Syracuse-based trial lawyer, John Cherundolo was sworn in on May 20, 2014 as the President of the New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers, a statewide Association made up of approximately 2,500 trial lawyers. It was the 10th Anniversary of the Academy, a group that was originally founded in 2004 by John Cherundolo, John Powers, Jim Duffy and Bob Lahm. The four had been past Presidents of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association, and recognized the need to stress professionalism, legal education, and support for a strong and independent court system, all in a way that promotes professionalism among all members of the Academy and those trial lawyers that practice their profession in the Courts of New York. The Academy provides free legal education for all of its members, thus fostering a strong continuing legal education program within an Academy that was organized to protect the independence of the New York Court System, and the individual rights of all people within the State of New York. John Cherundolo and the Board of Directors were sworn in by the Chief Administrative Judge of the State of New York, the Honorable A. Gail Prudenti. Judge Prudenti pledged to support the Associations' cause to keep a strong and independent judiciary, where all citizens of the State of New York can be treated fairly when involved in legal actions and proceedings in the State.