The Bizarre Fight Over Tom Corea's Cases, Which Have Been Living in his Girlfriend's Apartment

Corea mugshot.jpg
Corea's mugshot
The weirdness surrounding disgraced attorney Tom Corea has several levels. There's the obvious one, in which he was sued by several former clients who said he'd stolen their settlement money; indicted for felony theft by the Dallas County District Attorney's office; had disbarment proceedings initiated against him by the State Bar of Texas; and was evicted from his swanky Design District offices for non-payment. Corea's former landlords say he responded to that eviction, as one does, by trashing the place, including drawing penises all over the office , strewing used toilet paper about, and writing several insults on the walls about an out-of-state judge being a "Fat Whore."

Corea's bond was revoked for that last incident, the one with the dicks and the impugning of lady judges. He's currently in Dallas County Jail, with bail set at $575,000.

The other level of weirdness has to do with Corea's open cases, 300 or so of them, and who should take them over.

A hearing yesterday in the 95th District Court revealed that Shannon McCarty, Corea's girlfriend and former office manager, tried to sell the computer servers containing many of those case files to another local injury attorney, Eric Marye.

(According to the Dallas Morning News, prosecutors have accused McCarty of being "an accomplice" in Corea's crimes, although she hasn't been charged with anything.) In the meantime, the servers have been at her apartment. A bunch of the paper case files have been in the possession of another former Corea Group employee, Shelley Curtiss. In her truck, specifically.

The hearing in front of Judge Ken Molberg yesterday (at which Corea was not present) was in response to a petition filed by Brad Thomas, a 28-year-old former lawyer with the Corea Trial Group. Thomas said he quit in disgust soon after Corea's indictment and now practices law out of his apartment. He asked the court to assume jurisdiction of all of Corea's case files and then appoint him as their custodian.

Marye had a different idea about how the cases should be handled: he paid McCarty $10,000 for the computer servers, but was adamant that he was not trying to "buy" the cases themselves (which is, obviously, a no-no.) Instead, he and McCarty told the judge that they set up a makeshift office with the servers and began getting in touch with Corea's former clients by phone, to let them know that Corea had been disbarred and Marye was available to take over their cases. Marye said he'd been in contact with the State Bar's ethics board throughout the sale, to make sure it was kosher. McCarty said the money would go toward paying off the firm's debts.

But Thomas said that McCarty was trying to just sell the cases themselves outright. To back that point up, he played a video he recorded of himself and a process server delivering a subpoena to McCarty's house. In the video, Thomas asks McCarty what's happened to the files.

"I'm selling them," she replies. "Someone's buying them. Someone's taking them on."

"Who?" Thomas asks.

"That's none of your business," McCarty replies.

As the video played in the courtroom, several of Corea's former employees who were present started giggling. When McCarty was heard on the video giving Curtiss' contact information to Thomas, Curtiss shook her head in mock outrage at McCarty, who smiled back from the stand and mouthed something indecipherable. When Thomas himself took the stand later on, Curtiss could be heard loudly hissing the word "snake" at him from the audience. (She later told the judge that she was unhappy to have been subpoenaed in front of her children.)

Thomas told the judge that he was "absolutely not" trying to take over the cases himself.

"I'm asking for all the files to be in one place," he said, "In the broad daylight and fresh air." He called Corea's conduct a "blight on the legal community," and said that he and several other lawyers were working to "triage" the situation.

But when Marye quizzed Thomas on how long he'd been an attorney and how much experience he had, he admitted that since 2009, when he was admitted to the bar, he'd only been first chair on one case, which he'd lost, and hadn't ever handled a malpractice suit "from start to finish."

Marye told the judge that he himself was "more than qualified" and "very excited" to handle the cases. He admitted that taking them on would "obviously" result in "some monetary benefit" to him, but said that was hardly the point.

"This is Tom Corea's problem," he told the judge. "I hope the court would entertain me being allowed to be part of the solution."

In a way, the judge did just that. Molberg granted Thomas' petition to have the court take over jurisdiction of Corea's files. A former judge, James Stanton, was appointed the primary custodian. Marye will be the "secondary and temporary" custodian for the next few days, the judge ruled. He is required to assess the files and take "any immediate action necessary to prevent harm to clients." Some of Corea's clients have apparently had their cases dismissed because nobody showed up to hearings; the idea is that a custodian will prevent that sort of thing from happening anymore.

Thomas said he was "very pleased with the court's results," even though he'll play no role in the custodianship. "I'm confident the clients' matters will be resolved ethically, to protect the clients' interests," he said.

Corea's girlfriend also briefly testified yesterday about Corea himself, saying that he will not be able to make his $575,000 bail. "The judge is working on lowering his bond to get him out and move him into a treatment facility," she said. She and Marye declined to answer questions after the hearing about what type of treatment that might be.

Can we also suggest remedial art class? Those penises were really very odd-looking.

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19 comments
Erin
Erin

I was a "client" of his. He has ruined my life. My credit is a mess because he refused to pay out the medical providers HE sent me to after my accident. I am $50,000 in debt because of this thief. Whatever happens to his family, I have empathy for them. But as far as "Mr. Corea" he deserves every bit of what is coming. And I hope he suffers as much as all of the people he has ruined.

Texasskye
Texasskye

Btw, if UR do close to the mom you'd know her bipolar ordeal went on way before this mess with Tom.

Texasskye
Texasskye

@keepitkosher.... I do know them personally and I'm not passing judgement as its the truth. What are u, 16,17? Obviously what you're seeing is from a teenage perspective and you don't have a clue what's really going on here. So, you are excused. Everything I said is true.

keepitkosher
keepitkosher

Excuse you @Texasskye . Unless you know them personally, you have no room to state what kind of people his wife and children are. I went to school with his children and I am close with his oldest daughter. I'm being something that that family needs; a true honest friend. I have the up most respect for them and the way they are having to handle with his mistakes. Mrs. Corea is a very kind and genuine person.  How do you know she didn't lose it because of all that is happening now? Yes, they had money, because their dad was a wealthy lawyer. But the Corea children are not spoiled brats, contrary to what you think. Unless you've never made mistakes, step off and stop judging. 

Texasskye
Texasskye

Coreas wife isn't stable to have their children either. It's very sad! She's bipolar to a very clinical state and November,2011 was committed to an intensive inpatient rehab in Arizona for her bipolar condition after assaulting a woman. The woman she tried to assault beat her up really bad, to the point it put her in the hospital and then jail where she went to rehab shortly there after. When she assaulted this person their oldest daughter was with her. There was an intentional vehicle accident involved somehow and the oldest daughter was involved in it with her. Jennifer Roberts Corea had tried to assault another woman in South texas somewhere but nothing happened over that one to my knowledge. I do (did) know this family thru the quarter horse association but obviously they have stopped coming to the meetings and shows. They flaunted their trailers, horses, outfits, sports cars and money to the point it made enemies. I feel for the children of these two people. Corneas three children are spoiled and unruly but no child deserves this! I don't know anything about the girlfriend but I bet she wishes she had better taste in men! What a circus!!!

kewill
kewill

Wow...sometimes one does actually get to ride that karma bus and watch the results of lowlife, scumbags getting their due. First of all...most attorneys are actually good guys but this one is a disgrace to the legal community. Secondly, this story says "girlfriend testified that files are in her apartment, then it says she was served papers at her house." She is from a small town and owns a house....if this is true, she also (or again) committed perjury! And on top of all of the above unethical, trashy, low class behavior, Corea and this girlfriend are both married and not to each other. They both have ruined their families and are parents who have no regard for being any kind of moral role models for their children (yes they both have children) ...hope no court would give either one of them custody since they are both proving they have no regard for the law or any decency whatsoever. Hopefully they will charge the girlfriend with the crimes she has committed as well so she doesn't continue thinking there are no consequences to her actions.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

I just can't stop laughing at his mugshot.

 

That truculent stare is such a contrast juxtaposed with that chubby face and goofy hairstyle.

TernDawletter
TernDawletter

Lawyers, guns and money. Crooks, liars and thieves. And their skin color fails to have the impact it so rightfully deserves.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

....must....not....comment....on...pic..ture... *aaaaaaarrggggg!*

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

He should should get 5 years for follicular assault.

Texasskye
Texasskye

I just asked my daughter and their oldest child is 16 now which would have made her 15 when her mother did this. She's not fit to have her children. The other two are (girl) 12 and (son) 9.

Really7426
Really7426

The girlfriend hasn't committed any crimes, that's why she hasn't been charged. The only statement that has been said by the DA is that she could have been an accomplice to the destruction of the office, which has been proven not true. Also, there was no perjury committed, during Ms. McCarty's testimony yesterday in court, she stated that the files are in her house (public record shows that she does own and live in an actual house). The apartment comment came from Mr. Marye, that said he had set up a make-shift office in an apartment that he rented as a temporary work place. According to Ellis County Court documents both parties have filed (both were the petitioners in each of their cases) for divorce from their spouses. I'm quite sure the relevance of that commit, but you should do your research before speaking out of turn. Also, Corea's indictment shows that most of the alleged crimes where committed prior to the employment of his girlfriend (she stated in her testimony yesterday when she was hired by Corea) therefore she couldn't have been a part of the alleged crimes.

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

Should should should just be should.

Damn firewire or whatever cheapass comment system.

kewill
kewill

@Really7426 oh I've done all the research I care to do on both POS's here. The fact is that these two idiots deserve each other....but their children deserve neither of them.

abcd
abcd

 @Really7426

not sure what date she testified to in court about being hired, but the earliest date on the four indictments is sept. 2010.  she was hired in early 2009.  don't know if she committed any crimes, but she was working there before any of the alleged crimes in the indictments.

and both have filed for divorce, but neither has been granted one.

kewl
kewl

 @Really7426  Wow again... you must be related to one of them because you obviously think the same way and they learned her behavior from someone. "What do their children have to do with any of this?" What kind of role model are they to their children? They left their spouses and within 1 week were shacking up together and traveling together, flaunting their trips, while still obviously married...but I guess that's ok in your book. Again, learned behavior obviously. 

 

And as for you telling me to "grow the hell up and gain some intelligence"...well "Unless either one has been an indanger to their children"...I think it's you that really needs to gain some intelligence. And I'm sure that completely flew over your head.

 

Yes children need their parents - but they need those parent to act like adults that are good role models and not complete trash that has no regard for anyone but themselves.  At least there is the chance that the other parent is setting a good example because these two obviously are not.

 

And I am all for innocent until proven guilty but there is more than enough to convict in this instance I do believe....only time will tell.

Really7426
Really7426

@kewill not sure what their children have to do with any of this, except that according to the news reports Corea's children an family have enjoyed the money. Nonetheless, all we need out there is more parentless children. Unless either one has been an indanger to their children then why in the hell would anyone wish upon a child to not have their parents. Grow the hell help and gain some intelligence. As far as the girlfriend, everyone has pretty muh chalked that up as a "wrong place, wrong time" scenario. Another thing that everyone is forgetting is that it's innocent until proven guilty. Corea has not been convicted of anything, only accused/charged.

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