Disabled combat veteran John “Jack” Cunningham brought
allegations of legal malpractice charges and attorney
ethics violations against the law firm Maynard and Truland, which had represented him during
a court action two years previously. Jack's allegations included gross
negligence, dubious billing practices; false billing and over charging, misstatements to the
Court, coming to court unprepared, etc. Evidence that Jack submitted included the law firm’s
own invoices, their contract, attorney certifications, court filed letters,
documents, and sworn statements.
Robert Correale, an
attorney with Maynard and Truland, represented his law firm in Jack’s
legal malpractice grievance in Superior Court. At this time, Jack learned that besides Robert Correale serving as a
general practice attorney for Maynard & Truland, Correale was serving as a local,
New Jersey district attorney, as well of serving on the extremely
influential, New Jersey Supreme Court’s Attorney Ethics committee of District X. Correale
was listed on Maynard & Truland’s own website that he was the
vice-chairman of this Supreme Court committee. The current director of this powerful
state agency admits Correale was a member of District X, but denies Correale was vice-chairman.
Robert Correale, James Maynard and Joe Truland had much to
lose, if they were found guilty of legal malpractice, but even more important, the State of New
Jersey had even more to lose. What would be the impact locally, state-wide and nationally,
if one of their members of New Jersey's Supreme Court Office of Attorney Ethics was found guilty
of legal malpractice. The embarrassment alone would be a tremendous disaster.
But evidence is evidence. Against the objections of Robert Correale, Sussex County Superior Court Judge Ronald
Graves determined that the evidence presented by Jack Cunningham
warranted the civil case be brought to the Superior Court Law
Division for pursuit of damages.
When Jack brought the case there, the
Superior Court’s transcript containing Judge Graves determination
was unexplainably missing. Jack’s civil case was later dismissed for lack of merit.
A later investigation by Cunningham's state senator, the
Superior Court of New Jersey, which lost the transcript, could
not provide an explanation as to how a court transcript from within its
own courthouse had disappeared as if in a puff of smoke.
With Robert Correale
and Maynard & Truland saved in Superior Court by
a missing court transcript audio, the former client still wanted to bring them
to justice. Jack brought attorney ethics allegations against the law firm, Maynard & Truland and
Robert Correale to the New Jersey Supreme
Court’s Office of Attorney Ethics. Senior staff of this extremely
powerful, New Jersey Supreme Court ethics agency insisted that Robert Correale’s
own attorney ethics committee must carry out the investigation
against him and his law firm. Not trained in law, Jack Cunningham
still knew immediately this was a gross, Conflict of Interest.
Jack could not understand why senior officials, who were attorneys
themselves, in this important New Jersey Supreme Court agency did not understand this fact
of a Conflict of Interest.
months of Jack's persistent inquiries, the Office's senior staff
finally admitted to the conflict of interest and an investigation was
launched by a different Supreme Court District committee from the next New
Correale and a second
attorney from his law firm of Maynard & Truland were required
to present sworn certifications. A third attorney was allowed a pass. The
senior law partner of Maynard and Truland wrote a cover letter to accompany
these documents. The lawyers provided no attached evidence.
However, the disabled veteran provided the same evidence as he did for the Superior Court
case: Maynard & Truland's contact, their invoices,
court filed letters, court filed documents, etc.
Correale was so desperate to clear his and his fellow lawyers' names,
he openly mocked Jack Cunningham's PTSD disability in these same sworn certifications
to New Jersey's Supreme Court.
Jack’s review of the attorneys' sworn certifications,
he found misleading, perjury
and vague statements throughout the sworn documents and its cover letter.
Within two weeks of Jack’s questioning the sworn certifications
as being fraudulent, Robert Correale resigned
his Supreme Court position, fifteen months before his term was set to expire.
However, seven months after resigning, Correale and his firm,
Maynard and Truland, were cleared of all ethics allegations by
the Office of Attorney Ethics. The perjury-filled sworn certifications
have never been addressed despite Jack having written to four (4)
consecutive New Jersey Governors, Attorney Generals, and multiple
Supreme Court and Superior Court judges requesting an investigation.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is a friend of the
Maynard & Truland attorneys having served together in the
same New Jersey town. After years of him being governor, Christie's staff still
plays dumb about this request for an investigation.
All attempts by Jack to bring state and federal criminal charges against
Robert Correale, the firm Maynard &
Truland and those in state government who are shielding them, have failed.
Now the State of New Jersey states that the statute of limitations
is in play, but Jack Cunningham will not give up. He learned
that since there is government fraud involved, there is NO statute of limitations.
He still wants to bring Maynard & Truland, Robert Correale and all those state government
officials, who have protected them, to justice.