Michelle Simpson Tuegel

Michelle Simpson Tuegel

Partner since January 1, 2013
Location:
Waco, Texas
Phone:
254-304-6354
Fax:
254-753-8118
Email:
Michelle Simpson is a bright, hardworking young attorney practicing criminal defense in Waco, Texas. Before her legal career, Michelle was a world class athlete ranked among the top women in the world in the sport of water skiing. Michelle's intense drive to be the best has carried over into her legal career. In her first two years of practice Michelle and Russ have together tried high profile capital murder cases, aggravated sexual assault cases, kidnapping, and federal felony drug cases. Prior to that, Michelle tried an aggravated robbery, and handled other serious felony cases.

Michelle Simpson Tuegel grew up in Bridgeport, Texas, a small town northwest of Fort Worth. She attended Rollins College in Florida, earning a degree in English. Michelle's intense determination and competitive drive led her to a World Cup Championship in 2005 in women's slalom water skiing. By the time Michelle decided to trade in her water skis to attend Baylor Law School in 2007, she was ranked 3rd in the world in Women's Slalom and 1st in the United States in Women's Slalom.

Michelle graduated from Baylor Law School in July 2010. She met her husband Andrew Tuegel at Baylor Law School. Andrew practices with a plaintiff's firm in Waco-Harrison, Davis, Steakley & Morrison. Shortly after graduation, Michelle started practicing criminal defense in Waco, Texas.

Michelle joined Russ Hunt, Sr.'s law practice in May 2012 and became his partner January 2013, forming Hunt & Tuegel, PLLC.

Another interesting fact, Michelle is not only the daughter and wife of two trial lawyers, but her two sisters are both now civil attorneys in Dallas. Michelle is the only one in the family practicing criminal defense. When asked why she chose this area she always gives two reasons, "First, I love to be in the courtroom fighting for my clients and criminal defense gives me that opportunity on a regular basis-I get tobe a real trial lawyer, which has always been my dream. Second, I get to really help people."

Those statements really summarize the type of lawyer and person that Michelle is- someone who works tirelessly for her clients, shines in the courtroom and truly strives to help people.

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, 2 nd 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

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. Court of Appeals 5th Circuit, 2017

Education

  • Baylor University School of Law, Waco, Texas
    • J.D. - 2010
    • Major: Criminal Practice
  • Rollins College, Winter Park, Florida
    • B.A. magna cum laude - 2006
    • Major: English
  • Texas Criminal Trial College - 2011

Published Works

  • In The United States, Many Are Sitting In Jail Just Because They Are Poor, "Pretrial Detention", Guest Writer, 2015
  • “Pretrial Detention”, Fair Trials International, 2015
  • “Pretrial Investigations in Child Physical Abuse and Child Death Cases” , Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, 2017

Classes/Seminars

  • Waco Legal Professionals Association, Speaker
  • Municipal Court Clerk Certification Program in Waco, Speaker
  • Rural Court Administrators Conference, "Capital Murder Cases", Speaker
  • Baylor Law School Criminal Practice Class, "Jury Selection", Lecture, 2014 - 2015
  • iEngage Summer Civics Institute for Children, Teacher, 2014 - 2015
  • Baylor Law School, Practice and Life after Law School, Speaker
  • Baylor Law School Lecture to Practice Court Class, "Jury Selection", Lecture
  • Voice of Jubilee Apostolic Center, "Know Your Rights & Immigration Update", Speaker
  • Baylor University Lecture to Public Law & Service Class, "Capital Defense", Lecture, 2015 - 2016
  • Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, "Mitigation in Non-Capital Cases", Presentation
  • Baylor Law School Awards Ceremony & Lecture Series, "Distinguished Speaker"
  • Justice And Mercy
  • Jailhouse Snitches Don't Go To The Pen, But Send A Friend
  • The Price Of Freedom
  • Seeking Life In The (Death) Bible Belt
  • The Pope On Never Excluding The Dimension Of Hope
  • TCDLA Rusty Duncan Seminar on “Mitigation and Jury Selection”, Co-presented with Robert Swafford, July 1, 2016 - Present
  • Baylor Law School New Student Orientation, Speaker, August 18, 2016 - Present
  • Baylor Law School Legal Mapmaker’s CLE “Bar & Community Involvement”, Speaker, August 19, 2016 - Present
  • TCDLA Voir Dire Seminar on “Jury Selection: The Colorado Method & Strike for Cause Method”, Speaker – Co-presented with Jeff Blackburn (founder of the Texas Innocence Project), September 9, 2016 - Present
  • Waco NAACP, Conducted a Jury Workshop, Speaker, September 17, 2016 - Present
  • Lecture to Baylor University Law & Public Service Course “Representing the Accused and Public Service”, September 29, 2016 - Present
  • Baylor Law School Practice Court Class “Jury Selection”, Co-Lecture with Robert Swafford , November 14, 2016 - Present
  • Waco High School – Mock Trial Class, Lecturer, November 16, 2016 - Present
  • Scheduled to speak at Texas State Bar CLE on jury selection, unable to present in the end, but provided paper for the seminar , December 1, 2016 - Present
  • NAACP/Phi Kappa Delta Commission on Civil Rights “The Power of Juries in the Fight for Criminal Justice”, Speaker, January 12, 2017 - Present
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers’ Advanced Criminal Law Seminar in Aspen, Colorado on “Sentencing & Mitigation”, Speaker, January 18, 2017 - Present
  • Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Seminar on Jury Selection, Speaker, January 1, 2017 - Present
  • Conducted Focus Group for large civil litigation case with jury consultant/attorney Robert Swafford , February 1, 2017 - Present
  • Southern Methodist University, Sports Ethics Graduate Course, “Title IX and Campus Sexual Assault Cases”, April 18, 2017 - Present
  • Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Seminar on Jury Selection, Speaker, April 21, 2017 - Present
  • Waco Legal Professionals Association, “Title IX Investigations and Adjudications in the University Setting.”, Speaker, May 9, 2017 - Present
  • CJA Panel Training/Federal Criminal Defense Seminar – “Resist, Persist and Defend: CJA Panel Representation in Waco, Texas”, Panel Speaker, May 19, 2017 - Present
  • Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Seminar “Successfully Defending Child Physical Abuse and Child Death Cases, Pretrial Investigations”, Speaker, September 15, 2017 - Present
  • Baylor Law School “First Seven Years of Practice: What I Wish I’d Known from the Start”, Speaker, September 21, 2017 - Present
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers’ Fall Seminar on Title IX Cases, Speaker, October 1, 2017 - Present
  • Scheduled to Speak at the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers’ Association Sexual Assault Seminar in Las Vegas, November 1, 2017 - Present

Honors and Awards

  • World in Women's Slalom-Ranked 3rd
  • United States in Women's Slalom-Ranked 1st
  • Water Ski World Cup Women's Slalom-Champion
  • Water Ski World Championships-Bronze Medal
  • Ireland World Cup Stop-4th
  • Ireland World Cup Stop-2nd
  • Russia World Cup Stop-4th, 2005 - 2006
  • Chile, World Championships 21-Silver Medal
  • United States Olympic Committee Training Stipend Recipient
  • “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

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • 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, Member, 2010 - 2016
  • Judge Abner V. McCall American Inn of Court, Associate/Member, 2014 - 2016
  • American Bar Association, Member
  • College of the State Bar of Texas, Member
  • Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, Member
  • McLennan County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association , Member
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Life Member
  • Former Associate Municipal Court Judge – City of Woodway, Texas
  • State Bar of Texas, Member
  • “Texas Rising Star Attorney” by Texas SuperLawyers , 2015 - Present
  • “Up and Coming Top 100” by Texas Rising Star/Texas SuperLawyers
  • “Up and Coming Top 50 Women” by Texas Rising Star/Texas SuperLawyers
  • “Top 100 Trial Lawyers” The National Trial Lawyers Association , 2014 - 2016
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), Board of Directors
  • NACDL, Amicus Curiae Committee , Fifth Circuit Vice Chair
  • NACDL Title IX Committee , Member
  • NACDL Budget Committee , Member
  • NACDL Death Penalty Committee , Member
  • NACDL Women in Criminal Defense Committee , Member
  • NACDL Membership Committee, Vice-Chair
  • Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (TCDLA), Member
  • Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, Board of Directors
  • TCDLA New Lawyers’ Committee, Co-Chair
  • TCDLA Law School Committee , Member
  • TCDLA Nomination Committee, Member
  • Waco McLennan County Bar Association
  • McLennan County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
  • Municipal Court Judge – City of Woodway, Texas , Former Associate

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
  • Amnesty International, United Kingdom-Fall
  • Professional Slalom Water Skier
  • Mastercraft Boats-Sponsored Athlete, 2002 - 2008
  • Shaklee Products-Sponsored Athlete, 2006 - 2008
  • Mission Waco Legal Aid Volunteer , 2015 - 2016
  • Mission Waco Legal Clinic Advisory Board Member
  • Member of Executive Committee Alumni Association, Baylor Law School, 2016 - 2017
  • Volunteer/Speaker, Waco NAACP
  • Greater Waco Legal Services (Legal Aid Clinic), Board Member, 2016 - 2017
  • Appointed to Merit Selection Panel for appointment of the United States Magistrate position for Western District of Texas, Waco Division
  • Western District of Texas Criminal Justice Act Plan, Review Committee, CJA Panel Representative, Waco Division
  • Central Texas NAACP, Working to develop curriculum with NAACP President Dr. Henry, “Know Your Rights Academy” designed to engage and educate young men about their legal rights and interacting with law enforcement.

Fraternities/Sororities

  • Kappa Kappa Gamma