Prominent attorney Clifford Haines was involved in an altercation with Philadelphia sheriff’s deputies Monday at the Criminal Justice Center, according to a spokeswoman for the sheriff’s department.
Haines is the founder of Haines & Associates, and is a past president of the Pennsylvania Bar Association and past chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association, making him one of a select group to have headed both organizations.
According to Barbara Grant, a spokeswoman for the Philadelphia Sheriff’s Department, Haines attempted to exit the CJC through an entrance at approximately 9:20 a.m. Monday, and was told by a deputy that he was trying to leave the wrong way. Haines became insistent, and used aggressive language with the deputy, Grant said.
Haines then left, but returned a few minutes later and approached the deputy, putting his hands in the deputy’s face, Grant said. According to Grant, the deputy ordered Haines to back away, but at some point Haines’ hand hit the deputy’s arm and hands. Grant said a tussle then ensued with deputies, Haines was subdued and then taken into custody.
A spokesman for the District Attorney’s Office said Thursday the office declined to press charges.
“After a review of the evidence, including video evidence, the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office has declined prosecution,” he said.
Haines did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
Haines’ practice focuses on civil litigation, and in several cases has been a “lawyers’ lawyer,” representing attorneys. One of those clients was attorney Nancy Raynor—the Radnor defense attorney who was slapped with a $1 million sanction over her handling of a witness in a civil case. That sanction was later reversed.
Haines was admitted to the Pennsylvania bar in 1971, after having served in the U.S. Army from 1966 to 1968. He began his career as an assistant district attorney, and spent much of his career focusing on catastrophic injury, medical malpractice and products liability cases.
Haines is involved in several high-profile litigations in Pennsylvania. Along with representing Raynor in a case that grabbed the legal community’s attention, he also represented Philadelphia Housing Authority executive director Carl R. Greene, and has represented clients suing numerous law firms, including Rawle & Henderson, Gross McGinley and Bracewell.
Haines has also been an active member of the Pennsylvania legal community for years. In 1997 he became chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association. He also served as the 115th president of the Pennsylvania Bar Association in 2009-10.