Skip to Content
Call Us Today! (866) 927-3420

Attorney Hilliard

"The point of law is not to pad the pockets, but to create a lasting system of justice that helps other human beings. That’s what we’re doing here."
- Robert C. Hilliard
Robert C. Hilliard Photo
Robert C. Hilliard
  • Best Lawyers of the Year- Robert C. Hilliard
  • The National Trial Lawyers - Top 40 Under 40
  • Top 10 Jury Verdicts in Texas, 2019
  • Super Lawyers - 20 Years, Robert Hilliard
  • Lawyers of Distinction, 2023
  • Bio
  • Admissions & Education
  • Notable Cases Experience
  • Professional Associations & Accolades
  • Presentations Publications

Robert C. Hilliard


Attorney Robert C. Hilliard has been practicing law in Texas for 40 years, gaining national recognition for his work on some of the country’s most high-profile cases. Mr. Hilliard received his certification from the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Personal Injury Trial Law in 1990 and Civil Trial Law in 1992. He was awarded the 2021 Corpus Christi Bar Association’s Lawyer of the Year Award, and, in 2023, was named a Super Lawyer for the 20th time. In 2024, Hilliard was recognized by Best Lawyers as the 2024 "Lawyer of the Year" for Personal Injury Litigation - Plaintiffs in the Corpus Christi Area. His firm represents clients in mass tort litigation, social justice cases, personal injury, product liability, commercial and business litigation, and wrongful death matters.

Born and raised in Newton, Texas, Mr. Hilliard was the youngest of three children. His father, Delmar Shelley Hilliard, was an Air Force A-1 Skyraider fighter pilot who flew 175 missions in Vietnam and later became the Newton County attorney for 25 years. His mother, Bobbye Clifton Hilliard, was an artist, newspaper reporter, homemaker, and office manager for her husband’s law office.

Mr. Hilliard attended St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas, on a tennis scholarship and graduated in 1980 summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in English literature. A four-year letterman in tennis, he won numerous awards and championships, including the Athlete of the Year (1979-1980) and was inducted into the St. Edward’s Athletics Hall of Fame.

He then attended St. Mary’s University School of Law in San Antonio, where he served as the associate editor of the St. Mary’s Law Journal. Upon receiving his Juris Doctorate (JD) degree in 1983, Mr. Hilliard began his legal career at the Law Offices of Guy Allison in Corpus Christi. In 1985, Hilliard founded The Law Offices of Robert C. Hilliard. Jacobo Muñoz became partner shortly thereafter, and the firm became Hilliard Muñoz until 2010, when Rudy Gonzales joined. The law firm then became Hilliard Muñoz Gonzales, LLP, based in Corpus Christi, Texas.

In 2012, Mr. Hilliard and his lifelong best friend, college roommate, and teammate Steve Shadowen, decided they wanted to finally fulfill the dream that begin in the 1970s. While attending St. Edward’s University, they would talk about practicing law together and starting a firm that would make a difference: focusing on civil rights litigation and social justice. Hilliard & Shadowen LLP in Austin, Texas, has become one of the nation’s premier anti-trust boutique lawfirms. In 2017, the firm Hilliard Muñoz Gonzales LLP became Hilliard Martinez Gonzales LLP when founding partner Jacobo Muñoz retired, and Honorable John B. Martinez became a managing partner.

Admissions & Education

Bar and Court Admissions:

  • United States Supreme Court
  • Supreme Court of Texas
  • State Bar of Texas, 1983
  • The District of Columbia Bar, 2020
  • United States Courts of Appeals: Second, Fifth, Eighth and Ninth Circuits
  • United States District Courts: District of Columbia, Eastern, Northern, Southern and Western Districts of Texas, Louisiana, Western District of Michigan, Pennsylvania and Minnesota

Board Certifications:

  • Personal Injury Trial Law, 1990, Texas Board of Legal Specialization
  • Civil Trial Law, 1992, Texas Board of Legal Specialization


  • Juris Doctorate, With Honors & Associate Editor of Law Review University of St. Mary’s School of Law
    San Antonio , TX 1983
  • Juris Doctorate, With Honors & Associate Editor of Law Review University of St. Mary’s School of Law
    San Antonio , TX 1983
  • B.A., English Literature, Summa Cum Laude St. Edwards University
    Austin , TX 1980

Notable Cases Experience

Earl Moore, Jr., 2022

Emily Proulx/Erik Cantu - Police Shooting, 2022

  • Hilliard joined forces, once again, with Ben Crump, to represent Emily Proulx, the girlfriend of teenager Erik Cantu, who was shot by a San Antonio police officer outside of a McDonald’s in October 2022.

Icon Park/Tyre Sampson, 2022

  • On March 24, 2022, Tyre Sampson, a 14-year-old boy, fell from a ride at Icon Park amusement park in Orlando, Florida. His parents hired attorneys Ben Crump and Bob Hilliard after their son fell to his death. On February 6, 2023, Orlando FreeFall owner reaches settlement[9] to begin dismantling ride after Tyre Sampson’s death. In May, 2023, the Florida Legislature passed the “Tyre Sampson Act” on Wednesday, more than a year after the St. Louis teenager tragically fell to his death while on the Orlando FreeFall ride at ICON Park. The bill, which was proposed by Sen. Geraldine Thompson last year, adds safety standards and measures for amusement rides, particularly new rides, in Florida.

Bank Racism, 2022

  • Hilliard partnered with Attorney Ben Crump and took on systemic racism in the banking industry, winning a large settlement against a financial institution that imposed unreasonable standards on its Black customers. The sizable settlements represent victories against the widespread, racist phenomenon known as “Banking While Black.” The settlements provided funds to the victims of discrimination in the banking industry and required the banks to agree to policy changes and education – the first steps in eradicating racism.

Astroworld, 2021

  • On November 5, 2021, a fatal crowd crush occurred during Travis Scott’s Astroworld music festival. Ezra Blount, the youngest victim to die in the Astroworld music festival tragedy, is represented by Hilliard.

Sutherland Springs Shooting, 2021

  • On July 7, 2021, the United States District Court Judge Xavier Rodriguez determined that the United States Air Force was 60% responsible for the Sutherland Springs shooting massacre. Hilliard, who represented minor Ryland Ward, who was shot 5 times in the shooting; his mother, Chancie McMahan; and Scott Holcombe, whose family lost 3 generations of people, described Rodriguez’s opinion as “detailed, thoughtful and extremely thorough,” and noted the families were represented by numerous lawyers and firms “committed to the challenge of holding the Air Force accountable for its clear part in this tragedy.”

    The Justice Department announced, on April 5, 2023, an agreement in principle to settle the civil cases arising out of the tragic shooting.

    The agreement in principle would settle all claims for a total of $144.5 million. The settlement agreement has been approved, subject to the plaintiffs’ securing the required court approvals.

Hotel Rwanda Hero Kidnapping, 2020

  • On August 27, 2020, Humanitarian and activist Paul Rusesabagina, portrayed in the Academy Award-nominated film Hotel Rwanda (2004) by actor Don Cheadle, was transported to his native Rwanda and charged with terrorism, murder, and other crimes. Following a 1996 attempted assassination, Rusesabagina has lived in exile in Texas. According to a New York Times report, Rusesabagina agreed to travel to Bujumbura, Burundi, where a Christian pastor hadinvited him to speak to local churches. He traveled on an Emirates flight from Chicago to Dubai. Later that same night, he boarded a private Bombardier Challenger 605 jet from Greek charter company GainJet that landed in the Rwandan capital of Kigali.

    In partnership with Rusesabagina’s family and international human rights groups, Hilliard’s firm agreed to join Mr. Rusesabagina’s legal team. On December 14, 2020, the lawsuit against GainJet was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, alleging that Rusesabagina was wrongfully kidnapped and flown to Rwanda without due process to face accusations of alleged terrorism. A vocal critic of the Rwandan government, Rusesabagina has condemned President Kagame’s leadership and human rights violations in the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide and Civil War.

NCAA/ NAHJE Flower, 2019

  • On November 5, 2019, Nahje Flower, a University of New Mexico Lobos football player, was found dead from a self-inflicted gun-shot wound. Flower had suffered numerous concussions during his football career. However, despite suffering serious brain injuries, Flower was forced to continue playing football by New Mexico head coach Robert Davie. Hilliard and Attorney Ben Crump, filed a civil lawsuit against the NCAA, Board of Regents, and Coach Robert Davie, Jr. in the U.S. District Court, for the District of New Mexico. The ongoing lawsuit alleged nine claims, including wrongful death, and asserted that the 21-year-old football player was discriminated against by defendants, leading to his untimely death.

Major League Baseball - Astros Cheating Scandal, 2019

  • Hilliard sued the Houston Astros in 2019 over the sign-stealing scandal, and the Court denied the Astros’ attempts to claim their tactics were entitled to First Amendment protection and dismissal under various Texas laws. In response, Hilliard wrote, “In sum, the Astros’ position seems to be: ‘Okay, so we may stoop to intentionally cheating just to win a World Series and title, but we would never stoop to using racist legal arguments just to win a case against our own fans.’ Much like E.B. White’s description of the nature of Templeton the rat, in Charlotte’s Web, the Astros, faced with their own proven nature, now make an argument that is both hollow and inconsistent. ‘The rat had no morals, no conscience, no scruples, no consideration, no decency, no milk of rodent kindness, no compunctions, no higher feeling, no friendliness, no anything.’ E.B. White, Charlotte’s Web, (1952).”

Zeke Upshaw Death, 2018

  • On March 24, 2018, while playing for the Grand Rapids Drive against the Long Island Nets, Zeke Upshaw suddenly collapsed on the court in full cardiac arrest. The Drive’s on-site medical team transported Zeke to the hospital where he died two days later, without regaining consciousness.

    On behalf of Zeke’s mother, Jewel Upshaw, Hilliard and Florida civil rights lawyer Ben Crump filed a wrongful death lawsuit. Hilliard and Crump brought legal action against the NBA, the Detroit Pistons, the Grand Rapids Drive, and the Deltaplex Arena where the game was held. A deal was reached in December, 2019 with the NBA and the Pistons, but no details were disclosed.

Danny Ray Thomas Shooting, 2018

  • On March 22, 2018, Danny Ray Thomas was shot and killed by Harris County Deputy Cameron Brewer during an incident at a busy Houston intersection.

    Mr. Thomas, who had a history of mental illness and was clearly in distress, was unarmed and walking in the intersection with his pants around his ankles. The deputy shot him in the chest just moments after arriving on the scene.

    On April 12, 2018, Hilliard joined forces with Florida civil rights attorney, Benjamin Crump, to file a lawsuit on behalf of Mr. Thomas’s family, holding Deputy Cameron Brewer and the county responsible for the wrongful death. The former deputy was found not guilty on August 1, 2019 and was reinstated one year later.

Gilead, 2018

  • Bob Hilliard is currently the lead attorney in federal court in San Francisco against prominent drug manufacturer Gilead, claiming the company intentionally kept safer HIV drugs from hundreds of thousands of patients to protect its multi-billion dollar patent on less safe drugs. He has been hired by over 9,000 users of Gilead’s HIV medications.

Aetna Insurance Restraining Order, 2015

Leonardo Davila v. Corpus Assets L.P., 2013

  • In May 2013, Mr. Hilliard was the lead trial attorney who obtained a $25 million jury verdict in a premises liability case in Nueces County, Texas. His client, a security guard for a downtown Corpus Christi building, was severely beaten while at work. The $25 million judgment is the 2013 No. 1 verdict in Texas for a premises liability case.

Bristol- Meyers Squibb, 2013

  • In 2013, Mr. Hilliard was the lead trial attorney for 15 patients killed or injured during Bristol-Myers Squibb’s testing of an experimental drug for Hepatitis C. As reported in the Wall Street Journal, he successfully settled the cases for $80 million.

Chatman-Wilson V Coca Cola, 2012

  • In May 2012, Mr. Hilliard was the lead trial attorney in a case involving a woman who was injured in a two-vehicle accident. The driver of the second car, an employee for Coca-Cola, was talking on her cell phone at the time of the accident. A jury found in favor of Mr. Hilliard’s client and awarded her $21.5 million. That verdict was the largest 2012 jury verdict in the nation for a case involving a back injury requiring surgery. It was also the third largest motor vehicle verdict in Texas for 2012 and ranked No. 11 in overall verdicts in Texas for 2012.

Johnson & Johnson, 2012

  • That same year Mr. Hilliard was Lead Counsel in the pharmaceutical product liability case, In re: Risperdal Litigation, against Johnson & Johnson. Mr. Hilliard led the negotiations and successfully settled over 1,500 cases for a confidential amount after he took the deposition of Johnson & Johnson’s CEO, Alex Gorsky.

Garcia v. Christus Spohn Hospital System, 2011

  • As lead trial lawyer, Mr. Hilliard successfully represented a 90-year-old Corpus Christi woman who was injured when a hospital’s sliding door closed on her, crushing her hip. The jury awarded a $6.4 million verdict, which ranked No. 3 in Texas for overall verdicts in 2011.

Zantac, 2011

  • Mr. Hilliard launched some of the earliest lawsuits against the makers of the popular heartburn drug Zantac after the FDaA reported the medicines contain dangerous levels of a cancer-causing toxin. He has been hired by over 17,000 Zantac users who developed or may be at risk of developing cancer.

SCOTUS - Hernandez vs. Mesa, 2010

  • On June 7, 2010, Hilliard represented the family of Sergio Hernandez Guereca, an unarmed 15-year-old, was playing with his friends near the U.S./Mexico border when he was shot and killed by U.S. Border Patrol agent.

    Hernández was standing on Mexican soil when shot. Hilliard also represented the family of Guillermo Arevalo Pedraza, who was killed under similar circumstances by a different U.S. Border Patrol agent. The cases sparked a confrontation between former Mexican President Felipe Calderón and former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

    A federal judge had initially dismissed the Hernández family’s case. However, that decision was overturned by a panel of judges in the Fifth Circuit, allowing that a Mexican national, standing in Mexico, possesses Fourth Amendment constitutional rights that allow him to sue a United States Border Patrol Agent for excessive use of force across the U.S. border. The Fifth Circuit granted rehearing en banc of the panel’s decision. Oral arguments were held on January 21, 2015, and the court decided to vacate the panel’s decision.

    On October 11, 2016, the United States Supreme Court granted Hilliard’s petition for a writ of certiorari to determine if a Mexican citizen standing in Mexico has protections against being wrongly shot by a border patrol agent standing in the United States. Hilliard presented oral arguments to the Court on behalf of the Hernández family on February 21, 2017. The U.S. Supreme Court reversed the Fifth Circuit’s decision and remanded the case. Mr. Hilliard stated, “In this case, justice doesn’t travel as far as a bullet does. To be left with no remedy, given a lethal and unprovoked shooting, weakens the constitutional foundation of America’s house.”

    On May 28, 2019, the United States Supreme Court granted Hilliard’s second petition for a writ of certiorari.

    On February 25, 2020, the Court ruled against Hernández and concluded that the Bivens precedent did not extend to cross-border shootings and that it’s the responsibility of the United States Congress to find a solution for this type of case in the future.

Social Justice - State School Fight Club, 2009

Social Justice - Bullying, 2009

  • Mr. Hilliard’s representation of the parents of a Corpus Christi teenager who committed suicide due to extreme bullying at his high school focused a national spotlight on the menace of bullying in schools.

Merrel Dow Pharmaceuticals, 2009

  • Mr. Hilliard obtained the first multi-million dollar verdict in the Bendectin litigation against Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals for injuries caused by the morning sickness drug. The jury found in favor of Mr. Hilliard’s client, awarding a verdict of $33.75 million, including $30 million in punitive damages.

OCWEN Loan Services, 2005

  • In 2005, Mr. Hilliard represented multiple plaintiffs against Ocwen Loan Services, LLC (formerly Ocwen Federal Saving 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.

Haese v. H&R Block

  • Mr. Hilliard was the lead class counsel in 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 received kickbacks for arranging loans between its tax preparation clients and predatory lenders. The settlement for his clients was over $50 million.


  • Best Lawyers of the Year- Robert C. Hilliard
    Best Lawyers of the Year- Robert C. Hilliard
  • The National Trial Lawyers - Top 40 Under 40
    The National Trial Lawyers - Top 40 Under 40
  • Top 10 Jury Verdicts in Texas, 2019
    Top 10 Jury Verdicts in Texas, 2019
  • Super Lawyers - 20 Years, Robert Hilliard
    Super Lawyers - 20 Years, Robert Hilliard
  • Lawyers of Distinction, 2023
    Lawyers of Distinction, 2023

Professional Associations:

  • American Bar Association
  • 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
  • Corpus Christi Bar Association
  • Gerry Spence Trial Lawyers College, WY, Instructor 1997-2000
  • Alumni Board of Trustees for St. Mary’s University School of Law
  • Litigation Counsel of America
    • Member, Trial Law Institute
    • Member, Diversity Law Institute
    • Barrister, Order Of Justitia
  • Lawyers Of Distinction
  • American Academy of Attorneys Top 100 – Personal Injury Law


  • Corpus Christi’s Lawyer of the Year, 2021
  • Best Lawyers® – The Best Lawyers in America recognition for 2021, 2022, and 2023 in the following categories: Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions – Plaintiffs; Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs
  • Nomination: 2017 Public Justice Trial Lawyer of the Year Award
  • National Law Journal’s 2016 Elite Trial Attorney of the Year Award in the Products Liability category
  • National Law Journal’s 2015 Elite Trial Attorney of the Year Award in the Motor Vehicles category
  • Texas Super Lawyers, 20 years
  • America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators
  • Senior Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America
  • Martindale-Hubbell’s “AV® Preeminent Rating”, 2019-2021
  • Public Justice Foundation – Finalist, Trial Lawyer of the Year award, 2011
  • Never Forgotten Award from Innocence Project of Minnesota, 2010
  • The National Trial Lawyers – Invitation only organization for Top 100 Trial Lawyers in each state
  • Bob Hilliard on Wikipedia
  • St. Edward’s University 2016 Distinguished Alumni

Presentations Publications

Presentations and Speeches:

  • Paying Victims of Tragedy: Designing Public and Private Compensation Funds
    Panel discussion with Kenneth Feinberg
    RAND Center for Catastrophic Risk Management and Compensation
    Washington DC, December 5, 2017
  • Presenting Arguments at the U.S. Supreme Court
    Center for Ethics and Leadership
    St. Edward’s University
    Austin, May 2, 2017
  • A Border Wall, A Bullet and a Constitutional Conundrum: When Police Shoot Across the Border Should US Law Apply?
    Searching for Sanctuary Conference
    Berkeley La Raza Law Journal
    Berkeley, April 14, 2017
  • St. Mary’s University School of Law Centennial of the Constitution of Mexico Celebratory Conference
    San Antonio, February 3, 2017
  • The National Law Journal’s Second Annual Elite Trial Lawyers Awards
    New York, NY December 8, 2016
  • University of Miami School of Law Class Action & Complex Litigation Forum
    December 1-2, 2016
  • Trial: Increasing in Frequency? Bifurcating Liability and Damages, Bellwether Approach
    Class Actions Seminar
    San Juan, PR, May 5, 2016

Presentations and Speeches (Videos):

  • Attorney Bob Hilliard reflects after the Koua Fong Lee verdict: Watch Now
  • Koua Fong Lee: A Road to Justice: Watch Now
  • Bob Hilliard delivers the commencement address to the 2012 St. Edward’s University Graduating Class: Watch Now

Real Results ReaL Justice

  • Confidential
    Bank Discrimination

    Hilliard Law attorneys secured a large confidential settlement against a financial institution that imposed unjust and discriminatory standards on its Black customers. The sizeable settlement marked a victory against the widespread, racist phenomenon known as “Banking while Black.”

  • $13
    Million Settlement
    Catastrophic Injury

    Hilliard Law attorneys won a $13M settlement for a crane truck operator who was paralyzed in a workplace accident.

  • $10
    Million Settlement
    Catastrophic Injury

    While working at a chemical facility, our client was instructed by the owner to climb to the top of a vessel to install spacers on a pipe when he was suddenly and without warning exposed to high concentrations of deadly chemical gases, including carbon monoxide, nitrogen, hydrogen, and hydrogen sulfide.

  • $1.375
    Million Verdict
    Catastrophic Injury

    In 2019, Hilliard Law attorneys won a $1.375M jury for a man who sustained serious injuries in an automobile accident. This was a 2019 Top 100 Verdict.

  • $10.5
    Million Verdict
    Catastrophic Injury

    Our client, a Service Transport commercial truck driver, sustained catastrophic injuries from a fall while making a delivery at BASF’s chemical facility. He subsequently passed away from those injuries.

  • $11.5
    Million Settlement
    Catastrophic Injury

    Hilliard Law attorneys achieved a $11.5M settlement for a man who sustained burn injuries in a workplace accident.

tell US yOUR sTORY

  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.
  • By submitting, you agree to be contacted about your request & other information using automated technology. Message frequency varies. Msg & data rates may apply. Text STOP to cancel. Acceptable Use Policy