Attorney Don Hecker (State Bar of Texas Number 09367800) of Richmond, TX is notorious for his "high volume" case load consistently representing multiple clients in various counties and courts on the same day.
Don's philosophy is simple; sign up as many clients as possible and then send his assistants who are not attorney's or paralegals in his place, usually resetting the case over and over again between 4-7 court appearances before an often unsatisfactory plea bargain is accepted costing his clients time away from work & lost wages as well as the added stress of often prolonging the inevitable outcome to obvious cases.
Don Hecker's strategy is typically to accept a $500-$1,000 retainer to represent his clients on misdemeanor charges. His initial consultation often takes place right in the courtroom hallway where he solicits business like a typical "ambulance chaser". Don will play on the clients emotions giving them the impression that they were wronged and without even reviewing the facts of the case, video tape, interviewing witnesses, etc, will make unsubstantiated claims that he will try the case giving his client hope that is usually not there. Then after resetting the case many times over, he will present 1 of 2 options:
Option 1 Plea The Case - this could have been done without ever resetting; by the time the client is convicted, it is often 1-2 years after the date of charge and consequently, has been a "black cloud" hanging over the clients life like impending doom.
Option 2 Set For Trial - Don, in many cases, will give client false hope and encourage a trial with no real merit or chance of winning. He never explains that if the client is convicted, that they may be punishable to the fullest extent of the charges. It is at this point that he will then ask for additional money.
Don Hecker usually prey's on young and or foreign clients who are often unaware of the concept of "Due Process". Of all Don's unethical practices, his absolute lack of communication with his clients is what he is best known for. In the many former clients I have interviewed, they all convincingly agree that he never would return calls or agree to meet with them to discuss matters of the case leaving them helpless, uneducated as to their case, & ultimately in no position to negotiate terms of their employer agreement regarding payment.
Case in point - He had agreed to represent my brother for $1,000 on a DWI/POM that he was charged with on Mothers Day 2006. Although Don had unsuccessfully represented myself and several friends several years before, my brother elected to hire Don because Don was successful in convincing my brother that he could get the case dismissed (prior to reviewing any case facts).
After having his extremely rude assistant Lisa reset the case 6 times over the course of 14 months, he then demanded my brother pay an additional $500 dollars for him to remain on the case; mind you, Don had never physically represented my brother at anytime during this period. Furthermore, he never returned 1 single message my brother had left him asking him for details of the case and Don's strategy for his defense.
My brother fearing he had no choice wrote Don a check for an additional $500 which subsequently bounced because my brother had since been fired from his job due to the ongoing restrictions this case put on his job. He then lost his home soon thereafter. When my brother then showed up for court on 7-12-2008, Don Hecker had sent another attorney in his place to file a court order removing himself from the case with no prior knowledge to my brother and refusing to relinquish any of the money my brother had paid him. Furthermore, he refused to release any information that may help my brothers new attorney including the Employer Agreement, case file, collected evidence etc; bottom line; Don had none of this information himself because he had invested no time.
So now my brother is out $1,000 + fee's owed to the new attorney and nearly 2 years into a case having to start fresh with a new attorney who has no knowledge of his case.
Although my brother made the mistake of bouncing the check, he was severely mislead, uneducated as to the status or details of the case, and ultimately taken advantage of by a notoriously sleazy attorney who has made a career out of taking advantage of his clients rather than representing him with the integrity and ethics he swore to when he took his oath.
He will absolutely continue to do this to any client he ever represents in the future. Please refrain from using Don A. Hecker for any legal matters EVER!
Missouri City, Texas