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 capital murder cases, sexual assault, kidnapping, arson, and federal felony drug cases. At a time when most young lawyers are still researching and writing legal memos 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 skills at trial. 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 Title IX representation of students. Michelle uses her naturally competitive drive to champion clients’ cases and to relate to athletes, students, and injured people from all walks of life. After years of advocating for accused individuals in the criminal justice system, Michelle decided to refocus her practice on representing victims and individuals who have been injured or wronged by companies and institutions in the civil court system. Specifically, she began representing victims of crime in civil lawsuits around the United States. Michelle is one of the first attorneys to file a lawsuit connected to the October 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas.
Michelle also 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. Her clients are part of a multi-million dollar global settlement with Michigan State.
Michelle Simpson Tuegel grew up in Bridgeport, Texas, which is a small town northwest of Fort Worth. Some of her earliest memories are of her father, also a trial lawyer, speaking to juries in Wise County, Texas. Michelle’s two younger sisters are also both trial lawyers in Dallas. Mackenzie Simpson Wallace practices in the civil litigation section in the Dallas office of Thompson & Knight. Maryssa Simpson is a partner with The Potts Law Firm in Dallas. Michelle often works with her sisters through joint ventures on different matters, or as a jury consultant for purposes of trial. Michelle has been honored to expand her practice to jury consulting services on behalf of other firms, lending her trial and people skills on a variety of matters. Michelle’s husband, Andrew Tuegel, is also a trial lawyer practicing with the Law Offices of Frank L. Branson in Dallas.
Michelle was named to The National Trial Lawyers’ Top Trial Lawyers list, and to the Texas SuperLawyers Rising Star list for 2015-2018. Michelle was also included in the Texas SuperLawyers Rising Star list “Up and Coming Top 100 Lawyers” and “Up and Coming Top 50 Women Lawyers.” Michelle has been asked to speak on Title IX, criminal defense, and civil trial issues around the country.
Michelle feels at home standing in front of a jury, and being a trial lawyer runs in her blood. Michelle is a combination of aggression and compassion and invests herself completely in the people she represents.
Amnesty International, United Kingdom - Fall 2004
Intern, Parliamentary Branch Attended meetings at Parliament involving human trafficking, Sudan crisis, and capital punishment Communicated with members of Parliament on human rights issues Researched human rights issues on Parliamentary database 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 Mastercraft Boats-2002-2008?Sponsored Athlete Shaklee Products-2006-2008?Sponsored Athlete
Wrote articles for WaterSki Magazine and British Water Ski Magazine Negotiated contracts Coached amateur athletes
Areas of Practice
100% Criminal Defense Arson Assault Assault Family Violence Aggravated Assault Conspiracy Domestic Violence Drug Offenses DWI/DUI Gun Violations Homicide Murder Capital Murder Sex Offenses Child Pornography Theft White Collar Crimes
Texas, 2010 U.S. District Court Western District of Texas, 2010
Baylor University School of Law, Waco, Texas J.D. - 2010 Honors: Candidate for Juris Doctorate, Summer 2010 Rollins College, Winter Park, Florida B.A. magna cum laude - 2006 Major: English
Professional Associations and Memberships
Selected as "Texas Rising Star Attorney" by Texas Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters Service, 2015 - 2016 "Top 100 Trial Lawyers" The National Trial Lawyers Association, 2014 - 2016 Capital Defense (death penalty appointment list) "second chair" qualified - 3rd Judicial Region of Texas, 2013 - 2016 United States District Court, Western District of Texas, Waco Division , CJA Panel Member Waco McLennan County Bar Association, 2010 - 2016 Judge Abner V. McCall American Inn of Court, Associate/Member, 2014 - 2016 American Bar Association College of the State Bar of Texas Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association McLennan County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Life Member Texas Criminal Trial College, Graduate, 2011 Former Associate Municipal Court Judge - City of Woodway, Texas State Bar of Texas
Past Employment Positions
Law Office of Russell D. Hunt Sr., Associate, 2012 Law Office of Rod Goble, Associate, 2010 - 2012 McLennan County District Attorney's Office, Waco, TX, Legal Intern ? Fall, 2009 Fee, Smith, Sharp & Vitullo, Dallas, TX, Summer Associate - Summer, 2009 Kelly, Hart & Hallman, Fort Worth, TX, Summer Associate - Summer, 2009 Amnesty International, United Kingdom, Intern, Parliamentary Branch - Fall, 2004
Pro Bono Activities
Advisory Board Member, Mission Waco Legal Aid Services, 2015 - Present Board Member, Central Texas African American Chamber of Commerce, 2015 - Present Mission Waco Homeless Shelter & Mission Waco Legal Aid Volunteer , 2014 - Present