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Charles H. Haden II


Charles H. Haden II (‘58 BS, ‘61 JD)

A Morgantown, W.Va., native, Judge Charles H. Haden II was educated in the Monongalia County Schools and graduated from West Virginia University College of Commerce (bachelor’s degree in business administration 1958) and WVU College of Law in 1961, where he served on the Board of Editors of the West Virginia Law Review.

Judge Haden received national acclaim for his landmark decision in Brace v. Robertson. West Virginia environmentalists and citizens sued the W.Va. Department of Environmental Protection and the U.S. Corps of Engineers to stop mountaintop removal, a form of coal mining. In 1999, Judge Haden ruled the rock and dirt stripped off mountain tops to expose coal seams could not be dumped into perennial or intermittent streams in the hollows below. This decision created controversy from W.Va. to the highest levels of the federal government.

Judge Haden was a practicing lawyer, teacher and public servant. He practiced law with his late father in the firm of Haden and Haden in Morgantown from 1961-69. He was a faculty member of WVU College of Law in 1967 and 1968. He served on the Monongalia County Board of Education in 1967-68. He served in all three branches of W.Va. government. He served in the House of Delegates of the W.Va. Legislature in 1963-64. From 1969-72 he was State Tax Commissioner. He was appointed as Justice on the Supreme Court of Appeals of W.Va. on June 21, 1972. He was elected to that position on November 7, 1972, becoming Chief Justice in 1975. That same year, he was also selected outstanding appellate jurist in W.Va. by the West Virginia Trial Lawyers Association. He received the College of Law’s Gavel Award in 1973.

Judge Haden was appointed U.S. District Judge for the Northern and Southern Districts of West Virginia by President Gerald Ford in November, 1975. He was named outstanding trial judge in W.Va. in 1982 by the W.Va. Trial Lawyers Association. He became Chief Judge of the Southern District May 13, 1982 and stepped down as Chief Judge December 19, 2002.

In June, 1997 Judge Haden was elected as the Fourth Circuit District Judge Representative to the U.S. Judicial Conference, the principal policymaking body for the U.S. Courts, and became the first West Virginia judge to serve in this capacity. In October 1999, Chief Justice Rehnquist named Judge Haden to serve on the Executive Committee of the Conference. He was Chair of the Executive Committee from 2000-02.

Judge Haden authored nearly 800 published opinions and sat by designation as a visiting judge on a variety of federal circuit and district courts.

Judge Haden served as President of the WVU Alumni Association in 1982-83. He was named Outstanding Alumnus of WVU in 1986. He was a member of the Visiting Committees of both the West Virginia University College of Law and School of Medicine. He began on the Board of Directors of the West Virginia University Foundation in 1986, and was thrice reelected to succeeding terms, and was honored by the W.Va. Law Review as Alumnus of the Year in 1987.

In May, 2001 Judge Haden was inducted into the Order of Vandalia, the highest award given by WVU, and Justitia Officium, the highest award given by the WVU Law School.

_Judge Haden passed away in March 2004. _