New Haven Criminal Defense Attorney Charles Tiernan

Charles E. Tiernan, III

Attorney / Partner

Charles E. Tiernan, III has been an attorney with the New Haven law firm of Lynch, Traub, Keefe & Errante since 1983. He was named a Partner in 1988. Attorney Tiernan began his career handling civil litigation and labor matters. Attorney Tiernan also provided representation in family matters where he tried a number of marriage dissolution and child custody cases. He now concentrates his practice on criminal defense juvenile matters and workers’ compensation matters. Attorney Tiernan regularly appears in the criminal courts throughout the State of Connecticut. He has extensive experience in all phases of criminal law and litigation including trials in both State and Federal Court. Attorney Tiernan also handles cases involving all aspects of workers’ compensation and other matters before state administrative agencies. His representation in juvenile matters includes handling delinquency and neglect petitions. Attorney Tiernan has handled all aspects of probate law at probate courts throughout the state. Attorney Tiernan has argued appeals before the Connecticut Supreme Court and Connecticut Appellate Court.

Attorney Tiernan received his B.A. from Trinity College in 1980 where he captained the Football team his senior season. He graduated from Drake University School of Law in December 1982. He was a member of the Board of Editors of the Drake Law Review and authored a note for the Drake Law Review entitled “Standing Barriers to Citizen and Taxpayers Suits in the Federal Court.” 32 Drake Law Review 2, 1983.

Attorney Tiernan was admitted to the Connecticut Bar on May 3, 1983. He is also admitted to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and the United States Supreme Court. Attorney Tiernan is a member of the American, Connecticut and New Haven County Bar Association, the Connecticut Criminal Defense Lawyers’ Association and is a member of the Criminal Law Executive Committee of the Connecticut Bar Association. Attorney Tiernan has been a panel member and lecture in various seminars dealing with workers’ compensation and cases involving operating under the influence. Attorney Tiernan has had articles published in the State of Connecticut Workers’ Compensation Quarterly. Attorney Tiernan has been appointed a member of the Ansonia-Milford Judicial District Grievance Panel of the Connecticut Grievance Committee several times throughout his career. On May 22, 2019, Attorney Tiernan was appointed by Governor Ned Lamont to the State Judicial Selection Commission and in June of 2019, he was elected Chairperson by the members of the Commission. Attorney Tiernan served as an adjunct professor at the Quinnipiac University from 1989-2011 teaching courses involving Introduction to Law and Family Law.

Attorney Tiernan is rated “AV” by Martindale-Hubbell, its highest rating. He has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America since 2007 and has been listed in the Super Lawyers publication since 2006. Since 2008, Attorney Tiernan has been an elected constable for the Town of Branford. In 2020, Attorney Tiernan was elected vice-co-chairperson of the Branford Democratic Town Committee and was also elected to the Connecticut Democratic State Central Committee representing the 12th Senatorial District.

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Areas Of Practice

  • Criminal Law
  • State and Federal
  • Workers Compensation
  • Administrative Law
  • Juvenile Delinquency
  • Child Neglect Matters
  • Probate Law

Bar Admissions

  • Connecticut, 1983
  • U.S. District Court District of Connecticut, 1983
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 2nd Circuit, 1987
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1991
  • U.S. Tax Court, 1984


  • Drake University Law School, Des Moines, Iowa
  • J.D. - 1982
  • Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut
  • B.A. - 1980
  • Major: Political Science

Published Works

  • "Standing Barriers to Citizen and Taxpayer Suits in the Federal Court", 32 Drake Law Review 2, 1983
  • "Safety and Security In The Workers' Compensation Forum", Compensation Quarterly, Volume 5, Number 3, Summer, 1995
  • "A Pig in the Parlor", "Insurer's Liens on Workers' Compensation Awards", Compensation Quarterly, Volume 15, Number 4, Fall, 2005

Representative Clients

  • Gallagher Bassett Services, Inc.
  • Sedgwick Claims Management Services
  • Covidien
  • Tyco
  • Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield
  • Meridian Resources, Inc.


  • Gallogler Bassett Services, Inc.
  • Sedgwick Claims Management Services
  • Connecticut Transit, Inc.
  • Covidien
  • Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield


  • Lecturer, Defending Drunk Drivers, New Haven County Bar Association, 1987 to 1987
  • Lecturer, What's New In Workers' Compensation Law?, New Haven County Bar Association, 1991 to 1991
  • Lecturer, Defending Drunk Drivers, New Haven County Bar Association, 1999 to 1999
  • Adjunct Professor, Introduction to Law, Quinnipiac University, 1989 to 1996
  • Adjunct Professor, Family Law, Quinnipiac University, 1997

Honors and Awards

  • Super Lawyer, Criminal Defense/Workers' Compensation, Connecticut Magazine
  • Martindale Hubbell AV Pre-eminent
  • Super Lawyers 2006-2022
  • Best Lawyers 2007-2022
  • Lawyer of the Year: DUI/DWI Defense - New Haven 2016
  • Lawyer of the Year: Criminal Defense - New Haven 2022
  • Constable, Town of Branford, 2018-Present

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Connecticut's Judicial Selection Commission, Chairman, June 2019- August 2022
  • New Haven County Bar Association, Member
  • Connecticut Bar Association, Member
  • Connecticut Bar Association, Workers Compensation Section, Member, Executive Committee
  • American Bar Association, Member

Past Employment Positions

  • Connecticut Superior Court, Law Clerk, 1983 to 1983


  • German


  • Alpha Chi Rho