Attorney Robert C. Hilliard has been practicing law in the state of Texas for nearly 30 years. Mr. Hilliard received his undergraduate degree in English Literature from St. Edward's University in Austin, Texas where he graduated Summa Cum Laude. 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 went to work for the Law Offices of Guy Allison in Corpus Christi. In 1985, he opened up his own law firm. Today, Hilliard Martinez Gonzales L.L.P. specializes in mass torts, catastrophic personal injury, product liability, commercial and business litigation, and wrongful death. Mr. Hilliard is certified in both Personal Injury Trial Law (1990) and Civil Trial Law (1992) by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He is admitted to practice law in the state courts of Texas; the United States District Courts for the Southern, Eastern and Western Districts of Texas; and the United States Supreme Court. Mr. Hilliard's firm has gained national attention for its work on numerous high-profile cases including Koua Fong Lee v. State of Minnesota, in which Mr. Hilliard successfully represented a Minnesota man who was wrongly convicted of criminal vehicular homicide. The case dealt with a deadly accident involving a late-model Toyota Camry. Mr. Hilliard was honored for his work on the case by the Innocence Project of Minnesota. In 2010, he received the organization's first-ever "Never Forgotten Award." The Editorial Board for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times summed up Mr. Hillilard's passion for the profession by writing, "Hilliard served charity and justice by intervening. His actions reflect positively on his profession and its capacity for defending and protecting the innocent." Mr. Hilliard has now been appointed liaison counsel for the Plaintiffs' Steering Committee against Toyota (IN RE UNINTENDED ACCELERATION LITIGATION Cause No. 2010-46354 152nd Judicial District Harris County, Texas). Mr. Hilliard is also currently representing several residents of the Corpus Christi State School that were exploited and forced to fight for the amusement of employees at the facility. Between January of 2008 and February of 2009, thirteen of these forced fighting incidents between mentally-disabled residents were videotaped on a cellular phone. Recently, Mr. Hilliard was one of eight attorneys named to the Plaintiffs' Steering Committee in the FEMA Trailer Formaldehyde Products Liability Litigation. He was one of the attorneys who participated in the first case to be tried in the Multi-District Toxic Trailer Litigation (MDL NO. 1873, IN RE FEMA TRAILER PRODUCT LIABILITY LITIGATION --the Honorable Kurt Englehart, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana). Mr. Hilliard is scheduled to be the lead trial attorney in the Summer of 2011 when the defendant, Coachman, goes to trial. Hilliard Martinez Gonzales L.L.P. has also been chosen to represent Gulf King Services, Inc., the single largest commercial fishing company in the Gulf, to pursue all losses caused as a result of the BP "Deepwater Horizon" oil spill. Over the years, Mr. Hilliard and his firm have gained a reputation for taking on some of the largest and wealthiest companies. In 2005, Mr. Hilliard represented multiple plaintiffs in litigation with Ocwen Loan Services, LLC (formerly Ocwen Federal Savings Bank) on allegations of predatory lending. Mr. Hilliard tried two cases which resulted in combined verdicts of $13.5 million. Mr. Hilliard's firm was then appointed Liaison Counsel in the Ocwen Multi-District Litigation in Texas. Mr. Hilliard was also the lead class counsel for Haese v. H&R Block, a class action lawsuit involving every Texan who received a rapid refund from H&R Block (approx. 300,000 plaintiffs). He assisted other class counsel in forcing H&R Block to disclose it had been receiving kickbacks for arranging loans between its tax preparation clients and predatory lenders. In the early-90s, Mr. Hilliard was one of two trial lawyers who obtained the first verdict in the country against Merrill Dow Pharmaceutical involving the morning sickness drug, Bendictin. Havner v. Merrill Dow became the benchmark case in Texas for the admissibility of expert testimony, specifically overruling the reliability standard in the Texas Rules of Evidence 702. Havner was the State sister case of Daubert v. Merrill Dow 509 U.S. 579 (1993). Mr. Hilliard has been selected as a Texas Super Lawyer seven times (2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 & 2010). He is a member of the Litigation Counsel of America (LCA), an invitation only honorary society for lawyers, as well as the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) where he is a member at the "Advocate" level (must have 50 trials as Lead Counsel). He is a past instructor at the Gerry Spence Trial Lawyers College and the past National Co-Chair of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America's Ethics Committee. 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." Mr. Hilliard was quoted in the article saying, "I've had a long career representing the 'everyman' and it's pretty amazing how helpless the everyman is made to feel."
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 [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 Honored by the Innocence Project of Minnesota - "Never Forgotten Award" (2010)
2009 - "’Effective Trial Strategies: "The Story Starts with You" Presented at 33rd Annual Page Keeton Civil Litigation CLE Session (Austin, TX)