- Criminal Defense
Joseph "Lum" Hawthorn, a nationally known criminal defense attorney, is "of-counsel" to the Gertz Kelley Law Firm. According to Texas Lawyer, Lum is known for his "low-key, smooth negotiation skills." For decades, Lum's name was synonymous with criminal defense in East Texas and throughout the state.
Lum has obtained favorable verdicts in dozens of high-profile cases. He was also the only lawyer to avoid a death sentence for his client in the James Byrd, Jr. murder in Jasper County. Lum and Ryan Gertz have teamed up on a number of occasions to obtain "not guilty" verdicts for clients including a high-profile murder case.
Lum graduated from Lamar University and the University of Texas School of Law and has practiced law in the State of Texas since 1966. Lum has been Board Certified in Criminal Law since 1976 and focused primarily on criminal defense for most of his career. Lum has tried hundreds of cases in Texas courts including dozens of capital and non-capital murder cases. Lum has been listed as a Texas Super Lawyer, Best Lawyers in America, and is AV Rated by his peers in Martindale. Additionally, Lum was awarded the Texas Center for Legal Ethics Professionalism Award in 2006 and the John Hannah, Jr. Award for Public Service in 2009.
While Lum rarely takes on new cases these days, he is a regular presence at the Gertz Kelley Law Firm and routinely advises the lawyers and clients of the Firm on best practices and strategies.