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Tara Knight

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Criminal Defense Attorney in New Haven, CT

Knight & Cerritelli, LLC
2 Lincoln St
New Haven, CT 06510
Phone: 203-624-6115
Fax: 203-624-4791
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2006 - 2021
Licensed in Connecticut Since: 1990
Practice Areas: Criminal Defense (70%), Personal Injury - General: Plaintiff (30%)
Attorney Profile

Tara Knight is the founding member and senior partner of the firm of Knight & Cerritelli L.L.C. located in New Haven, Connecticut. Attorney Knight specializes in criminal defense law and is board-certified in criminal trial advocacy by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. She is now using her skills as a negotiator and criminal trial lawyer to represent individuals in personal injury matters.

In 2012 and 2014 the Expanded Governing Board of Yale Law School appointed her Clinical Tutor in Law at the Yale Law School.

She is one of the directors of the National Board of Legal Specialty Certification which is the governing board overseeing the certification of lawyers as Board Certified throughout the nation in criminal law and other areas of specialty. In 2012, she was inducted into the American Board of Criminal Lawyers.

She is rated “AV” by Martindale Hubbell, its highest rating.

Her extensive criminal litigation background includes trial and appellate experience in both state and federal courts. She has tried numerous cases to verdict including defending individuals charged with: Capital Murder; robbery; assault; sexual assault; narcotics; weapons violations; computer and pornography crimes; embezzlement; marijuana; and domestic violence.

Attorney Knight is admitted to practice before the Connecticut State and Federal Courts; the Second Circuit Court of Appeals; and the United States Supreme Court.

She is one the first women ever to be listed in the publication, The Best Lawyers in America*, as an outstanding criminal law practitioner in Connecticut. She has been listed in The Best Lawyers In America yearly since 2003.

Attorney Knight has been named a " Connecticut Super Lawyer " yearly since 2006. Additionally, she was designated as one of the Top 25 Women Lawyers in the state since 2007, 2011 and 2012 and one of the Top 50 Lawyers in the state in 2006 by Connecticut Magazine. She was listed in New York Magazine in its 2006 through 2014 editions as one of the best criminal defense lawyers in the New York area. In 2009, Irish America magazine and the Irish Voice Newspaper named her to their "Legal 100" list- a listing of the leading figures in the legal profession across North America.

In May 2016, Attorney Knight was awarded the honor of being the only female attorney in Connecticut listed as a "Best Lawyer" for Criminal Defense Practice in the Spring 2016 issue of Best Lawyers Business Edition.

Attorney Knight taught Criminal Procedure at the University of Connecticut Law School during the Fall Semester 2010. Additionally she was an Adjunct Professor of Criminal Law at Quinnipiac University from 1999-2001 and has been a guest lecturer for classes at Yale University Law School, Quinnipiac School of Law, and the University of New Haven and has participated as a panelist and/or lecturer at numerous seminars and conferences sponsored by various bar associations, law schools, television and radio programs, colleges and other organizations.

She is a past-president of the Connecticut Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (2005-2006).

She was appointed by the Judges of the Superior Court in Connecticut to serve as a member of the grievance/ethics panel for the Ansonia/Milford Judicial District (2006-2009, 2009-2012).

In 2007 the Mayor of New Haven, John DeStefano, Jr., selected her to be a member of an independent review board which was formed to examine the policies, procedures and structures of the New Haven Police Department in the wake of a well-publicized corruption scandal.

She has been a guest commentator on The Today Show, Court TV, now TruTV, since 1997 and has been invited to comment as an expert on criminal law on MSNBC, CNN and Fox News. Additionally, she has been featured in two A & E Network Productions and on Court TV’s, The System. She and Attorney Hugh F. Keefe are frequent guests on New Haven’s popular morning radio program, "Chaz and AJ in the Morning" (99.1 WPLR).

Her publications include "How Many Fingers Do You See?" (Connecticut Law Tribune, November 2002) and "Criminal Justice Model A Costly Mistake," (Connecticut Law Tribune, January 2012).

Attorney Knight is a member of the Connecticut Bar Association and New Haven County Bar Association. In 2001, she was inducted into the Connecticut Bar Foundation. She is an active member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys. She has been an executive committee member of the Criminal Law Section of the Connecticut Bar Association since 1995. She is a member of the NORML (National Organization for the Reformation of Marijuana Laws) legal committee and FAMM (Families Against Mandatory Minimums).

Attorney Knight is a graduate of Fairfield University in Fairfield, Connecticut and Suffolk University School of Law in Boston, Massachusetts. She also completed the National Criminal Defense College in Macon, Georgia.

Ms. Knight resides in New Haven with her husband, Hugh Keefe, who is the senior and managing partner of Lynch, Traub, Keefe and Errante PC in New Haven, Connecticut.

* The Best Lawyers in America® 2013. Copyright 2013 by Woodward/White, Inc., Aiken, SC

Practice Areas
  • 70%Criminal Defense
  • 30%Personal Injury - General: Plaintiff
Focus Areas

Arrest & Arraignment, Assault & Battery, Criminal Fraud, Criminal Law, Drug & Alcohol Violations, Felony, Misdemeanor, Murder, Parole, Probation, Sex Offenses, Tax Evasion, Theft, Criminal Domestic Violence, Animal Bites, Assault, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Personal Injury - Plaintiff, Slip and Fall, Wrongful Death, Construction Accident, Brain Injury, Trucking Accidents, Premises Liability - Plaintiff


16 Years Super Lawyers
  • Super Lawyers: 2006 - 2021

Certificates and Credentials

Articles about Tara Knight appearing in Super Lawyers

About Tara Knight

First Admitted: 1990, Connecticut

Professional Webpage:

Bar/Professional Activity

  • U.S. Court of Appeals 2nd Circuit, Bar Admission, 2002
  • Connecticut Bar Foundation, Member, 2001 - Present
  • Past President of the Connecticut Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, 2005 - 2006
  • Member of the grievance/ethics panel for the Ansonia/Milford Judicial District, 2006-2009 & 2009-2012
  • Adjunct Professor of Criminal Law, Quinnipiac University, 1999 - 2001
  • Connecticut Bar Association, Member, 1990 - Present
  • U.S. Federal Courts, Bar Admission
  • Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM), Member
  • U.S. District Court District of Connecticut, Bar Admission, 1991
  • American Board of Criminal Lawyers, Fellow, 2012 - Present
  • Executive Committee Member, Connecticut Bar Association, Criminal Law Section, 1995 - Present
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court District of Connecticut
  • Taught Criminal Procedure, University of Connecticut Law School, 2010
  • National Organization for the Reformation of Marijuana Laws (NORML), Member
  • U.S. Supreme Court, Bar Admission
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Member, 1998 - Present
  • Local Connecticut Grievance Panel, Member, 2006 - 2012
  • Clinical Tutor in Trial Practice at the Yale Law School, 2013 - Present
  • National Board of Legal Specialty, Director, 2013 - Present
  • New Haven County Bar Association, Member, 1990 - Present

Scholarly Lectures/Writings

  • Guest Lecturer for classes at Yale Law School and Quinnipiac University School of Law
  • Panelist, University of New Haven
  • "How Many Fingers Do You See", Connecticut Law Tribune, November 2002
  • "Criminal Justice Model - A Costly Mistake", Connecticut Law Tribune, January 2012
  • "Reining In the Mavericks", Connecticut Law Tribune, January 2013
  • Guest Speaker at New England School of Law


  • One of the first women to be listed as an outstanding criminal law practitioner in 2003, Best Lawyers in America
  • Named one of the Top 50 Lawyers in the State, Connecticut Magazine, 2006
  • Best Lawyers In America, 2003 - Present
  • AV Rated, Martindale-Hubbell
  • Legal 100 in North America, Irish American Magazine and the Irish Voice Newspaper, 2009
  • Best Criminal Defense Lawyers in New York Area, New York Magazine, 2006 - 2015
  • Only female attorney in Connecticut listed as a "Best Lawyer" for Criminal Defense Practice, Best Lawyers, Spring 2016 Business Edition., Best Lawyers, 2016


  •  Featured in two A & E Network Productions and on Court TV's, The System
  •  Frequent guest on New Haven's popular morning radio program, "Chaz and AJ in the Morning" (99.1 WPLR)

Special Licenses/Certifications

  • Criminal Trial Advocacy, National Board of Trial Advocacy, 2008

Other Outstanding Achievements

  • Invited to comment as an expert on criminal law on: Good Morning America, MSNBC, CNN and Fox News
  • Guest Commentator on CourtTv now TruTv since 1997

Educational Background

  • B.A., English, Fairfield University in Fairfield, Connecticut, 1987

Pro bono/Community Service

  • Appointed by Mayor of New Haven to independent review board to examine policies, procedures and structure of New Haven Police Department, 2007

Industry Groups

  • Connecticut Bar Association
  • Connecticut Bar Foundation
  • Connecticut Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
  • FAMM
  • National Association Of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • New Haven Bar Association
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Office Location for Tara Knight

2 Lincoln St
New Haven, CT 06510

Phone: 203-624-6115

Fax: 203-624-4791

Last Updated: 5/6/2021

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