Attorney Robert C. Hilliard has been practicing law in the state of Texas for nearly 30 years, gaining national recognition for his work on many high-profile cases. He established Hilliard Muñoz Gonzales LLP (now Hilliard Martinez Gonzales LLP) in 1985 and Hilliard & Shadowen LLP in 2012.
Hilliard & Shadowen LLP focuses on civil rights and economic justice, maintaining offices in Pennsylvania and Texas. Hilliard Martinez Gonzales LLP specializes in mass torts, personal injury, product liability, commercial and business litigation, and wrongful death. The firm has won approximately $100,000,000 in settlements and verdicts for its clients.
Mr. Hilliard’s cases have made headlines statewide and on the national level. His advocacy for victims of accidents caused by GM's defective ignition switch led to his appointment by Federal Judge Jesse Furman as co-lead counsel in the National GM Ignition Switch Litigation. This multi-district litigation is considered the single largest product liability litigation in US history. His representation of the parents of a Corpus Christi teenager who committed suicide following bullying incidents at his high school focused a national spotlight on the menace of bullying in schools. He led the fight for justice for disabled residents of the Corpus Christi State School who were forced to take part in an infamous “fight club” for the amusement of some staff members. Mr. Hilliard’s other high-profile cases include:
- the 2010 fatal shooting of a 15-year-old unarmed Mexican boy by a U.S. Border Control agent, which garnered international media attention
- the 2011 killing of another Mexican citizen by the Border Patrol, sparking a confrontation between President Calderon and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
- helping free a Hmong man wrongfully convicted of criminal vehicular homicide in Minnesota. Mr. Hilliard was honored for his work on the case by the Innocence Project of Minnesota, receiving the organization‘s first “Never Forgotten Award.” The Corpus Christi Caller-Times wrote, “Hilliard served charity and justice by intervening. His actions reflect positively on his profession and its capacity for defending and protecting the innocent.” As a result Mr. Hilliard was a 2011 finalist for Public Justice's National Trial Lawyer of the Year . An award that recognized that "Mr. Hilliard, as a trial lawyer, takes great risks and overcomes incredible odds to advance the common law, to make new law, and to win justice for their clients and for the common good of the public."
- serving as liaison counsel for the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee against Toyota for the widely-reported unintended acceleration litigation
- fighting for victims of the FEMA Trailer Formaldehyde incidents
- achieving $13.5 million in combined verdicts in a predatory lending case
- acting as lead counsel in a class action suit against H&R Block, which resulted in a rapid refund to approximately 300,000 Texans
Bob Hilliard’s passion for helping those who have been wronged is personal. His older brother, Del, was born with Muscular Dystrophy. ”From the earliest days, I saw how mean people could be to those perceived as weak or vulnerable,” Bob told a reporter with NSIDE Magazine in 2011. “Del died unexpectedly in 2009, and if anything, his death has made me more determined to protect and help those who have suffered.”
Mr. Hilliard received his undergraduate degree in English literature
from St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas where he graduated summa
cum laude. A four-year letterman in tennis, Mr. Hilliard won numerous
awards and championships and was inducted into the St. Edward's Athletics Hall of Fame. In 1983, he graduated with honors from St.
Mary’s Law School in San Antonio where he served as the associate editor
of the St Mary’s Law Journal. Upon receiving his Juris Doctor degree,
Mr. Hilliard began his legal career at the Law Offices of Guy Allison in
Corpus Christi. He established what is now, Hilliard Muñoz Gonzales
LLP, in 1985 and Hilliard Shadowen LLC in 2012.
In 2012 Mr. Hilliard delivered the commencement address to the St. Edward’s University graduating class: video link.
Mr. Hilliard has been featured on ABC World News Tonight, Good Morning America, FOX News, 60 Minutes and other national and international media. A 2011 cover story in NSIDE magazine called Mr. Hilliard, “The Champion.” That same year, Texas Super Lawyers magazine featured an article about him entitled, “The Bulldog.”
“I’ve had a long career representing the ‘everyman’ and it’s pretty amazing how helpless the everyman is made to feel by the system. A jury trial is the only time citizens of our country, who are neither elected nor appointed, can bring the full force and power of the Constitution to the aid of a fellow citizen seeking truth and justice.”
BAR & COURT ADMISSIONS
- Texas, 1983
- United States Supreme Court
- United States District Courts, Southern, Western & Eastern Districts of Texas
- University of St. Mary’s School of Law (J.D., 1983); Graduated with Honors & Associate Editor of Law Review
- St. Edwards University – Austin, TX (B.A. English Literature, Summa Cum Laude 1980).
- Personal Injury Trial Law (1990) – Texas Board of Legal Specialization
- Civil Trial Law (1992) – Texas Board of Legal Specialization
- American Bar Association
- State Bar of Texas
- Corpus Christi Bar Association
- The Litigation Counsel of America (LCA) – Invitation only council which limits membership to 3,500 fellows at all times
- American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) – “Advocate” Level (minimum of 50 trials as Lead Counsel)
- Association of Trial Lawyers of America [nka American Association for Justice (AAJ)] – Past National Co-Chair Ethics Committee
- Gerry Spence Trial Lawyers College (Wyoming)- Instructor 1997-2000
- Texas Super Lawyers 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 & 2011
- Honored by the Innocence Project of Minnesota – “Never Forgotten Award” (2010)
- The National Trial Lawyers – Invitation only organization for Top 100 Trial Lawyers in each state
- Public Justice Foundation – Trial Lawyer of the Year award finalist (2011)
2009 – “Effective Trial Strategies: “The Story Starts with You” Presented at 33rd Annual Page Keeton Civil Litigation CLE Session (Austin, TX)