Joseph A. Hayden, Jr.’s legal career spans over four decades. Joe began his legal career as a law clerk to the Chief Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court, and was then appointed Deputy Attorney General in the Organized Crime and Special Prosecution Section of the Division of Criminal Justice. As Deputy Attorney General, Joe tried the first wiretap case brought by the State of New Jersey. An esteemed leader of the criminal defense bar, Joe was the founder and first president of the Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers of New Jersey (ACDLNJ) in 1985.
Joe has received accolades and honors for his excellence in trial work. Joe received the Lawrence A. Whipple Award for Professional Excellence from the ACDLNJ, and, in 2011, received the Rutgers University School of Law-Newark’s Distinguished Alumnus Award. In 2004, Joe was named Professional Lawyer of the Year in the area of Criminal Law by the New Jersey Commission on Professionalism in the Law. He is also the recipient of the Trial Bar Award for Professional Excellence from the Trial Attorneys of New Jersey, an organization of civil litigators. In 2014, Joe received coveted the Justice William J. Brennan Award from the Association of the Federal Bar of New Jersey, in recognition of his contributions to the profession.
Joe frequently tries cases with extensive media coverage, and tried the first case in New Jersey with live television coverage by a major network. Joe has been involved in such high-profile cases as the trial of former pro-basketball star Jayson Williams, and successfully represented Joseph Ferriero, former Bergen County Democratic Chairman, in a federal prosecution. Joe is a frequent lecturer to the bench and bar on the topic of high-profile cases and is a frequent commentator on legal issues on cable and national TV. He also serves on the Jersey City Employment and Training Program’s Reentry Task Force, providing direction for Jersey City in linking supportive services to formerly incarcerated persons. Joe was recently profiled on PolitickerNJ.com for his involvement from the 1960’s to the present in the Civil Rights Movement and the Selma to Montgomery march in 1965.
Criminal defense is a significant part of Joe’s practice, and many of his cases have received attention in print media, on television, and on the Internet. He has tried 5 cases with live TV cameras in the courtroom. While he relishes his work on these complex high-profile trials, he has said that some of his most significant victories were those in which a client was being investigated for wrongdoing, but, thanks to his representation, was never charged.
Joe lives in Hoboken with his wife, Honorable Katharine Hayden, U.S.D.J. (D.N.J.). He has two children by a prior marriage, Kathryn and Patrick. He enjoys movies and theater. He has been active in athletics all his life as a football player in high school and in his first year at Boston College, and regularly played in football and basketball leagues for many years. He has run over 10 marathons and works out religiously on a daily basis for 1 hour a day.