Hilliard Shadowen Attorneys Receive Distinguished Alumni Award

St. Edward's University Alumni Association 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award 

Robert “Bob” C. Hilliard ’80, B.A. in English Literature

Bob Hilliard

Bob has been practicing law in the State of Texas since 1983. In 1985 he founded what is now Hilliard Muñoz Gonzales, a national personal injury trial law firm specializing in mass torts, catastrophic personal injury, product liability, commercial and business litigation, and wrongful death. He is board certified in both Personal Injury Trial Law and Civil Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. In 2012, Bob, along with his friend and former St. Edward’s classmate Steve Shadowen ’80, opened the Austin law firm of Hilliard & Shadowen. Their focus is economic justice (consumer fraud, antitrust and related matters) as well as civil and human rights.  

Bob is a member of The Litigation Counsel of America, an invitation-only honor society for lawyers.  He has been named Texas Super Lawyer (2003, 2004; 2006–2015) and one of the top 100 Trial Lawyers for 2011 by the National Trial Lawyers.  In December 2015, in New York City, he was awarded the 2015 National Elite Trial Lawyer of the Year by the National Law Journal.  In 2014, he was inducted into the Texas Lawyer Verdicts Hall of Fame. The Innocence Project of Minnesota recognized Bob (along with his co-counsel) with the 2010 Never Forgotten Award for their work to free Koua Fong Lee from prison; Mr. Lee had been wrongfully convicted of causing a fatal crash and spent almost three years behind bars as a result (he had been driving a Toyota that has since been shown to have sudden unintended acceleration).  Public Justice named Bob a National Finalist for Lawyer of the Year in 2013. In 2014, Bob was appointed by a federal judge in New York to lead the nation’s litigation against General Motors as a result of its defective ignition switch. Over decades, Bob has earned a reputation for successfully taking on some of the largest and wealthiest companies, including General Motors, Toyota and Coca-Cola.

Bob graduated summa cum laude from St. Edward’s in 1980 with a bachelor’s degree in English Literature.  He was President of his junior class, and Vice-President of his senior class. He wrote a weekly column for The Hilltopper. He was a four-year letterman on the tennis team and its captain during his junior and senior years.  He achieved a national ranking of 12th in singles.  Bob was the Big State conference singles and doubles champion in his junior and senior years.  During his senior year Bob won the school-wide Ed Norris Outstanding Male Athlete of the Year.  The tennis team was coached by Bob’s mentor, Brother Emmett Strohmeyer, CSC whom Bob would honor by naming his third son, Robert Emmett Hilliard, after him.  Br. Emmett insisted on three things from the tennis players:  you had to be a gentleman on the court, you had to be on the Dean’s List, and you had to win.  In 1989, Bob was inducted into St. Edward’s Athletics Hall of Fame for his dedicated years to the tennis team.

In the summer of 2011, Bob established The Brother Emmett Strohmeyer, CSC and Paul J. Weber ’80 Memorial Endowed Scholarship in honor of his mentor, Br. Emmett, and classmate, Paul J. Weber ’80. That same year, he gave the final December undergraduate commencement address.

Steve D. Shadowen, B.A. in General Studies, ’80

Steve D. Shadowen

Steve D. Shadowen ’80 is a St. Edward’s University Trustee, attorney and founding partner of Hilliard & Shadowen LLP. He and Bob Hilliard ’80, one of his best friends and college roommate, established the firm to pursue economic and social justice cases on behalf of people hurt by corporate or institutional wrongdoing. Their focus is social justice, including antitrust and related matters as well as civil and human rights.  

In the antitrust field, he has served as lead counsel in numerous groundbreaking litigations challenging the anticompetitive tactics of the nation’s largest banks and pharmaceutical manufacturers.  In addition to his law practice, Steve has been an adjunct professor of law at Pennsylvania State University Dickinson School of Law since 2010.  He is a sought-after speaker on competition law and policy and regularly participates in symposia on those issues at universities throughout the United States and Europe.

Steve has been granted a number of accolades. For his work in securing economic justice for healthcare consumers, in 2013 the American Antitrust Institute awarded him its first-ever national accolade for Outstanding Antitrust Litigation Achievement in Private Law Practice. He is consistently ranked as a Best Lawyer in America in Antitrust Law and Commercial Litigation, and Chambers USA ranks him as one of America’s Leading Lawyers for Business.  

In the civil rights arena, he is dedicated to improving young people’s access to education. His scholarly articles regarding preferences for the affluent in admissions to elite universities led the Century Foundation to publish its groundbreaking work, Affirmative Action for the Rich. Regarding human rights, he and his law partner Bob Hilliard represent the families of Mexican nationals killed by U.S. Border Patrol agents along the southern border, obtaining the first ever ruling that Mexican nationals killed by U.S. agents in Mexico can obtain judicial review of those killings in U.S. courts — an issue that is now pending in the U.S. Supreme Court.  He reveres the “equal protection” clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, and to celebrate the upcoming sesquicentennial of that Amendment he and a co-editor are at work on a three-volume set of the speeches and letters of its author, John A. Bingham.

In 2011, Steve established The Professor William Zanardi CAMP Endowed Scholarship, named after the professor who was a major influence on him during his time at St. Edward’s.