Michelle Simpson Tuegel

Michelle Simpson Tuegel

Dallas, Texas
Michelle Simpson Tuegel

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.


Areas of Practice

  • Criminal Law- Title IX
  • Personal Injury

Bar Admissions

  • Texas, 2010
  • New York, 2019
  • 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
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Michigan, 2018
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Texas, 2018


  • 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

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


  • 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
  • Waco McLennan County Bar Association, Member, 2010 - 2016
  • United States District Court, Western District of Texas, Waco Division , CJA Panel Member
  • 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
  • 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
  • Professional Slalom Water Skier, 2002 - 2009
  • Mastercraft Boats, Sponsored Athlete, 2002 - 2008
  • Shaklee Products, Sponsored Athlete, 2006 - 2008
  • Hunt & Tuegel PLLC, Partner, 2013 - 2018

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 , 2015 - 2016
  • Amnesty International, United Kingdom-Fall
  • 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.
  • Mission Waco Homeless Shelter – Volunteer/Speaker (devotional) in Soup Kitchen, 2015 - Present


  • Kappa Kappa Gamma