Charles S. Haight, Jr.

Charles S. Haight, Jr.

Charles Sherman Haight, Jr. (b. 23 September 1930, New York City) is an American lawyer and federal judge for the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut.


Judge Haight graduated from Yale University in 1952, where he was a member of Skull and Bones, with a BA and entered Yale Law School the following year, graduating in 1955 with a LL.B. Haight gained admission to the New York State bar and in the same year joined the Admiralty and Shipping Department of the Department of Justice as a district court trial attorney. Haight got this job on recommendation from his father, who was heavily involved in shipping affairs. He left the Department of Justice in 1957 to join his father at Haight, Gardner, Poor & Havens as an associate. Haight became a partner of the firm on the death of his father in 1968 and continued the practice of law with them until 1976.

On March 2, 1976, President Gerald Ford nominated Haight as a U.S. District Court judge to fill the Southern District of New York seat vacated by Murray I. Gurfein. The Senate confirmed his nomination on March 26, 1976 and, three days later, Haight received his commission. One of his earliest decisions, involved an act aimed at protection of the young. In May 1976, Judge Haight passed a restraining order blocking a law that would disallow people under the age of twenty-one who are not living with a guardian from claiming benefits without first obtaining a potentially lengthy Family Court order.

Early the following year, Haight made an unusual provision, when he sentenced Dr. John G. Stoessinger, a United Nations official, to teaching prison inmates for failing to report fraud in excess of $260,000. Haight continued to preside over high profile cases, including fraud relating to investors at Morgan & Stanley Co. and Lehman Brothers, Kuhn Loeb, Inc. in 1982, insider trading at Dean Witter Reynolds in 1984, police surveillance in 1989, and fraud relating to Contel in 1990.

Judge Haight was granted senior judge status in 1995 and since then his most noted case that spanned from 2002 to 2003 reduced restrictions in police surveillance, which he had imposed himself in 1985 under the Handschu guidelines, even when there is no evidence of criminal offence ([1]). He is currently (March 2007) revisiting his 2003 order, which was made under the aegis of antiterrorism in the aftermath of 9/11. Judge Haight now sits on the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut.[1]

He was a director of the Kennedy Child Study Center; advisory trustee of the American-Scandinavian Foundation (Chairman, 1970–1976); manager of the Havens Fund; member of the Journal of Maritime Law and Commerce's editorial board; and was a White House Fellow from, 1991 to 1992.


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