In a “once in a lifetime presentation” — fittingly made on Father’s Day weekend — Dr. Katie McQueen of our medical staff teamed with her father, famous defense attorney Michael E. Tigar, to talk about “The Story of Addiction in the Courtroom.”
The unique pairing happened on June 15 during the 32nd annual Rusty Duncan Advance Criminal Law Course in San Antonio.
“We used the example of addiction as a mitigating factor in death penalty cases, but another objective was to educate lawyers on the scientific basis of addiction,” said Dr. McQueen.
“It is important that the legal community understand how substance use and recovery impact decision making.”
A Lifetime Seeking Justice
Now retired, Tigar is well known for his work over decades with numerous famous clients, including political activist Angela Davis, Black Panthers leader H. Rap Brown, former U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, the Washington Post and Native American activist Leonard Peltier.
“Michael E. Tigar has had a legendary career,” states the introduction to a collection of his papers at University of Texas at Austin School of Law where he once taught. “While many know him as a high-profile defense attorney, that label does not begin to encapsulate his lifework. He is a relentless fighter of injustice – not only as a human rights lawyer, but as a teacher, scholar, journalist, playwright, and comrade.”
“Dad is a legend in his own time,” agreed Dr. McQueen.
Medicine Over Law
While Dr. McQueen’s brother, Jon S. Tigar, followed their father into the legal profession and became a federal judge, she says she never felt the desire to study law. “I was a science and math geek from an early age.”
Dr. McQueen has worked as a staff physician at La Hacienda Treatment Center for nine years. Speaking to the legal community about addiction is one of her specialties.
“I have been an expert witness and presented to groups of lawyers on my own,” she said.