John C. Duff joined Hilliard Law in September 2016, shortly after he graduated from law school. He works out of the firm’s office in Corpus Christi, Texas, and he focuses his practice exclusively on personal injury and wrongful death litigation, representing clients throughout the greater metropolitan area and other parts of the state.

Mr. Duff provides aggressive advocacy on behalf of clients who have been harmed as the direct result of the negligence of other persons or entities. The types of cases that he has worked on, since joining the firm, have included premises liability, motor vehicle collisions, oil field accidents, and defective automotive product liability cases. Mr. Duff has been able to recover significant amounts of compensation for his clients through jury awards after lengthy trials as well as through his negotiation of favorable settlement agreements with defendants and their liability insurance providers. In order to stay abreast of current developments in his field of practice and to forge connections with fellow attorneys, he is a member of several professional organizations.

Mr. Duff has a passion of relentlessly pursuing justice on behalf of his clients. He is a strong believer in holding corporations and individuals accountable for the serious injuries caused to his clients. Mr. Duff has successfully represented severely injured plaintiffs as well as the surviving family members of men and women that have been killed as a result of corporate negligence and defective products.

Mr. Duff’s legal accomplishments have been recognized by his peers. Mr. Duff was named a Rising Star by Texas SuperLawyers 2021.

High-Profile Cases

Mr. Duff has experience in several areas of personal injury and wrongful death litigation, including the high-profile wrongful death Zeke Upshaw litigation against the NBA and Detroit Pistons.

Mr. Duff is also one of the attorneys representing the family of Nahje Flowers in a wrongful death case against the NCAA and University of New Mexico for the tragic and untimely death of a young student-athlete. Recently, Mr. Duff successfully argued against the NCAA‘s attempt to challenge the court’s personal jurisdiction in New Mexico federal court.

Mr. Duff is currently working on the Astroworld Festival litigation against Travis Scott and Live Nation for the wrongful deaths, severe injuries and PTSD of attendees for the deadly musical festival on November 5, 2021.

In 2019, Mr. Duff was part of the HMG trial team in a product liability case against Yamaha Golf-Car Company, involving a golf cart that tipped over on a child causing a severe traumatic brain injury. After four weeks of trial, the jury verdict returned a verdict of $33 million in damages.

In September of 2019, Mr. Duff tried a case with former HMG Partners John Martinez and Marion Reilly in Dallas County for an injured man who was hit by a drunk driver operating a company vehicle. The jury returned a verdict of $1,250,000.00 including $1 million in punitive damages.

In December of 2019, Mr. Duff tried a case with HMG attorney Alex Hilliard involving wrongful death in a premises liability case against I&R Trucking. Our client was the widow of Juan Perez, a trucker and handyman, who died after falling through a roof after his employer asked him to replace a rooftop skylight. Despite the employer’s knowledge of the dangerous hazard, which had existed on the roof for years prior to the incident, the employer willfully failed to provide Mr. Perez with any fall protection training, instruction, or equipment.

The jury in San Patricio County, Texas, a notoriously conservative county, unanimously agreed that I&R Trucking was grossly negligent for its callous disregard of the safety and welfare of its employee. After only three days of trial, the jury returned a record breaking $18 million verdict, including $10 million in punitive damages. The verdict remains the single largest wrongful death verdict in a premises liability case in the history of San Patricio County, Texas.


Mr. Duff earned his law degree from St. Mary’s University School of Law in San Antonio, Texas, after graduating Presidential Scholar from Texas A&M University-Commerce. While pursuing his Juris Doctorate Degree, Mr. Duff was involved in St. Mary’s School of Law’s External Mock Trial Advocacy Program.

Mr. Duff received numerous awards for his trial advocacy skills including Best Defense Advocate at the Capital City Challenge in Washington D.C. Mr. Duff was also the leader of the team that brought St. Mary’s its first national championship from the William Daniel National Invitational Mock Trial Competition in Atlanta, Georgia.

For his relentless dedication and performance on the St. Mary’s Mock Trial team, Mr. Duff was inducted into the Order of the Barristers National Honor Society in April of 2016.

While earning his Juris Doctorate degree and competing for the St. Mary’s Mock Trial team, Mr. Duff also gained extensive real-world practice experience clerking for three criminal defense attorneys in San Antonio specializing in federal and state criminal law and juvenile law.


  • State Bar of Texas, 2017
  • United States District Court, Southern District of Texas
  • JD 2016, St. Mary’s School of Law, San Antonio, TX
  • BA, Political Science, Texas A&M University-Commerce, Commerce, TX
Professional Associations and Accolades
  • Corpus Christi Bar Association
  • State Bar of Texas
  • Texas Young Lawyers Association
  • The National Order of the Barristers
  • American Association for Justice
  • Super Lawyers Rising Star, 2021-2023
  • Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch 2024
  • Order of the Barristers National Honor Society2016
  • Understanding & Preventing Cyberbullying, Co-Author with Kevin Collins and Sam Morales, San Antonio Lawyer March-April 2017