Based on 11 reviews
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I was arrested for DV on August 4th 2013. This precipitated a brutal custody battle with an ex-girlfriend who was in no mood to play fair or make my life easy. Though I do not fault her and understand why she felt this way, it made for a very difficult situation in regards to the custody of our child. To make matters worse, I freely admitted and plead guilty to the DV charge so my hands were somewhat tied and I entered an uphill battle.
I needed a lawyer who could get me the most out of the situation. I consulted with a few and some didn't want to touch my case because of the DV conviction. I was beginning to get very weary and hopeless until I met with Dave Hawkins. Unlike the other lawyers, Dave listened to everything I had to say in our initial meeting. Though Dave acknowledged the difficulty of getting a great result due to the conviction, he exhibited a confidence that he would be able to get an end result that I would be happy with. I signed Dave up right then and there and felt confident I found the right attorney to handle my case.
Throughout my case Dave was on top of everything. My ex threw curveball after curveball and he was one step ahead of them, pointing me in the direction that would best help me. He seemed very attentive to my needs and was great at communicating with me and the next steps.
Dave knows the law very well and that, coupled with his 20+ years of experience, allows him to cut through all the bullshit and get to the core of the issue. I'm happy to say that I was pleased with the outcome of my custody case. I was looking down the barrel of a shotgun with very little hope of getting a quality parenting plan and Dave worked hard to not allow this to happen. I hope I'm not getting to personal here but Dave dealt with a major foot problem, his cat biting him and causing infection, his mother’s health among a few other things all while working hard to get me the result I could be happy with. For that I am forever grateful. Dave is a focused and motivated attorney and will fight for what's right. The cat may have had Dave's hand but it never had his tongue. He speaks his mind and gives you the truth.
I highly recommend Dave to fight for you family law court. He has a good rating for a reason and he is reasonably priced comparatively speaking. Please don't shy away from him because of the low retainer as it is in no way indicative of his efforts towards your case. Do yourself a favor and retain Dave Hawkins as your attorney. You will not regret it.
In March of this year I reached out to Dave with regard to my need for a parenting plan/residential schedule and child support. He was very willing to meet with me on a Sunday to go over my case/documentaton. We completed a parenting plan/residential schedule and support request that day. It was wonderful, after that the wonderful feeling disipated due to the lack of response I would get from phone calls or e-mails I would send. I feel like I was not informed of the process in a timely basis, many times I wouldn't hear back from him for weeks and at that point the issue at hand had gotten out of control.
As of today, the parenting plan/residential schedule has not been finalized - as far as I know not to Daves fault - opposing council has not held their end of the bargain of completing accurate agreed upon documents for Dave to file. He last touched base with opposing council in July...it is now November and I continue to receive cyber silence with my inquiries on an updated status, what our options are, etc.
The day of mediation, I honestly wasn't even sure if Dave was going to appear because of the lack of communication provided up to that point.
At one point, I had seeked advice from another lawyer who I was considering to retain in the midst of all this; she gave Dave the benefit of the doubt and e-mailed him - of course, that day, he called - I had missed his call and he responded to this lawyer saying he has made attempts to contact me but i'm not responsive. I called him back immediately as i was CC'd on this email thread and he answered my questions.
All my emails have not been responded to or my phone calls - I understand that he has other clients, and respect that but to not maintain consistent contact with a client is not acceptable. I have even stated on a number of e-mails that if e-mailing is easier for him for his varying schedule that I was perfectly fine with this level of communication.
Now, I'm in the process of retaining another lawyer so that she can help me finalize the parenting plan and answer additional questions for recent developments.
So very frustrating.
Dave seemed very down to earth and direct at first. I think that's why I trusted him. He had a really low flat fee. Nothing about him was fancy, so I thought I had been lucky enough to find one of those people who really cares about doing good for people when they need it most. Now I think he just combs sites looking for desperate people to represent cheap.Then he makes them do all the work and basically makes no effort to do well in court. He does show up for court at least. He seems to just really have no interest in helping or doing what's right. He makes his case on the minor details where procedure wasn't followed instead of using the character witnesses, affidavits, photos, internet search history, or the words of the opposing party. He even got facts mixed up. He didn't even take the time to differentiate between my case and my ex's. It was like Dave didn't even thoroughly read through the court documents. He was flaky when it came to meeting, he withheld reports and the outline of the case. I never knew what was going on till the day before it happened . He talked down to me and was so disrespectful and downright mean much of the time, that I had to request domestic violence advocates from the shelter I resided in, to come with me to court so Dave wouldn't bully me. He would just break me down in court till I was a wreck. It was over a year of hell. In the end I managed to keep custody of my son ,but no thanks to Dave. No judge would have taken my baby. I probably would have done better alone. No joke. In the end, I ended up with unfair debt, a car payment I can't afford and the responsibility of selling a car isnt even registered in my name. I was still homeless because my ex destroyed my ability to rent. The extent of the injustice I have experienced honestly is too great to express in writing. Dave scared me into settling out of court. I was crying, so he said a judge would likely take my child because I was obviously unstable... I AM not. I had every kind of documentation proving that, but.... Anyway. Knowing I was shaken and beyond upset, he verbally assured me of things that came up different in the final documents. To top it all off, I missed a meeting with him because I was ill. He made no attempt to contact me after, but went through the trouble of sending me fake email responses! He cut off all contact and is attempting to keep the money my ex had been ordered to pay for attorney's fees, even though I had already paid Dave in full. He makes big promises, but please if you are reading this... It's not a bargain.
Dave worked under extreme deadlines and was more than qualified to handle my high conflict Dissolution. He was empathetic to the Domestic Violence components of my case and was able to secure a positive judgement at trial, including a permanent DVPO against the Respondent. I highly recommend Dave Hawkins to anyone who is being pulled through the Family Courts by an abusive spouse.
Dave is fun and lighthearted, helping client's to stay upbeat even in the stress of family court.
He is easy to get a hold of and clear with what you should expect from the hearings and what documents you'll need.
At first I was a little worried about how casual Dave seemed, but he really brings it in court. He knows the law inside and out and judges respond well to his insight.
My case went just the way I had hoped and much due to Dave's hard work.
This "lawyer" gave me a quote for a flat fee for my case. He never even started the paperwork to file and told the courts at 1st that we had, & then that we would have it filed in a week, He NEVER began or filed anything. He did not do any part of what he said he would. He did not defend me in court, the judge defended me more than him and dismissed EVERYTHING he tried to argue. After weeks of not hearing from him i told him we needed to meet and on the day of our meeting I got an "Out of Office" reply that we was on vacation and wouldn't be back for 10 more days! He did an immediate withdraw from my case and did not give the proper 10 day notice. He was a horrible lawyer from the beginning. He did not care what happened to me & my daughter or how scared we were of the father. And right before he withdrew from my case, the father in this was arrested on MURDER & drug charges. And Mr. Dave Hawkins still did nothing! He did not refund my money and charged me for more hours than he worked and gave me no refund on a FLAT FEE agreement for a case he did not even begin the paperwork or anything for. I now have a real lawyer who prepared and filed what he did not even start after having my money for almost 2 months, this new one did in 2 days! Please take this review and warning seriously. I was desperate and needed his help on my case. What he SAID he would do was completely opposite of WHAT he did. He did nothing and then took all of my money and pretty much told me he was doing me a favor as he was now charging me his hourly rate not the flat fee per agreed. DO NOT TAKE ADVISE FROM THIS LAWYER OR HIRE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Dave Hawkins took my case for a flat fee, and told me he saw it as having a seven in ten chance of succeeding. I paid him two months before, he filed on the last possible day before my case would be invalid due to time allowed by Washington law. Early on, opposing counsel indicated they would like to have settlement negotiations. I told Mr. Hawkins that I very, very strongly wanted to settle. He made an offer, and it was ignored. He let that slide until the arbitration date was set. All the way through ~ which was a year and a half ~ he kept talking about arbitration, which I made clear I did not want to go through. Every thing he did was handled at the last minute, some of which I had to point out to him after he'd not kept me up to date with the communications. Most of his communications to me were near the midnight hour and always last minute. I was not kept in the loop, at one point he essentially waived my HIPAA rights without my knowledge because he wasn't letting me know how he was seeming to ignore communications from opposing counsel. He sent me emails that made no sense. He sent me an email that had all his other clients/attorneys CC'd in, as at times he would want to indicate that "the internet is down" or he "couldn't get into email". He would almost never respond to questions I asked him, did not explain some of the bizarre things he was doing. Because he delayed everything to the most extreme limit, he gave the opposing party time to set themselves up in such a way that arbitration was a sure loss. I'd had to borrow the money I paid him upfront. More than once I asked him to give it back to I could find someone to actually represent me. He always said he had already put in more hours than what the flat fee was, which was true if you count covering his mistakes up or trying to fix them. He never spelled my name right, though I corrected him repeatedly, and I cringed when he sat in the arbitration office and said my name incorrectly in front of the opposing team. Poor spelling and grammar made for more embarrassment on our (my) side. On a number of occasions he took efforts to make me appear irresponsible to the opposing attorney; such as claiming I hadn't been in touch when I actually had (he just didn't check and misled them so he made me, his client, appear badly).
Mr. Hawkins is not a bad person. He came to my home when we had to meet because I am disabled, his willingness to do so was part of why I hired him. In my opinion, he has a soft heart which overextends his abilities to adequately represent the overload of clients he takes on. I was disappointed when he told me his car had broken down three days before the arbitration was scheduled and wouldn't be able to take me there after a year and a half of telling me he would drive me there (he said he could get there with ease by hopping a bus). He did wind up using my car to drive me there, and then had it for an additional three weeks under the auspice of needing it to get back for the second half of arbitration which didn't require my presence. In that three week period he put about 200 miles on my car, lost one of my keys, and returned it with less gas than it had before. Though he didn't have time to learn my name or the facts of the case, once arbitration was over he indicated that he would like to go to movies with me, to lunch, to take me and my dog to a dog park.
The entire experience of having Dave Hawkins for my legal counsel was frustrating and pointless.
Dave was prompt in responding to all of my questions/calls and the filing of my dissolution. He was always courteous when we met/spoke and he kept me apprised of everything that was going on. He is extremely knowledgeable and I completely agree in a previous review, he is fair.
Dave will go weeks without returning your phone call. tells you he is too busy to work on your case. angered easily. swears. mis-spells names and puts incorrect information on court documents.
I found Dave's contact info on Craig's list. I needed to file an adjustment to child support and had always done it myself. The problem is that if you do it yourself, it takes a year to get a hearing. I also do not believe in paying outrageous attorney's fee to upgrade child support: kind of counter productive.
Dave gave me a flat rate which was low and never tried to ask me for more. When we were ready to file, the process took about one month and I got better results than when I was doing it alone.
I like Dave's personality because unlike many lawyers, he seeks fairness, not just what the client wants. Dave is interested in the genuine outcome of the case, not just trying to win the case.