials, and she has argued numerous cases before federal and local trial and appeals courts. She also has served as an advocate before administrative tribunals, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Virgin Islands Department of Labor, the Civil Rights Commission, and the Public Employees Relations Board.

Ms. Francis also provides proactive and practical advice before litigation arises. She has developed customized, interactive training programs to educate supervisory and management personnel about their responsibilities for ensuring compliance with employment laws and preparing performance-focused evaluations, and she has facilitated training for non-unionized employers desirous of maintaining positive employment relations and implementing lawful communication strategies. In addition, she routinely counsels businesses concerning a range of workplace issues, including managing internal investigations and disciplinary proceedings, evaluating and responding to requests for leave and other accommodations, and developing personnel policies.

Before joining Ogletree Deakins, Ms. Francis practiced with general litigation firms in Washington, D.C. and the Virgin Islands. Utilizing that experience, she continues to represent a diverse group of clients in complex litigation involving premises liability and products liability claims, and she has defended lawsuits relating to the management or disclosure of environmental liabilities associated with commercial activities.

Ms. Francis is a frequent speaker on employment law and professional responsibility topics, and she has appeared at conferences throughout the United States. As a member of the American Law Institute, Ms. Francis has participated in the Members Consultative Group for the Restatement of Employment Law and in the Members Consultative Group for Principles of the Law, Student Sexual Misconduct: Procedural Frameworks for Colleges and Universities. In addition to her role as Office Managing Shareholder of the St. Thomas office, Ms. Francis currently serves on the firm’s Professional Development Steering Committee and actively participates as a member of other firm committees.

Professional Activities and Speeches

Professional Activities:

  • Virgin Islands Bar Association
  • American Law Institute
  • American Bar Association


  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - ''Salary History Inquiries: The Latest Limitations on Employer Hiring Practices'' - Phoenix - May 10, 2018
  • Ogletree Deakins Managing a Workforce in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut Seminar - ''What Employers Can Expect in the New Era of Sexual Harassment Awareness'' - New York City - March 09, 2018
  • Labor and Employment Counsel Exclusive - ''Emerging From the Shadows: Avoiding Unconscious Bias in the Legal Department— and the Workplace'' - Boca Raton - November 11, 2017
  • ABA Spring Law Practice Division Seminar - ''Sand Traps in the Office/Firm and Beyond: Supervision and Selected Misconduct Issues'' - St. Thomas - May 12, 2016
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - ''Eye on Workplace Investigations: Key Strategies and Best Practices'' - Chicago - May 04, 2016
  • Ethics School: Best Practices for Virgin Islands Lawyers - ''Ending the Attorney-Client Relationship'' - St. Thomas - March 27, 2015
  • Ogletree Deakins Corporate Labor and Employment Counsel Exclusive Seminar - ''SCOTUS Review and Preview'' - Dana Point - September 18, 2014
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - ''Key Takeaways from Workplace Strategies'' - Las Vegas - May 09, 2014
  • Ogletree Deakins Corporate Labor and Employment Counsel Exclusive Seminar - ''Trial Techniques for In-House Counsel'' - Charleston - November 07, 2013

Our Insights

The U.S. Virgin Islands Joins the Ban the Box Movement

November 15, 2018

Virgin Islands Supreme Court Confirms Applicability of FAA and Issues Guidance on Arbitration Agreements

September 07, 2018

Reexamining Reasonableness: What Employers Should Know About the Third Circuit’s Take on the Faragher-Ellerth Defense

July 10, 2018

Readying Your Workplace for the Summer and Start of Hurricane Season: Rising Minimum Wage and Other Considerations for Employers in the U.S. Virgin Islands

May 25, 2018

Westchester County, New York, Joins Albany County and New York City in Prohibiting Salary History Inquiries

April 17, 2018

Eleventh Circuit Reinstates Former Manager’s Equal Pay Act and Title VII Sex Discrimination Lawsuit

March 14, 2018

Fourth Circuit Revives Equal Pay Act Claim, Imposes Tougher Summary Judgment Standard

February 07, 2018

Ninety Seconds Is Not Enough: Third Circuit Rules That Break Policy Violates the FLSA

October 18, 2017

The FLSA and Your CBA: 3rd Circuit Finds Claims Were Not Subject to Dispute Resolution Provisions

May 26, 2017

Third Circuit Substitutes “Likely Reason” for “But For” at Summary Judgment Stage of Retaliation Case

April 07, 2017

Third Circuit Finds Title IX Provides a Remedy for Sex Discrimination in Fully Funded Educational Institutions

March 23, 2017

Third Circuit Upholds Subgroup Disparate Impact Claims Under the ADEA

February 21, 2017

More Than the Temperature Is Rising: U.S. Virgin Islands Minimum Wage to Increase This Summer

March 28, 2016

When Does Termination of the Employment Relationship Violate Public Policy? The Restatement of Employment Law Offers a New Framework

November 13, 2015

Virgin Islands Supreme Court Issues Important Decision for Employers

February 16, 2015

Virgin Islands Supreme Court Addresses Wrongful Discharge Act and Other Statutory Causes of Action

February 16, 2015