Retired federal judge Richard “Dicky” Haik Sr. discussed his 32-year career in law with Jan Swift of the Discover Lafayette podcast.
You can listen to their conversation here.
A native of New Iberia, Haik was Haik was elected as a state court judge at age of 34 in 1984 for the 16th Judicial District, covering Iberia, St. Martin, and St. Mary parishes. In state court, his caseload included family and custody issues, as well as criminal sentencing, which was personally difficult for him to rule on and led to many sleepless nights.
But that is part of the job, and he followed his dad’s advice from childhood to “Listen to everyone’s advice and do what you think is right.”
In 1991 he nominated by President George H.W. Bush to serve on the federal bench for the U. S. District Court, Western District of Louisiana, where he served as chief judge of the court from 2002 to 2009.
Haik says to young attorneys: “If you haven’t tried a case in federal court, it’s advisable to get counsel from someone who has before you try your case.”
Haik had a few high-profile cases including the Lafayette Parish Public School System’s desegregation case where he ruled on April 24, 2006, that after 41 years, the school system was free from judicial oversight of its operations.
“I did what I thought was right,” he said.