Peter H. Barrett

Peter is a former federal prosecutor who specializes in the area of Federal Criminal Defense. Over his 40 years of law practice, he has developed the reputation as a relentless trial lawyer who is a zealous advocate for his clients. Peter has tried well over 100 criminal and civil cases over his extensive career. No case is too tough for Peter, as he has participated in cases of every type, either as a former federal prosecutor or a criminal defense attorney.

Over his career, Peter has tried a number of “firsts” in federal criminal cases in Mississippi. Some of these include the first federal child pornography prosecution, the first federal wire tap case, and the first federal death penalty prosecution in Mississippi.

Other notable cases in Peter’s career include: U.S. v. Nix, et al., involving the execution style murders of Judge Vince Sherry and Mrs. Sherry; the representation of a Fortune 500 company and its multiple employees during the extensive federal and state investigation in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina; handled prosecutions arising out of “Operation Pretense”, a federal investigation into extensive public corruption in county government in all 82 Mississippi Counties; in the Southern District of New York, Peter defended, through trial, a client charged in an extensive alleged abusive tax shelter case, a trial that lasted 5 months following 4 years of a federal grand jury investigation [U.S. v. Vaughn, et al.].

Peter was also the first federal prosecutor from Mississippi to be named Assistant Director of the Department of Justice’s National Advocacy Center in Columbia, South Carolina.

Peter’s success in federal criminal cases continues, as he secured an acquittal in USA v. Gonsoulin [1:10-cr-97-HSO-RHW] in May of 2011, a case that involved child pornography charges against a Biloxi man.

Peter primarily works out of our Gulfport, Mississippi office. Peter is also licensed to practice in the State of Louisiana. Contact us and put Peter’s years of litigation experience to work for you!

Areas of Emphasis:

  • Federal Criminal Defense
  • Federal Drug Crimes
  • Federal Firearms Crimes
  • Federal Public Corruption Cases
  • Federal Child Exploitation & Cyber Crimes
  • Federal Grand Jury Investigations
  • Probation Revocations
  • Violent Crimes
  • Civil Rights Litigation
  • Federal Petty Offenses

Bar Admissions/Associations:

  • Mississippi Bar, 1971
  • Louisiana Bar, 1982
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Mississippi
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Mississippi
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern/Middle/Western District of Louisiana
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit
  • Supreme Court of the United States of America
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Criminal Justice Act (CJA) Panel Attorney


  • Assistant United States Attorney, 1983-2005
  • Special Assistant United States Attorney, 2000-2004
  • Assistant Direct, Office of Legal Education, 1999-2000
  • Assistant Director, National Advocacy Center in Columbia, South Carolina
  • Director’s Award for Superior Performance [highest award for Federal Prosecutor], 1998
  • During career as a litigator, Peter has tried well over 100 criminal and civil cases
  • Tried cases in Mississippi, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Alabama, and New York
  • Books about Peter’s trial work: “The Dream Room” and “Mississippi Mud”


  • University of Mississippi, J.D., 1971
  • University of Mississippi, B.P.A., 1968