Carter Corriston, Sr., is one of northern New Jersey's original modern trial attorneys, with numerous accomplishments that have shaped the law over the last four decades. No-nonsense and straightforward, Corriston leads Breslin & Breslin, a Bergen County institution of the legal profession for nearly 80 years. Today, he and partner Donald A. Caminiti (a fellow Ten Leaders member) are the twin forces of their venerated practice, which remains the longest continually operational plaintiffs' personal injury firm in the county. Peers say he is an experienced and effective lawyer, and one of the more astute observers of the region's politics, which he has been involved in for many years.
The Cliffside Park native ("I wanted to be a lawyer since grade school") joined Breslin & Breslin after receiving his law degree from Fordham Law School in 1960. His father had urged him to obtain a clerkship with the region's most influential trial firm, which after an internship hired him full time, increasing his pay from $25 to $125 per week. By 1966, he was named a partner when co-founder, the Honorable Roger W. Breslin was named a Judge in the Superior Court of New Jersey.
Over the years Corriston has brought a passion to his advocacy that has won remarkable victories; one case established new case law in the collectability of secondary insurance policies, a major issue in personal injury litigation. As a governmental litigator he won a major victory in the Supreme Court for the Township of Mahwah, recovering more than $7 million in taxes for the town. He served for 26 years on the Englewood Cliffs Borough Council, and since 1996 has been serving as its borough attorney. In addition, he served over 10 years as attorney for the Township of River Vale and over 15 years in a similar capacity for the Township of Mahwah. He remains counsel to the Housing Authority of Bergen County for which he has served for over 25 years.
Corriston continues to lead Breslin & Breslin, and, remarkably, three of his sons have joined him in what is now a six-attorney practice. The senior Corriston still handles major cases, including medical malpractice claims, accident claims and classic personal injury cases involving the negligence of others. "If I didn't enjoy it, I wouldn't still be doing it," he says.
Corriston, an avid golfer, recently served for two years as President of the White Beeches Golf and Country Club in Haworth, New Jersey. He and his wife are longtime residents of Englewood Cliffs; they have five grown children and over a dozen grandchildren.