Tara Knight, Managing Partner
Tara Knight is the founding member and senior partner of the firm of Knight & Cerritelli LLC 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 was appointed by the Expanded Board of the Yale Law School as a Clinical Tutor in Law and has taught trial practice at the Yale Law School yearly since 2012.
From 2011–2014 she was one of the directors of the National Board of Trial Advocacy (NBTA) which is the governing board overseeing the certification of lawyers as board certified throughout the nation in criminal law and other areas of specialty. Presently she serves on the Criminal Specialty Program Commission of the NBTA.
In 2012 she was inducted into the American Board of Criminal Lawyers (ABCL). Admission into ABCL is by invitation only. Joining the group requires recommendations from current Fellows, a reputation within the legal community of exceptional ethics and litigation skills, and substantial major felony trial experience.
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 cases involving: capital murder; murder; robbery; assault; sexual assault; narcotics; kidnapping; 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 of 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.
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 has been named a “Connecticut Super Lawyer” yearly since 2006. She was listed as one of the top 50 women lawyers in New England in the 2008 and 2017-2019 editions of New England Magazine’s annual listing of top attorneys. Additionally, she was designated as one of the Top 25 Women Lawyers in the state in 2007, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2016-2019 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 2019 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, which is a listing of the leading figures in the legal profession across North America.
Areas of Practice
95% Criminal Defense Law
5% Pardons and Expungements
95% of Devoted to Litigation
Certified Legal Specialties
Criminal Trial Advocacy, National Board of Trial Advocacy, 2008
Suffolk University Law School, Boston, Massachusetts
Fairfield University, Fairfield, Connecticut
“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
U.S. District Court District of Connecticut, 1991
U.S. Federal Courts
U.S. Court of Appeals 2nd Circuit, 2002
U.S. Supreme Court
Classes & Seminars
Yale Law School • Trial Practice Instructor
Criminal Procedure • University of Connecticut Law School
Criminal Law • Quinnipiac University
Honors & Awards
Connecticut Super Lawyer, 2006–2016
Best Lawyers In America, 2003–2016
Top 25 Women Lawyers in the State, Connecticut Magazine, 2007, 2011, 2012, 2016
Top 50 Lawyers in the State, Connecticut Magazine, 2006
Best Lawyers in the State, New York Magazine, 2006–2016
Top 50 Lawyers in New England, New England Magazine, 2009, 2012
Legal 100 in North America, Irish American Magazine and the Irish Voice Newspaper, 2009
Past Employment Positions
Connecticut Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, past-president, 2005–2006
Professional Associations & Memberships
Connecticut Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, President, 2005–2006
Local Connecticut Grievance Panel, Member, 2006–2012
Connecticut Bar Association (CBA), Member, 1990–Present
New Haven County Bar Association, Member, 1990–Present
Connecticut Bar Foundation, Member, 2001–Present
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Member, 1998 – Present
Criminal Law Section of the Connecticut Bar Association, Executive Committee Member, 1995–Present
NORML (National Organization for the Reformation of Marijuana Laws), Member
FAMM (Families Against Mandatory Minimums), Member