Thomas A. Cushane

Thomas A. Cushane Photo
Thomas A. Cushane Esquire


Prior to entering the practice of law, Mr. Cushane served as a full-time police officer in New Jersey from 1993 to 2004—first in Avalon (Cape May County) and then in Washington Township (Gloucester County). During his 12-year law enforcement career, Mr. Cushane served as a police-academy instructor, field-training officer, police patrol-dog handler, and as a K-9 unit supervisor, where he was responsible for managing and directing the daily operations of his police department’s K-9 unit. He is a certified Police K-9 Handler and a certified Police K-9 Trainer. He served for six years as his union’s president, during which he was an outspoken advocate on issues ranging from unlawful random drug testing procedures to the right to legal counsel during internal affairs interrogations.

Mr. Cushane holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in criminal justice from Rowan University, where he graduated with honors. He earned a Juris Doctor degree from Widener University School of Law. He is licensed to practice law in all state and federal trial and appellate courts in the State of New Jersey, in all federal trial and appellate courts in the District of Columbia, in the federal Third Circuit appellate court, and in the Supreme Court of the United States. He appears frequently in both the Law Division and the Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey and before the New Jersey Public Employment Relations Commission, the New Jersey Civil Service Commission, the New Jersey Office of Administrative Law, the New Jersey Police and Firemen’s Retirement System, the New Jersey State Police Retirement System, the New Jersey Public Employees’ Retirement System, and the federal National Mediation Board, an independent U.S. federal government agency that facilitates labor-management relations within the nation’s railroad and airline industries.

Mr. Cushane is a co-founder of the New Jersey Police K-9 Association, a statewide consortium of certified police K-9 handlers and police K-9 trainers. Prior to entering the practice of law, he served that association as its Communications Director. He presently serves as Instructor Emeritus on the Association’s training staff, where he lectured on the lawful use of force and all facets of proper police-patrol-dog K-9 deployment.

In 2001, Mr. Cushane served as the chief architect of a comprehensive proposal to the state attorney general calling for reform of New Jersey’s police K-9 training standards. Acting on that proposal, Attorney General John Farmer empaneled a special advisory committee consisting of Mr. Cushane and nine other law enforcement professionals from among the New Jersey Police K-9 Association, the United States Police K-9 Association, and the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police. Many of the reforms that Mr. Cushane championed were subsequently adopted by the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice and implemented statewide—an achievement for which Mr. Cushane received written acclaim from Attorney General David Samson.

Upon invitation from the New Jersey Press Association in 1999 and 2000, Mr. Cushane testified twice before the New Jersey General Assembly State Government Committee and once before the New Jersey Senate Judiciary Committee regarding the New Jersey Press Association’s successful, multi-year effort to overhaul New Jersey’s Open Public Records Act.

In 2006, Mr. Cushane urged much-needed reforms to aspects of New Jersey’s police internal affairs and police disciplinary processes and drafted a six-part legislative blueprint designed to correct shortcomings in how allegations of police misconduct are investigated and adjudicated. With the aid of the New Jersey State Policemen’s Benevolent Association and the New Jersey State Fraternal Order of Police, several of Mr. Cushane’s suggested reforms eventually became state law.

In 2007, Mr. Cushane retired in good standing from law enforcement and entered the practice of law. Later that same year, he was tapped to serve as General Counsel to the Fraternal Order of Police New Jersey Labor Council—a position he held for six years—during which he was the primary attorney responsible for litigating the collective bargaining disputes of that organization’s 100-plus bargaining units statewide and its over 2,100 active police officers, sheriff’s officers, correctional police officers, and plain-clothes investigators. He remains in private practice statewide.

First introduced in 2013, Mr. Cushane’s comprehensive, all-inclusive, one-of-a-kind Law Enforcement Legal Services Plan is specifically designed to slash the high costs of both grievance and unfair-practice litigation, lessen the financially unpredictable nature of protracted collective negotiations, and make smart, effective labor representation affordable to even the smallest of law enforcement unions.

Mr. Cushane’s law office is located in Vineland, from which he proudly represents law enforcement officers and their bargaining units federally and throughout New Jersey’s 21 counties in labor, employment, internal affairs, and pension matters.