PITTSBURGH - Generations of high-profile Western Pennsylvania criminal defendants have retained attorney Jim Ecker, primarily so he can walk with them down the street to the County Courthouse and stop and tell television news reporters with a straight face the defendant is not guilty.
With his distinguished white hair and the somber bearing of a funeral director, Ecker is at his best walking to the courthouse with the defendant. "I hired him because he looks great on TV walking into the courthouse," said a local anchorman recently charged with DUI who asked not to be identified.
But what would Ecker himself do if he's ever arrested? Who will he call? "Todd Robertson," Ecker said without hesitation. Robertson is not a lawyer but sells men's suits at Macy's downtown. Why would Ecker call him? Robertson bears an uncanny resemblance to Ecker.
Robertson told a reporter he's ready if Ecker ever needs him. "We'll walk down Grant Street on that path Jimmy knows so well," he said. "And I have my speech for the TV reporters all ready: 'We have no comment about these charges and are confident my client will be fully exonerated. And by the way, there's a 20% off sale at Macy's this Saturday."