Haytham Faraj’s path to becoming a trial lawyer began as a Marine Corps infantryman and later a Marine Corps infantry officer. If being a trial attorney means fighting for the rights of those who cannot fight for themselves, then Haytham has been waging that battle his entire adult life as a military warrior and now a trial lawyer.
Haytham has tried some of the most legendary cases of the last decade. He was the lead trial lawyer in the case of United States v. Frank Wuterich, a case the became known worldwide as the “Haditha Massacre.” Haytham represented the Marine squad leader who was accused of nineteen counts of first degree murder in the most famous war crimes trial since My Lai. The story became the basis for the book “No Time For Truth.” Haytham was also the lead trial lawyer in the case of United States v. Trent Thomas, another war crimes case that achieved international notoriety. He acquitted his client who was freed after nearly two years in jail awaiting trial. Among his other notable victories include the acquittal of a man accused of spying for Saddam Hussein; the recent acquittal of a man accused of illegally exporting U.S. Defense Articles to South Sudan; a 2.2 million dollars verdict on a zero offer that was tried in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia; and the acquittal of Navy Seal Matthew McCabe who was accused of war crimes. Haytham has tried more than eighty civil and criminal trials in the last ten years.
Haytham attributes his devotion to being a trial lawyer to his nearly 20 years as a Marine combat leader. He believes that those who can, must fight to protect those who cannot protect themselves. He earned a BA, magna cum laude from The Citadel in less than three years. Following college, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps. After basic officer training, he attended the internationally renowned U.S. Marine Corps Infantry Officer Course which is regarded as the most physically and mentally challenging military course in the United States. He graduated the Infantry Officer Course at the top of his class and was awarded the Wheeler Award for infantry excellence, the highest award an infantry officer of his grade may achieve.
In 2002, Haytham was selected among a handful of officers to attend law school. He attended the American University Washington College of Law in Washington, DC, and graduated cum laude in 2005. Following law school, he elected assignment as a defense counsel at Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton in California. In early 2006, Haytham was selected to head the Camp Pendleton Defense section as the Senior Defense Counsel. During his Marine Corps career he received several personal and combat related awards including, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, the Navy-Marine Corps Achievement medal and the Combat Action Ribbon.
He left the Marine Corps in June of 2008 and went into private practice.
Haytham is licensed to practice in California, Illinois, Michigan, and Washington, DC. He is also admitted to practice in numerous federal District Courts as well as the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, 6th Circuit and U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.
Haytham is an advanced trial skills instructor and faculty member at the legendary Gerry Spence’ Trial Lawyer’s College in Wyoming.
Health and fitness are a core part of his life. He enjoys cycling, running, and adventure racing. He has completed several Ironman distance triathlons, the Wild West Relay, the Race Across the West bicycle race and numerous other marathons and triathlons.
“Trial is combat. It is not a civilized competition, a sport like activity, or a gentlemanly undertaking. It is a war for survival. To prevail the trial lawyer must possess the physical abilities, the mental acumen and the agility of a warrior engaged in a fight for survival.”