Catherine Tobin Hilliard is a native of San Diego, Duval County, Texas and a proud Vaquero. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Texas-Austin in 1996 and her Juris Doctorate from St. Mary’s Law School in 1999, where she was a member of the St. Mary’s Law Review. After law school, Mrs. Hilliard spent ten years working as a litigation defense attorney with Gonzales Hoblit Ferguson LLP, one of the largest litigation defense firms in South Texas. In 2005, she became the first female Hispanic partner and served as managing partner of the firm.
In 2010, Mrs. Hilliard joined forces with her husband at Hilliard Martinez Gonzales, LLP, a highly successful and internationally recognized plaintiffs’ law firm. Mrs. Hilliard has been selected as a Texas Super Lawyers Rising Star several times during her career. Mrs. Hilliard is a member of the American Bar Association, Corpus Christi Bar Association and Coastal Bend Women Lawyer’s Association. Mrs. Hilliard was also a member of the State Bar of Texas – Opportunities for Minorities in the Profession Committee from 2000-2003 and taught Legal Research and Writing as an Adjunct Professor at Del Mar College in the Fall 2001. In January 2021, the Honorable Brian R. Martinotti of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey appointed Catherine to serve as a member of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in In Re: Elmiron (Pentosan Polysulfate Sodium) Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2973. In 2022, Mrs. Hilliard also joined the Texas Bar Foundation, the largest charitably funded bar foundation in the nation, which is by invitation only and limited to 1/3 of 1% of Texas lawyers.
Mrs. Hilliard’s service to the community is extensive. She is a Trustee for St. Edward’s University and a member of the St. Mary’s School of Law Board of Visitors. She currently serves on the boards of the Texas State Aquarium (Vice Chair), Triumph Over Kid Cancer Foundation, Art Museum of South Texas, United Way of the Coastal Bend (Chair), and Fryderyk Chopin Society of Texas. She is Past Chair of the Incarnate Word Academy’s School Board of Directors and President of the Elementary PTO. In 2019, Mrs. Hilliard was appointed by Nueces County to serve as a Port of Corpus Christi Commissioner, only the fifth woman to serve in this role, and served in the role for four years.