Michelle S. Tuegel Of Counsel

Encouraging individuals to speak out and assert their legal rights is a family tradition for Michelle Simpson Tuegel. She grew up watching her trial law father speak to juries and fight for injured clients. The commitment Michelle observed in her father’s representation of personal injury clients runs in her blood.

Michelle Simpson Tuegel started her legal career in Central Texas, practicing primarily in the area of criminal defense. During her years in criminal practice, Michelle developed her skills in the courtroom and tried high-profile criminal cases. At a time when most young lawyers are still researching, writing memorandum and carrying a partner’s briefcase to the courthouse, Michelle was trying death penalty cases with high media publicity. Her extensive courtroom experience honed her trial skills. This background also helped Michelle develop a unique and empathetic approach to communicating with clients in traumatic and highly stressful situations. Through her significant experience in high profile cases, Michelle also learned to be a voice for her clients not just in the courtroom, but also through different news and media outlets. She is a frequent legal voice in the media, from CNN to USA Today.

A former world-ranked athlete in slalom water skiing, Michelle is now nationally recognized for her representation of survivors of sexual abuse and sexual assault. Michelle was also one of the first attorneys to file a lawsuit connected to the October 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas. Michelle recently represented former U.S. national team and Olympic gymnasts and college athletes who were sexually abused by the Olympic team’s former doctor, filing suits against the United States Olympic Committee, USA Gymnastics and Michigan State. Michelle’s clients were part of a $500 million dollar global settlement with Michigan State. Michelle currently represents several hundred survivors of clergy abuse around the country.

Bar Admissions

Texas, 2010
U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas, 2011
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas, 2014
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas, 2017
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas, 2018
U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan, 2018
United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, 2017

Current Pro Hac Vice Admissions:
California
Pennsylvania
Oklahoma

Education

Baylor University School of Law, Waco, Texas
Juris Doctorate, July 2010
Concentration in Criminal Practice

Rollins College, Winter Park, Florida—2006
Bachelor of Arts in English, Magna Cum Laude

Memberships & Associations
  • Texas Trial Lawyers Association (TTLA), Member

 

  • Dallas Trial Lawyers Association (DTLA), Member

 

  • American Association for Justice, Member

 

  • American Bar Association, Member

 

  • College of the State Bar of Texas

 

  • Board of Directors, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL)

 

  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Life Member

 

  • Fifth Circuit Vice Chair, NACDL, Amicus Curiae Committee

 

  • Member, NACDL Title IX Committee

 

  • Member, NACDL Budget Committee

 

  • Member, NACDL Death Penalty Committee

 

  • Member, NACDL Women in Criminal Defense Committee

 

  • Vice-Chair, NACDL Membership Committee

 

  • Member, Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (TCDLA)

 

  • 2017-2018, “Presidential Award,” Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association

 

  • 2017, Board of Directors, Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association

 

  • 2017, Co-Chair, TCDLA New Lawyers’ Committee

 

  • 2017, Member, TCDLA Law School Committee

 

  • 2017, Member, TCDLA Nomination Committee

 

  • 2014-2018, Judge Abner V. McCall American Inn of Court, Associate/Member

 

  • 2013-2017, Capital Defense “second chair” qualified – 3rd Judicial Region of Texas

 

  • 2017, Mentor Judge Abner V. McCall American Inn of Court

 

  • Former Associate Municipal Court Judge – City of Woodway, Texas

 

Activities

Former Professional Slalom Water Skier

  • Ranked 3rd in the World in Women’s Slalom—2007

 

  • Ranked 1st in the United States in Women’s Slalom—2007

 

  • Water Ski World Cup Women’s Slalom Champion—2005

 

  • Water Ski World Championships—Bronze Medal—2003

 

  • Ireland World Cup Stop—4th in 2006, 2nd 2005

 

  • Russia World Cup Stop—4th in 2006 & 2005

 

  • Chile, World Championships 21 and Under—Silver Medal

 

  • United States Olympic Committee Training Stipend Recipient
Publications & Presentations

2013 – Speaker, Waco Legal Professionals Association

 

2014 – Speaker, Municipal Court Clerk Certification Program in Waco

 

2014 – Speaker, Rural Court Administrators Conference, “Capital Murder Cases”

 

2014-2015 – Lecture, Baylor Law School Criminal Practice Class, “Jury Selection”

 

2014-2015 – Teacher, iEngage Summer Civics Institute for Children

 

2015, Speaker – Baylor Law School, Practice and Life after Law School

 

2015, Lecture – Baylor Law School Lecture to Practice Court Class, “Jury Selection”

 

2015, Speaker – Voice of Jubilee Apostolic Center, “Know Your Rights & Immigration Update,”

 

2015 – Guest Writer – Fair Trials International, “Pretrial Detention”

 

2015-2016 – Lecture, Baylor University Lecture to Public Law & Service Class, “Capital Defense”

 

2016 – Presentation, Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association Seminar, “Mitigation”

 

April 14, 2016 – “Distinguished Speaker” – Baylor Law School Awards Ceremony & Lecture Series

 

April 2016 – “Know Your Rights & Immigration Update” – Waco Immigration Alliance

 

July 2016 – Co-presented with Robert Swafford at TCDLA Rusty Duncan Seminar on “Mitigation
and Jury Selection”

 

August 8, 2016 – Testified as an expert in mitigation and jury selection in capital/death penalty habeas hearing in Hidalgo County case

 

August 18, 2016 – Speaker – Baylor Law School New Student Orientation

 

August 19, 2016 – Speaker – Baylor Law School Legal Mapmaker’s CLE “Bar & Community
Involvement”

 

September 9, 2016 – Speaker – Co-presented with Jeff Blackburn (founder of the Texas Innocence Project) at TCDLA Voir Dire Seminar on “Jury Selection: The Colorado Method & Strike for Cause Method”

 

September 17, 2016 – Speaker, Waco NAACP, Conducted a Jury Workshop

 

September 29, 2016 – Lecture to Baylor University Law & Public Service Course “Representing the Accused and Public Service”

 

November 14, 2016 – Co-Lecture with Robert Swafford – Baylor Law School Practice Court Class “Jury Selection”

 

November 16, 2016 – Lecture – Waco High School – Mock Trial Class

 

December 2016 – Scheduled to speak at Texas State Bar CLE on jury selection, unable to present in the end, but provided paper for the seminar

 

January 12, 2017 – Speaker – NAACP/Phi Kappa Delta Commission on Civil Rights “The Power of
Juries in the Fight for Criminal Justice”

 

January 18, 2017 – Speaker – National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers’ Advanced Criminal Law Seminar in Aspen, Colorado on “Sentencing & Mitigation”

 

January 2017– Speaker – Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Seminar on Jury Selection

 

February 2017 – Conducted Focus Group for large civil litigation case with jury consultant/attorney Robert Swafford

 

April 18, 2017 – Lecture – Southern Methodist University, Sports Ethics Graduate Course, “Title IX and Campus Sexual Assault Cases”

 

April 21, 2017 – Speaker – Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Seminar on Jury Selection

 

May 9, 2017 – Speaker – Waco Legal Professionals Association, “Title IX Investigations and Adjudications in the University Setting.”

 

May 19, 2017 – Panel Speaker – CJA Panel Training/Federal Criminal Defense Seminar – “Resist, Persist and Defend: CJA Panel Representation in Waco, Texas”

 

September 15, 2017 – Speaker – Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Seminar “Successfully Defending Child Physical Abuse and Child Death Cases, Pretrial Investigations”

 

September 2017 – Paper – Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association – “Pretrial Investigations in Child Physical Abuse and Child Death Cases”

 

September 21, 2017 – Speaker – Baylor Law School “First Seven Years of Practice: What I Wish I Knew from the Start”

 

October 2017—Speaker— National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers’ Fall Seminar on Title
IX Cases

 

October 2017 – Co-writer of Paper – National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers – “How To Guide Your Student Client Through Hell: Strategies for Representing Students in Title IX Proceedings on University and College Campuses”

 

November 2017—Speaker—National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers’ Association Sexual
Assault Seminar in Las Vegas

 

July 2018—Speaker, Civil Title IX Lawsuits, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers’ Miami Seminar

 

January 2019—Speaker, The National Trial Lawyers Summit in Miami, ‘Sexual Assault Cases in the #MeToo #TimesUp Era,” Michelle Tuegel and Kim Dougherty

 

January 2019—Speaker, The National Trial Lawyers Summit in Miami, Managing the Media in #MeToo Cases, Michelle Tuegel and Mark O’Mara

 

February 2019—Speaker, Baylor Law School, ‘Rising Up Against Injustice,’ Michelle Tuegel, Mike Heiskell and Mark O’Mara

 

July 2019—Scheduled to Speak, NACDL Philadelphia Annual Seminar, ‘The Persuasive Use of Direct Examination: Lessons Learned from Representing Victims & Injured Clients.”

Practices

Child Sexual Abuse
Sexual Assault
Clergy Abuse
Sexual Abuse in Sports
Title IX
Civil Rights
Catastrophic Injury
Personal Injury

  • One of the first attorneys to file a lawsuit connected to the October 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas. Currently representing a number of survivors and family members of deceased victims.

 

  • Represented former U.S. national team and Olympic gymnasts and college athletes who were sexually abused by the Olympic team’s former doctor, filing suits against the United States Olympic Committee, USA Gymnastics and Michigan State. Clients were part of a $500 million global settlement with Michigan State.

 

  • Approximately 30 jury trials in Texas state and federal courts

 

  • June 2017, Jury Consultant for Plaintiffs, Life Partners Creditors’ Trust v. Brian Pardo, Juryawarded a $65 million verdict in favor of Plaintiffs

 

  • February 2018, Jury Consultant for Plaintiff, Tina Lopez v. Polaris Industries, Inc., Jury awarded a$6 million dollar verdict in favor of Plaintiff

 

  • Currently representing several hundred survivors of clergy abuse around the nation