Joseph M. Hester

Photo of Joseph M. Hester
  • Partner




Joe Hester began practicing law in 1977 as an Assistant Solicitor (now Assistant District Attorney) in the Seventh Judicial District serving Nash, Edgecombe and Wilson Counties.

He joined the law firm of Moore, Diedrick, Whitaker & Carlisle in 1979 and later became a partner in the reorganized firm of Moore, Diedrick, Carlisle & Hester. He left the firm in 1999 and together with Thomas J. Moore II formed the partnership Hester & Moore, PLLC. Joe continues to practice today with Damian L. Tucker as Hester & Tucker, PLLC.

Joe's practice has consisted of criminal defense in the Seventh Judicial District in both the District and Superior Courts. He has handled thousands of cases, both felonies and misdemeanors. Joe is known by many of his peers as one of the most experienced DWI trial attorneys in the district.  He is a board certified specialist in state criminal law.

Joe was chosen in 1996 by Governor James B. Hunt to become the first chairman of the newly established Clean Water Management Trust Fund. With the support of President Pro Tem Mark Basnight and Governor Beverly Perdue, he lead the Trust Fund from its beginning to become one of the most important state water preservation and conservation organizations in the nation. He was reappointed to the board by Governors Easley & Perdue and remained on the board until July 31, 2013. He also served as President and member of the Board of the Pamlico Tar River Foundation for many years. Joe was also appointed to the Coastal Resources Commission by Governor Perdue and served until July 31, 2013.

For many years, Joe has been an active supporter of community athletic programs in the surrounding areas. He has coached youth sports teams in baseball and softball but primarily Babe Ruth baseball for over 20 years. He now coaches the 13u and/or 15u Northern Babe Ruth team. Visit our Facebook page during the season.

Areas Of Practice

  • Traffic Tickets
  • Felonies and Misdemeanors
  • Criminal Defense
  • Speeding Violations
  • Reckless Driving
  • Driver's License Restoration

Certified Legal Specialties

  • Board Certified Specialist Criminal Law
  • Certified Intoxilyzer 5000 Operator
  • NHTSA DWI Detection& Standardized Field Sobriety Testing Certificate

Bar Admissions

  • North Carolina, 1977
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of North Carolina, 1983


  • University of North Carolina School of Law, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
    • Juris Doctorate - 1977
  • Fike High School
    • 1966
  • University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
    • B.A. - 1971
    • Major: Economics
  • North Carolina State University
    • M.S. - 1975
    • Major: Zoology

Honors And Awards

  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell Client Distinction Award
  • Selected Super Lawyers
  • The Order of the Long Leaf Pine Award by Gov. Mike Easley
  • Great Blue Heron Award, Pamlico Tar River Foundation

Past Employment Positions

  • N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, 1975
  • Seventh Judicial District, Assistant Solicitor, 1977 to 1979
  • Moore, Diedrick, Whitaker & Carlisle, 1979 to 1999
  • Hester & Moore PLLC, 1999 to 2015

Pro Bono Activities

  • Clean Water Management Trust Fund, First Chairman, 1996
  • Coastal Resources Commission
  • Pamlico Tar River Foundation, President and Member of the Board
  • 13u and 15u Northern Babe Ruth Team, Coach