Member Directory

Joseph Hoelscher

HGC Law PLLC
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Joseph Hoelscher
HGC Law PLLC
San Antonio,
 TX

Award-winning attorney with experience in over 100 trials, both civil and criminal, as well as high-profile and complex cases. Previous cases have featured in national media including “America’s Most Wanted,” “Dateline NBC”, The New York Daily News, People Magazine, and National Public Radio. Legal news commentator featured in outlets such as Rolling Stone Magazine, The Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report, and the ABA Journal. Published author and regular Continuing Legal Education presenter. Principle practice areas are civil Child Welfare, felony Child Abuse, and Intoxication Offenses. 

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

Hoelscher Gebbia Cepeda PLLC, San Antonio, Texas 

Managing Attorney, May 2017-Present 

General practice law firm with emphasis in Family and Criminal Law. Practice areas include child welfare (CPS/DFPS cases), Foster Parent law, Driving While Intoxicated and other intoxication offenses, major felonies, capital cases, complex divorce and child custody, and trial advocacy.

● Lead Counsel for novel case regarding paternity and child custody after informal assisted reproduction in an alleged same-sex informal marriage

● Mediated simultaneously, as Lead Counsel, twenty-three child welfare cases on behalf of an attorney and guardian ad litem against the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, the Bexar County Ad Litem Attorneys’ Association, and the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office resulting in a reversal of a communications ban on our client

● Maintained winning record in jury trials in civil and felony cases 

● Won appeals supporting suppression of blood alcohol evidence and standing for foster parent intervenors in a child custody case

Our Lady of the Lake University, San Antonio, Texas

Adjunct Professor of Political Science, Spring 2020

Teaching Law School Preparation & Intro to the Legal System (POLS 3337) course designed to prepare students for the first year of law school.

Hoelscher Law Office, San Antonio, Texas 

Attorney-Owner, May 2007-April 2017 

General practice law firm with emphasis in Child Welfare and Criminal Law.  

● Successfully exposed systemic failures in the Bexar County breath alcohol testing program, resulting in Brady notices in dozens of cases

● Caught a corrupt lab tech resulting in the suspension of blood alcohol testing in Bexar County, ultimately affecting hundreds of cases

● Forced an investigation and suspension of a San Antonio Police Dept. Field Training Officer who was considered the best DWI officer in Bexar County

● Appointed by two courts as prosecutor pro tem

St. Mary’s University, San Antonio, TX 

Asst. Director of Forensics, January 1998-July 2002

Developed and instituted primary training program for an internationally competitive speech and debate team. Taught persuasion, logic, rhetoric, and procedure. Analyzed lay person judging in adversarial systems to construct model decision making paradigms. 

● Featured by the BBC for a global audience 

● Toured Israel by invitation to lecture at major universities

● Worked with Russian, Japanese, British, and Israeli National Debate teams in cultural exchange programs

Texas Military Institute, San Antonio, TX 

Director of Forensics, August 1999-July 2001

Head of nationally competitive speech and debate program, managed travel budget over $40,000 annually, hired and directed coaching staff.

CLERKSHIPS

Hon. George Allen, District Court Judge (51st District Court), Waco, TX 

Judicial Clerk, August 2006 – January 2007 

Prepared bench memoranda, performed legal research and analysis, handled court correspondence. 

Goldstein Goldstein & Hilley, San Antonio, TX 

Law Clerk, May 2004 – August 2004 

Performed legal research, drafted trial motions and supporting briefs, prepared appellate documents and writs. Assisted in trial preparation and investigation.

FORMAL EDUCATION

Baylor University Law School, Waco, TX 

Juris Doctor with Criminal Law Concentration, November 2006 

● Order of Barristers, Moot Court Board, Moot Court and Client Counseling Teams. 

● Dean’s Academic Excellence Scholarship 

● Designed trial advocacy problems for the Practice Court program as assistant to Prof. Gerald Powell, Head of Practice Court.

St. Mary’s University, San Antonio, TX 

Master of Arts in International Relations with Western Hemisphere Concentration, December 2002 

● Conducted economic and political development field research in Haiti and Cuba

● Completed foreign language component of comprehensive examination in Spanish

St. Mary’s University, San Antonio, TX 

Master of Arts in Communications Studies, December 2002 

● Thesis: Deconstructing Speech Codes - an analysis of critical race theory and deconstructionism in relation to First Amendment free speech protections in the context of institutional rules regulating communication in academic settings.

St. Mary’s University, San Antonio, TX 

Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, May 1998

● University President’s Scholarship

PUBLICATIONS

Practice Guide to Texas Drunk Driving Law, 2021 Ed., Matthew Bender/Lexis-Nexis

Publishing, 2023.

Practice Guide to Texas Drunk Driving Law, 2021 Ed., Matthew Bender/Lexis-Nexis

Publishing, 2021.

Practice Guide to Texas Drunk Driving Law, 2020 Ed., Matthew Bender/Lexis-Nexis

Publishing, 2020.

Contributor, “Law in the Time of Coronavirus.” Voice For The Defense (Vol. 49, No. 6, p. 24).

Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, July/August 2020.

Practice Guide to Texas Drunk Driving Law, 2019 Ed., Matthew Bender/Lexis-Nexis

Publishing, 2019.

Practice Guide to Texas Drunk Driving Law, 2018 Ed., Matthew Bender/Lexis-Nexis

Publishing, 2018.

“Consider A National Registry For Child Abuse Cases,” San Antonio Express-News, September

3, 2018.

“Alcohol Can Dim Holiday Cheer,” San Antonio Express-News, Sunday, December 17, 2017.

Practice Guide to Texas Drunk Driving Law, Matthew Bender/Lexis-Nexis Publishing, 2017.

“Speedy Trial: Punishing the System for Making Us Wait.” Voice For The Defense Magazine, Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers’ Association, November 2015.

“Sealing Criminal Records,” The Defender Magazine, San Antonio Criminal Defense Lawyers’ Association, (Summer 2012).

Contributor, “Foreign Corrupt Trade Practices Act,” Chester’s Practical Guide to International Trade Law, (2008).

SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS

“Game Day Ready: Technology in the Courtroom,” Game Day CLE – Waco, Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, January 14, 2022.

“Client Interview: Information Gathering, Written Fee Agreement, Ascertaining Client Goals, and Ethics,” Handling a DWI Case in Texas, MyCLE, December 21, 2021.

“Keep Your Head in the Game: Mental Health,” Game Day CLE – Laredo, Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, November 12, 2021.

“Rules of the Game/Penalties: Client Relationships & Communication,” Game Day CLE - Victoria, Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, September 2021

“The Resistance is Self-Sabotage: Mental Health Law,” Battling The Resistance CLE – South Padre Island, Texas Criminal Lawyers Association, July 2021.

“The Resistance is Self-Sabotage: Mental Health Law,” Battling The Resistance CLE – Fredricksburg, Texas Criminal Lawyers Association, February 2021.

“The Resistance is Self-Sabotage: Mental Health Law,” Battling The Resistance CLE – Brownsville, Texas Criminal Lawyers Association, November 2020.

“Playoffs?: Appeals,” Defense: We Make Champions CLE – MacAllen, Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, November 2019.

“Playoffs?: Appeals,” Defense: We Make Champions CLE – San Angelo, Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, September 2019.

“Discovery and Evidentiary Issues in Child Abuse Cases,” Against All Odds CLE, Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, August 2018.

“Asymmetrical Discovery - Tactics to Make the State Fight Itself,” San Antonio Defense Lawyers’ Association Monthly CLE, August 2017.

“Elements of Storytelling in Criminal Trial,” San Antonio Criminal Defense Lawyers’ Association Monthly CLE, December 2016.

“Cops as Witnesses: Friend and Foe,” Plaintiff Litigation INSIGHT CLE, August 2015

“Communicating With Clients With PTSD,” PTSD: The Elephant in the Courtroom CLE, 2015.

“Unsinking the Ship: What to Do When Your Client Has Confessed,” San Antonio Criminal Defense Lawyers’ Association Monthly CLE, March 2015

“Marijuana Law in Texas,” Bexar County Republican Liberty Caucus, January 2015

“How Judges affect the Residential Care Industry,” San Antonio Residential Care Homes, October 2012

“Contract Systems for Indigent Defense,” Bexar County Task Force on Indigent Defense, March 23, 2011

“Changing Lanes: New Directions in Vehicle Search Laws,” San Antonio Criminal Defense Lawyers Assoc. Monthly CLE, June 2009

Business and Non-Profit Organization Radio Series, sponsored by Get Up! Community Center: Guest Host 

● Serving the Community as a Business, July 5, 2009 

● Legal Issues Involving Minors, June 20, 2009 

● Selecting Legal Representation for Your Business, June 14, 2009

● Open Forum Legal Q&A, June 6, 2009

● Criminal and Civil Liability Issues for Non-Profits, May 30, 2009

● The Role of Non-Profits in Criminal Justice, May 16, 2009  

MEDIA APPEARANCES & COMMENTARY

(Not Comprehensive)

Seagal, Edward. “Supreme Court Nomination Process Calls Attention to Role of Background Checks When Hiring Workers.” Forbes, January 17, 2022.

Briggs, Zach. “Expanded medical marijuana access has officially gone into effect in Texas.” KENS5 News (CBS Affiliate), San Antonio, Texas, September 1, 2021.

Smith, Matt. “Court at law resumes jury trials; Termination case first on the dockets.” Cleburne Times-Review, June 12, 2021.

Briggs, Zach. “Family law attorney weighs in on Texas foster care system after shut down of Children’s Shelter facility.” KENS5 News (CBS Affiliate), San Antonio, Texas, April 27, 2021.

Briggs, Zach. “Bexar County resumes in-person court proceedings with remote options still available.” KENS 5 News (CBS Affiliate), San Antonio, Texas, April 5, 2021.

King, Seth. “How Some THC Is Legal – For Now.” Rolling Stone Magazine, Jan. 18, 2021.

O’Hare, Peggy. “Sheriff send Anaqua Springs shooting deaths case back to investigators for more scrutiny.” San Antonio Express-News, Jan. 4, 2021.

Kowarski, Ilana. “What Can You Do With a Criminology Degree?” U.S. News & World Report, Nov. 12, 2020.

Bernstein, Leandra. “Intimidation tactics could backfire on protestors, sway voters in November.” Sinclair Broadcast News, August 28, 2020.

Caan, Nicole. “Coughing in the time of coronavirus could be criminal.” KENS5 News (CBS Affiliate), San Antonio, Texas, July 9, 2020.

Medina, Mariah. “Bexar County to hold civil jury trials virtually, opening door to possibility of remote criminal jury trials.” KENS 5 News (CBS Affiliate), San Antonio, Texas, July 29, 2020.

Braff, Danielle. “Some lawyers have baked their political views into their firms’ DNA.” ABA Journal, June 1, 2020.

Olsen, Alexandra. “Employers navigate virus pandemic without clear guidelines.” Boston Herald, March 13, 2020.

Lauer, Claudia and Colleen Long. “U.S. Prisons, jails on alert for spread of coronavirus.” The Washington Post, March 6, 2020.

Medina, Mariah. “Here’s Why January is Known as Divorce Month.” KENS 5 News (CBS Affiliate), San Antonio, Texas, January 1, 2020.

Williams, Geoff. “6 Financial Considerations for Remarriage.” U.S. News & World Report, November 18, 2019.

Salles, Alice. “Child Abuse Training for Teachers Both Praised and Criticized,” The Epoch Times, November 1, 2019.

Zapata, Kimberly. “How to Tell If Someone Is Lying,” O: The Oprah Magazine, October 25, 2019.

Bruk, Diana. “12 Ways to Get Help If You’re a Victim of Domestic Violence,” MSN.com, Oct. 22, 2019.

Yuko, Elizabeth. “Facts About Mass Shootings in America,” Reader’s Digest, August 2019.

Martin, Eric J. “One Quarter of Small Businesses Plan to Reinvest in Their Enterprises,” CO (United States Chamber of Commerce Newsletter), May 7, 2019.

Kowarski, Ilana. “Why Is It So Hard to Get Into a Top Law School?,” U.S. News & World Report – Grad School Ranking Edition, March 2019.

Galli, Joe. “Lawyers respond to Gov. Abbott’s request to fast track executions for mass murderers.” News 4 San Antonio (NBC Affiliate), San Antonio, Texas, September 4, 2019.

Caltabiano, David. “Convicted habitual drunk driver faces murder charge.” News 4 San Antonio (NBC Affiliate), San Antonio, Texas, February 28, 2019.

O’Neil, Bill. “Defense Attorney Criticizes Bexar Prosecutors.” KTSA Radio, San Antonio, Texas, March 16, 2017.

McCarty, Melissa. “San Antonio Mother of Three Remains Missing a Year After Dispute with Husband.” Crime Watch Daily with Chris Hansen. (Warner Bros.), Feb. 13, 2017

Dunson, Alex. “Special Report: Where’s Bianca?.” CBS-7 News (CBS Affiliate), Midland, Texas, Nov. 04, 2016.

Bourke, Justin. “Search Continues After 6-month Anniversary of S.A. Mother’s Disappearance.” KENS-5 News (CBS Affiliate), San Antonio, Texas, Nov. 04, 2016.

Contreras, Guillermo. “A District Attorney’s Bumpy Ride.” San Antonio Express-News, Oct. 7, 2016.

Spriester, Steve. “SAPD Chief, Attorney Have Different Reactions to Dashcam Video.” KSAT-12 News (ABC Affiliate), San Antonio, Texas, Aug. 29, 2016.

Santos, Renee. “Bexar County in Need of Foster and Adoptive Parents.” FOX 29 News (Fox Affiliate), San Antonio, Texas, Aug. 28, 2016.

Avila, Jaie. “Undercover Investigation: Parking Lots Booting Cars Against City Ordinance.” NEWS 4 San Antonio (NBC Affiliate), San Antonio, Texas, Aug. 28, 2016.

Santos, Renee. “The Fight For Kenya: Families seeking adoption of one year old girl.” FOX 29 News (Fox Affiliate), San Antonio, Texas, May 5, 2016.

Degollado, Jessie. “Foster Parents Sue CPS To Adopt Child: Agency defends family reunification policy.” KSAT-12 News (ABC Affiliate), San Antonio, Texas, April 27, 2016.

Locklear, Michael. “Bexar County Catching Up On DWI Blood Sample Backlog.” NEWS 4 San Antonio (NBC Affiliate), Dec. 11, 2015.

Price, Robert. “Attorney Accused of Sex with Clients Remains on Job.” News 4 San Antonio (NBC Affiliate), Dec. 1, 2015.

 

Baucom, Emily. “Candid Conversation On Police Patrol.” WOAI News (Fox Affiliate), San Antonio, Texas, Nov. 20, 2015.

Chasnoff, Brian. “When Do We Get The Blood Back?” San Antonio Express-News, July 31, 2015.

Spriester, Steve. “Bad Blood?” KSAT-12 News (ABC Affiliate), San Antonio, Texas, February 25, 2015.

Guzman, Stephanie. “Lawyers Adjust Amid Changes In Prosecuting DWIs.” San Antonio Business Journal, Jan. 30, 2015.

Malik, Alia. “DNA Links Man to Knifepoint Rape.” San Antonio Express-News, April 24, 2014.

Cassidy, Michelle. “Jury Acquits Man in Prostitute Knife Attack.” San Antonio Express-News, Feb. 4, 2014.

Goyette, Braden. “Dog left out in Texas heat bites face of 3-year-old girl.” New York Daily News. June 26, 2012.

Wolfe, Elaine. “Lawyers Challenge Reduced Fees for Children’s Court.” Plaza de Armas, 2011. (No Longer Available).

Wolfe, Elaine. “For Poor Defendants, The Wheel Spins Once More.” Plaza de Armas, 2011. (No Longer Available).

AWARDS

Super Lawyer, Thomson Reuters, 2021, 2022

Best Lawyers in San Antonio, San Antonio Magazine, 2022

Best of San Antonio - Attorney, Reader’s Choice, San Antonio Current, 2021

DWI Trial Warrior Award, Texas Criminal Defense Lawyer’s Association, 2021

Best of San Antonio - Attorney, Reader’s Choice, San Antonio Current, 2020

Top DWI Lawyer in San Antonio, Scene in San Antonio Magazine, 2020

Top Family Lawyer in San Antonio, Scene in San Antonio Magazine, 2020

Client Champion Award – Gold, Martindale-Hubbell, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022

Top 100 Trial Lawyers, National Trial Lawyers, 2014 - 2019

Member in the Spotlight, National College of DUI Defense, May 2019

“Best DWI Lawyers,” Scene in San Antonio Magazine, 2018, 2019

“Best Lawyers” list, Scene in San Antonio Magazine, 2012 - 2019

Client Distinction Award, Martindale-Hubbell, 2015

“Best Family Lawyers,” Scene in San Antonio Magazine, 2014, 2016

“Top 30 Criminal Defense Attorneys,” Scene in San Antonio Magazine, 2014, 2015, 2016

Avvo.com “Superior” 10 out of 10 Attorney Rating, 2011-Present

Delta Theta Phi International Legal Fraternity: Justice James Norvell Memorial Award &

Scholarship, 2005, 2006

University of San Diego: 2nd Place Overall, National Criminal Procedure Tournament, 2005

Naman Howell Smith & Lee: Semi-Finalist, Client Counseling Tournament, 2005

Texas Forensics Association: Texas State Championship Coach, 2001

International Public Debate Association: National Debate Champion, 1998

MEMBERSHIPS AND ADMISSIONS

Member, State Bar of Texas, Admitted May 2007 

Texas State Bar No. 24042972 

Admitted, Federal Western District of Texas, 2007

Member, Board of Directors, Texas Criminal Defense Lawyer’s Association, June 2020 – Present

• Member, Judicial Conduct Committee

• Member, Media Relations Committee

• Vice Chair, Cannabis Law Committee

Member, Texas Association of Family Defense Attorneys, 2022 – Present

• Member, Legislative Committee

Board Member, Starlite Autism Center, 2018-2020

Co-Chair, Retention Committee of the San Antonio Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (advises newly elected Bexar County DA regarding retention of ADAs), 2018

Speaker, Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Project, 2018-Present

Member, College of the State Bar of Texas, 2009-Present

Member, Pro Bono College of the State Bar of Texas, 2015-Present

Member, American Bar Association Advisory Panel, 2009-2014

Mentor, San Antonio Bar Association Mentorship Committee, 2010-2015

Member, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, 2009-Present 

Member, National College of DUI Defense, 2016-Present

Member, Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers’ Association, 2007-Present

Founding Member and Parliamentarian, Texas Association of Cannabis Lawyers, 2017-Present

Member, Legal Committee, National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, 2008-Present (some years excepted)


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