Judicial Profile: Department 10
Honorable Lois Haight
- Biographical Information
- University of California — Davis, A.B. Hastings College of Law, J.D./LL.B.; Moot Court Competition Winner
- Pre-bench Legal Experience & Areas of Practice:
- White House Conference for Drug Free American, Chair, 1987-88. Assistant Attorney General of the United States, 1983-86. President’s Task Force on Victims of Crime, Chair, 1981-82. Alameda County Deputy District Attorney, 1976-81. Private General Practice, Walnut Creek, 1967-75. San Francisco Juvenile Hall Counselor, 1963-65. San Joaquin County Probation Officer, 1962
- Political Affiliation:
- Judicial Experience
- Judge Haight was appointed to Contra Costa County Superior Court by Governor Pete Wilson in 1993. Her current term ends in 2019. Her current primary assignment is the Juvenile Department, Supervising Judge.
- Pre-Bench Civic and Professional Activities
Officer: National Crime Prevention Coalition, Chair, 1983-87. Attorney General’s Task Force on Family Violence, Creator and Coordinator, 1984.
Special Correspondent: President’s National Correspondent to the United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders, 1983-89.
U.S. Delegate to four United Nations Conferences, 1986-88.
Prior Boards: Quest International, 1991-93. U.S.O. International, 1987-93. Crime Stoppers International, 1983-89. National Sheriff’s Association Standards, Ethics and Education Committee, 1984-89. National Institute of Corrections, 1983-87. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Advisory Committee on Rape Prevention and Control, 1983-86. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Advisory Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect, 1983-88. California Consortium for Prevention of Child Abuse, 1992-93. California Judicial Counsel, 1994-98. Commission on Judicial Performance, 1995-99. Commission on the Future of California Courts, 1992. 20/20 Commission, 1992.
"California Jurist of the Year," Chief Justice/Judicial Council
"Alba Witkin Humanitarian Award," CJA
"Lifetime Supporter Award," CASA
"Children's Choice Award," St. Vincents Day Home
"California Pioneer Award," McGeorge Law
"Continuing Service Award," California Congress Parents/Teachers
"Lifetime Achievement Award," Berkeley Law
"Recognition Award," Chief Probation Officer
"Woman of Distinction Award," Soroptimist International
“Special Award,” U.S. Department of Justice
“Presidential Commendation,” American Psychological Association
“Women’s History Week Award,” U.S. Department of Defense
“John Heinz Award,” National Organization of Victims Assistance
“Secretary’s Commendations,” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
“Award of Special Honor,” International Narcotic Enforcement Officers Association
- Continuing Legal Education Faculty
- Guest Lecturer: National Judicial College, Institute for United States Studies (London, England), California Judicial College, Harvard University, Stanford University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Princeton University, California State University (Hayward), Hastings College of the Law, National Juvenile Judicial College, Pepperdine College of the Law, University of San Francisco, John F. Kennedy University.
- Courtroom Policies
- Judge Haight does not issue written instructions for attorneys. Generally, she rules from the bench.
- In Limine Motions
- Judge Haight waives time restrictions for in limine motions if good cause is shown.
- Briefs should be carefully researched and succinct. Pet peeve: Overly long briefs with improper citations.
- Settlement Conferences
- Judge Haight encourages settlement conferences, which she personally conducts. Conferences are usually held in chambers. Judge Haight accommodates requests for early conferences. She will not speak with clients about settlement.
- Alternative Dispute Resolution
- Mediation in dependency to occur before jurisdictional hearings by juvenile lawyers/mediators.
- Judge Haight imposes sanctions only as a last resort, when there is egregious abuse of professional responsibility or abuse of the court.
- Courtesy copies of moving papers/briefs should be delivered to parties. Exhibits should be pre-marked, with a list provided to the clerk.
Counsel may remain at the table or the podium. Counsel may approach witnesses with court permission. Only water is permitted at the table.
Sidebar conferences, if short, can be held at the sidebar; otherwise, they are conducted in chambers. Judge Haight will put the conference on record if appropriate.
Attorneys should wear business attire.
- Court Reporters in the Courtroom
- The court always provides reporters and translators or interpreters for minors and/or parents.
- Computers in the Courtroom
- Judge Haight does not receive documents on computer disk. Counsel may use a quiet laptop at the table.
- The courtroom has a blackboard, chart stand, easel, TV monitor and VCR.
- Cameras in the Courtroom
- No photography allowed (except adoptions).
- Practitioners’ most common mistakes: Lack of preparation and courtesy, tardiness. Judge Haight is especially committed to protecting the interests of children.