Kenneth Vercammen (732) 572-0500

2053 Woodbridge Ave. Edison, NJ 08817

Ken is a NJ trial attorney who has published 130 articles in national and New Jersey publications on litigation topics. He was awarded the NJ State Bar Municipal Court Practitioner of the Year. He lectures for the Bar and handles litigation matters. He is Past Chair of the ABA Tort & Insurance Committee, GP on Personal Injury and lectured at the ABA Annual Meeting attended by 10,000 attorneys and professionals.

New clients email us evenings and weekends go to

Monday, July 28, 2008


a) N.J.S. 2A: 84A-22.1 provides:
As used in this act, (a) "patient" means a person who, for the sole purpose of securing preventive, palliative, or curative treatment, or a diagnosis preliminary to such treatment, of his physical or mental condition, consults a physician, or submits to an examination by a physician; (b) "physician" means a person authorized or reasonably believed by the patient to be authorized, to practice medicine in the State or jurisdiction in which the consultation or examination takes place; (c) "holder of the privilege" means the patient while alive and not under the guardianship of the guardian of the person of an incompetent patient, or the personal representative of a deceased patient; (d) "confidential communication between physician and patient" means such information transmitted between physician and patient, including information obtained by an examination of the patient, as is transmitted in confidence and by a means which, so far as the patient is aware, discloses the information to no third persons other than those reasonably necessary for the transmission of the information or the accomplishment of the purpose for which it is transmitted.

(b) N.J.S. 2A:84A-22.2 provides:

Except as otherwise provided in this act, a person, whether or not a party, has a privilege in a civil action or in a prosecution for a crime or violation of the disorderly persons law to refuse to disclose, and to prevent a witness from disclosing, a communication, if he claims the privilege and the judge finds that (a) the communication was a confidential communication between patient and physician, and (b) the patient or the physician reasonably believed the communication to be necessary or helpful to enable the physician to make a diagnosis of the condition of the patient or to prescribe or render treatment therefor, and (c) the witness (i) is the holder of the privilege.

Background of the Privilege

As set forth in Biunno, Current NJ Rules of Evidence, Comment 1 to NJRE 506, (Gann) Even prior to the enactment of the statutory privilege doctors were ethically restrained by the Oath of Hippocrates from violating the privacy of their patients by disclosing confidential information in the absence of legal compulsion. State v. Schreiber, supra, at 586-588; Hague v. Williams, supra at 332, 335; Lazorick v. Brown, 195 N.J. Super. 444, 451 (App. Div. 1984).

This ethical obligation is now embodied in Section 9 of the Principles of Medical Ethics of the American Medical Association. In this spirit law enforcement officers were cautioned in State v. Schreiber, supra, at 587, "not to cajole hesitant hospital doctors to violate confidences absent some preceding justification."

Nevertheless, even without testimonial compulsion, it was held in Hague v. Williams, supra, that information concerning a patient's medical condition could be disclosed to someone having a legitimate interest in the subject "where ... the physical condition of the patient is made an element of a claim." Id. at 336. See Kurdek v. West Orange Educ. Bd., 222 N.J. Super. 218, 224 (Law Div. 1987).

The privilege is designed to enable a patient to secure medical services "without fear of betrayal and unwarranted embarrassing and detrimental disclosure in court of information which might deter him from revealing his symptoms to a doctor to the detriment of his health." Stempler v. Speidell, 100 N.J. 368, 374 (1985); Kurdek v. West Orange Educ. Bd., supra, at 223-224.

The New Jersey Supreme Court has recognized that when a law enforcement agency is investigating allegations of medical fraud, it may have to give notice to holders of the physician-patient privilege before it can subpoena records deemed necessary for their investigations. State v. Dolinger, 96 N.J. 236, 254 (1984). R. 4:14-7(c), the rule of practice governing the use of a subpoena for taking depositions, is directed toward preventing disclosure of privileged information by an expert such as a doctor without notice to other parties. Vasquez v. YMCA, 263 N.J. Super. 408, 411 (Law Div. 1992).

Even after Schreiber, a driver suspected of having an elevated blood alcohol level does not necessarily lose all interest in the confidentiality of his medical records. Where a blood test was taken for diagnostic rather than investigative purposes and where investigation is of death by auto charges or any other crime or disorderly persons offense, the privilege would still apply under the restrictions established by State v. Dyal, 97 N.J. 229 (1984).

Also, the term "confidential communication" is defined as including information obtained by an examination of the patient. State, In Interest of M.P.C., supra. Thus, the privilege is not confined solely to oral or written communications; if there was an expectation of confidentiality, "[a] physician's impressions secured by any of his senses may be privileged against disclosure." State v. Phillips, supra at 542, N. 4.

It should be noted that the privilege encompasses not only the claimant's ability to refuse to disclose communications, but also the claimant's ability to prevent a witness from making such disclosure. Thus, where the privilege is applicable, neither physicians nor third persons, within the ambit of N.J.R.E. 506(a) and N.J.S. 2A: 84A-22.1(d), may disclose confidential communications.

Any confidential statements made to a treating nurse, who was acting either as an agent under a doctor's supervision or in her own professional capacity, should be protected from disclosure under N.J.S. 2A:84A-22.2(c)(ii). See State v. Phillips, 213 N.J. Super. 534, 543, n. 5 (App. Div. 1986).

But once a patient waives the privilege by bringing an action involving an aspect of his physical condition, it is a waiver covering all of his physician's knowledge concerning that condition. Stigliano v. Connaught Labs, Inc., supra, at 312. Thus, a plaintiff's treating doctors can testify for a defendant "concerning their physical examinations and diagnoses of plaintiff."

1:7-1. Opening and Closing Statements in a Jury Trial

(a) Opening Statement. Before any evidence is offered at trial, the State in a criminal action or the plaintiff in a civil action, unless otherwise provided in the pretrial order, shall make an opening statement. A defendant who chooses to make an opening statement shall do so immediately thereafter.
(b) Closing Statement. After the close of the evidence and except as may be otherwise provided in the pretrial order, the parties may make closing statements in the reverse order of opening statements. In civil cases any party may suggest to the trier of fact, with respect to any element of damages, that unliquidated damages be calculated on a time-unit basis without reference to a specific sum. In the event such comments are made to a jury, the judge shall instruct the jury that they are argument only and do not constitute evidence.

Note: Source-R.R. 3:7-3, 4:44-1, 7:8-4; former rule redesignated as paragraph (a), paragraph (b) adopted and caption amended July 15, 1982 to be effective September 13, 1982; paragraph (a) amended July 13, 1994 to be effective September 1, 1994; paragraph (b) amended July 12, 2002 to be effective September 3, 2002.

Notice of Claim

Title 59 requires you or your attorney file a formal notice of claim against a public entity and you have been seriously and permanently injured as a result of negligent and reckless conduct by a public entity. Meet with your attorney in their office imedaitly.
Notice of Claim

Forward to: (Public entity)

1. Claimant

____________________________________________________________ Last Name, First, Middle


Date of Birth


Street Address Mailing address if other then street

_____________________________________________________________ City, State , Zip Code

_____________________________________________________________ Social Security

If notice and correspondence in connection with this claim are to be sent to a person other than claimant, complete item #2.





Mailing Address


City, State, Zip Code

Relationship to claimant: Attorney at law or ________________________________________

Explain relationship

3. The occurrence or accident which gave rise to this claim:

a. __________________



Time b. Describe the location or place of the accident of occurrence:

___________________________________________________________________ Municipality Exact place of the occurrence

c. Describe how the accident or occurrence happened: If a diagram will assist your explanation, please use the reverse side of this form.


d. State the name and address of the state agency or agencies that you claim caused your damage:


State the name of state employees whom you claim were at fault, including any information that will assist in identifying and locating them.

____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ___________

e. State the negligence or wrongful acts of the state agency and state employees which caused your damage.

____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ________________

f. State the name and address of all witnesses to the accident or occurrence.


g. State the name of all police officers and police departments who investigated the accident.


4. Damages

a. Claim for damages: ( ) Personal Injury ( ) Property Damage ( ) or

If other, explain in detail __________________________________________________________________________

b. If you claim personal injury, 1. Describe your injuries resulting from this accident or occurrence:


2. Do you claim permanent disability resulting from this injury? ( ) Yes ( ) No

If yes, describe the injuries believed to be permanent.

3. For each hospital, doctor, or other practitioner rendering treatment examination or diagnostic service state:

Name of hospital or doctor or other facility :


Address: ___________________________________________________________________

Dates if treatment or services: ___________________________________________________________________

Amount of charges to date: ___________________________________________________________________

Amount paid or payable by other sources such as insurance: ___________________________________________________________________

4. If you claim loss of wages or income as a result of the injury state: ___________________________________________________________________

Name of employer: Address of employer:


Your Occupation: Dates employed at this job:


Rate of Pay: Dates of absence from work:


Total of lost wages: If still out of work expected date of return: $___________________________________________________________________

Note: If your claimed loss of income arises form self-employment or other than wages, attach a calculation showing the basis of your calculation of lost income.

5. Set forth any and all other losses or damages claimed by you: ___________________________________________________________________

c. If you claim property damage: ___________________________________________________________________

1. Describe the property damaged:


2. The present time and location where item can be examined: ___________________________________________________________________

3. Date property was acquired: ___________________________________________________________________

4. Cost of the property: ___________________________________________________________________

5. Value of property at time of accident: ___________________________________________________________________

6. Description of damage:


7. Has the damage been repaired? If so by whom? ___________________________________________________________________

8. Attach each estimate of repair costs to this form. ___________________________________________________________________

9. Set forth in detail the loss claimed by you for property damage: ___________________________________________________________________

d. Set forth in detail all other items of loss or damages claimed by you and the method by which you made the calculation. ___________________________________________________________________

5. The amount of the claim: ___________________________________________________________________

6. Have you made a claim against anyone else for any of the losses claimed in this notice? ___________________________________________________________________

If yes set forth the names and addresses of all persons and insurance companies whom you've made claims against. ___________________________________________________________________

7. Are any of the losses or expenses claimed herein covered by any policy of insurance? ___________________________________________________________________

8. Have you received or agreed to receive any money from anyone for the damages claimed herein? If so set forth the details of this agreement. ___________________________________________________________________

9. The following items must be submitted with his notice: ___________________________________________________________________

(1) Copies of itemized bills for each medical expense and other losses and expenses claimed.


(2) Full copies of all appraisals and estimates of property damage claimed by you...


(3) Copies of all written reports of all expert witnesses and treating physicians..


(4) A letter from your employer verifying your lost wages. If self employed, a statement showing the calculation of your claimed lost income. ___________________________________________________________________

I hereby certify that the foregoing statements made by me are true, that the attached statements, bills, reports and documents are the only ones known to me to be in existence at this time. I am aware that if any statement made herein is willfully false or fraudulent, that I am subject to punishment provided by law.

Dated: ________________________________________


This web site is purely a public resource of general New Jersey information (intended, but not promised or guaranteed to be correct, complete, or up-to-date). It is not intended be a source of legal advice, do not rely on information at this site or others in place of the advice of competent counsel. The Law Office of Kenneth Vercammen complies with the New Jersey Rules of Professional Conduct. This web site is not sponsored or associated with any particular linked entity unless specifically stated. The existence of any particular link is simply intended to imply potential interest to the reader, inclusion of a link should not be construed as an endorsement.

Unpaid Bill and NJ Medical Fee Schedule for Bills

Information to Doctors and Medical Facilities that Provide Treatment to Personal Injury Victims
We attempt to make efforts to cooperate with treatment providers so they can get paid their interests. However, since this is an automobile/personal injury case, both the medical office and my office are bound by NJSA 39:6A-4.6. This sets forth medical fee schedules. Under this law which became effective on October 5, 1991, the Commissioner of Insurance shall establish medical fee schedules on a regional basis for the reimbursement of health care providers providing services and equipment for medical expense benefits for which payment is to be made by an automobile insured under personal injury coverage.

The Statute also provides that no health care provider may demand or request any payment from any person in excess of those permitted by the Medical Fee Schedule established pursuant to the section, nor should any person be liable to any health care provider for any amount of money which results in the charging of fees in excess of those permitted by the Medical Fee Schedule established pursuant to the section.

There is a possibility that a portion of a bill was unpaid because the charges are in excess of those permitted by the Medical Fee Schedule established by the Commissioner of Insurance. We recommend doctors and treatment facilities kindly recheck your figures and respond in writing. If you are not in possession of a Medical Fee Schedule or have questions on overbilling penalties, you should immediately contact the NJ Commissioner of Insurance. The general information telephone number is 609-984-3602 x50023.

Care paths in Car Accident Cases Starting in 1999, all medical providers must follow "care paths" and most non emergency treatment approved by the car insurance company. Please make sure all treatment and bills are pre-approved by the car insurance company. The treating doctor should also contact the car insurance company prior to MRI or extensive treatment.

Medical Provider Should Also Submit Bills to Major Medical and to Patient If you do not keep your patient and our office informed in writing of unpaid medical bills, we will be unable to put the defendant's attorney on notice when attempting to resolve a case. The medical provider must first submit the unpaid bills to the patient's car insurance carrier (PIP carrier), and/or any Blue Cross/Blue Shield or other related medical provider, and fill out any documents required by the insurance company.

Deductibles Under the New Jersey No Fault Act, car insurance companies are supposed to make timely payment of medical bills for the driver and passengers injured in their cars or other non-commercial vehicles. Please let your patients know there are now minimum deductibles under the PIP Law. There is an initial $250.00 deductible, and thereafter the car insurance company pays 80% of medical bills under a medical fee schedule established by the State Dept. of Insurance.

21 Day Notification to PIP A new State Law signed in January, 1996 requires automobile insurers to be notified by the claimant or medical provider in writing within 21 days following commencement of treatment of injuries sustained in an accident for which personal injury protection medical expense benefits are claimed. In addition, under this new law P.L. 1995, c 407, every bill for such treatment shall be submitted to the insurer, if submitted by the medical provider, within 30 days of the date that treatment was rendered.

Unfortunately, many insurance companies today delay payment or fail to pay medical bills. If payment is refused or not received, suit or Arbitration can be filed in order to compel car insurance companies to pay their share of medical bills. The filing fee of a Superior Court suit is $175.00. The Filing Fee for AAA Arbitration with an oral hearing is $325.00. Ordinarily, this is paid by the medical provider or patient. We will represent doctors or patients in PIP suits or Arbitration. We will not pay these filing fees. Based on the recent changes in New Jersey laws, we no longer sign form letters of protection. We ask doctors to send us copies of all medical bills and insurance attending physician reports you have not previously provided to us.

We will be contacted by the defendant's insurance company in an attempt to resolve your patient's personal injury case. The defendant's insurance company will request information as to the total amount of bills and whether or not there are any amounts that are unpaid. In New Jersey, under the "Collateral Source Rule," a defendant driver is not responsible for unpaid medical bills unless the plaintiff and the doctor have first submitted the bills to all available medical insurance. In car accident cases, this is both the car insurance company (PIP) and also major medical. Medical providers should fill out the bottom of this form and fax it back to our office. In addition to the below information, it would be helpful to our office if you could also fax or mail us a copy of the bill.

Total unpaid bill: _________________________________

Total bill: _________________________________

When last bill was sent to PIP/car insurance company: _________________________________

When bill was last submitted to major medical: _________________________________

When was last bill sent to patient: _________________________________

New Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act - HIPAA

A federal regulation known as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was recently adopted regarding disclosure of individually identifiable health information. This necessitated the addition of a special release and consent authority to all healthcare providers before medical information will be released to agents and interested persons of the patients. The effects of HIPAA are far reaching, and can render previously executed estate planning documents useless, without properly executed amendments, specifically addressing these issues. As HIPAA affects not only new documents, any previously executed documents are affected as well. Any previously executed Powers of Attorney, Living Wills, Revocable Living Trusts, and certainly all Medical Directives now require HIPAA amendments.

The following information was provided by the American Medical Association (AMA).

Today, state and federal laws also attempt to ensure the confidentiality of this sensitive information. The federal government recently published regulations designed to protect the privacy of your health information. This ³privacy rule² protects health information that is maintained by physicians, hospitals, other health care providers and health plans. As of April 14, 2003, your physician will need to comply with the privacy rule¹s standards for protecting the confidentiality of your health information.

This new regulation protects virtually all patients regardless of where they live or where they receive their health care. Every time you see a physician, are admitted to the hospital, fill a prescription, or send a claim to a health plan, your physician, the hospital and health plan will need to consider the privacy rule. All health information including paper records, oral communications, and electronic formats (such as e-mail) are protected by the privacy rule.

Patient: When my family member comes to pick me up from the hospital, the doctor will still be able to explain my condition and tell him what to expect when I return home. Right? True! The Rule permits doctors to discuss a patient¹s condition with family or friends involved in the person¹s care, unless the patient objects.

Patient: The privacy rule prevents a friend or family member from picking up prescriptions for me. Now I¹ll have to get out of my sick bed to get my medicine. False! The Rule allows a pharmacist to use professional judgment and experience with common practice to make reason-able inferences of the patient¹s best interest in allowing a person, other than the patient, to pick up a prescription.

Family The Privacy Rule would have prevented me from finding out information about my son Member: in a hospital in New York on September 11. False! The Rule permits hospitals and disaster relief agencies to notify family members that a loved one has been admitted to a hospital or has been involved in a disaster.

New national health information privacy standards have been issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), pursuant to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). The new regulations provide protection for the privacy of certain individually identifiable health data, referred to as Protected Health Information (PHI).

The shift of medical records from paper to electronic formats has increased the potential for individuals to access, use, and disclose sensitive personal health data. Although protecting individual privacy is a long-standing tradition among health-care providers and public health practitioners in the United States, previous legal protections at the federal, tribal, state, and local levels were inconsistent and inadequate. A patchwork of laws provided narrow privacy protections for selected health data and certain keepers of that data

Among other provisions, the Privacy Rule

* gives patients more control over their health information; * sets boundaries on the use and release of health records; * establishes appropriate safeguards that the majority of health-care providers and others must achieve to protect the privacy of health information; * holds violators accountable with civil and criminal penalties that can be imposed if they violate patients' privacy rights; * strikes a balance when public health responsibilities support disclosure of certain forms of data;

* enables patients to make informed choices based on how individual health information may be used; * enables patients to find out how their information may be used and what disclosures of their information have been made; * generally limits release of information to the minimum reasonably needed for the purpose of the disclosure; * generally gives patients the right to obtain a copy of their own health records and request corrections; and * empowers individuals to control certain uses and disclosures of their health information.

Who Is Covered

Covered entities are as follows:

* Health plans. An individual or group plan that provides, or pays the cost of, medical care that includes the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease. Health plans include private entities (e.g., health insurers and managed care organizations) and government organizations (e.g., Medicaid, Medicare, and the Veterans Health Administration). * Health-care clearinghouses. A public or private entity, including a billing service, company, or community health information system, that processes nonstandard data or transactions received from another entity into standard transactions or data elements, or vice versa. * Health-care providers. A provider of health-care services and any other person or organization that furnishes, bills, or is paid for health care in the normal course of business. Health-care providers (e.g., physicians, hospitals, and clinics) are covered entities if they transmit health information in electronic form in connection with a transaction for which a HIPAA standard has been adopted by DHHS.

The Privacy Rule also establishes requirements for covered entities with regard to their nonemployee business associates (e.g., lawyers, accountants, billing companies, and other contractors) whose relationship with covered entities requires sharing of Protected Health Information (PHI). The Privacy Rule allows a covered provider or health plan to disclose Protected Health Information (PHI) to an attorney or business associate if satisfactory written assurance is obtained that the attorney or business associate will use the information only for the purposes for which it was

engaged, will safeguard the information from misuse, and will help the covered entity comply with certain of its duties under the Privacy Rule.

The Privacy Rule does not apply to all persons or entities that regularly use, disclose, or store individually identifiable health information. For example, the Privacy Rule does not cover employers, certain insurers (e.g., auto, life, and worker compensation), or those public agencies that deliver social security or welfare benefits, when functioning solely in these capacities.

Protected Health Information

The Privacy Rule protects certain information that covered entities use and disclose. This information is called protected privacy, which is generally individually identifiable health information that is transmitted by, or maintained in, electronic media or any other form or medium. This information must relate to 1) the past, present, or future physical or mental health, or condition of an individual; 2) provision of health care to an individual; or 3) payment for the provision of health care to an individual. If the information identifies or provides a reasonable basis to believe it can be used to identify an individual, it is considered individually identifiable health information.

Required Protected Health Information (PHI) Disclosures

A covered entity is required by the Privacy Rule to disclose protected privacy in only two instances: 1) when an individual has a right to access an accounting of his or her protected privacy (see previous paragraph); and 2) when DHHS needs protected privacy to determine compliance with the Privacy Rule [45 CFR § 164.502(a)(2)]. Certain other uses and disclosures of protected privacy may be permitted without authorization, but are not required by the Privacy Rule. However, other federal, tribal, state, or local laws may compel disclosure.

Permitted Protected Health Information (PHI) Disclosures Without Authorization

The Privacy Rule permits a covered entity to use and disclose Protected Health Information (PHI), with certain limits and protections, for TPO activities [45 CFR § 164.506]. Certain other permitted uses and disclosures for which authorization is not required follow. Additional

requirements and conditions apply to these disclosures. The Privacy Rule text and OCR guidance should be consulted for a full understanding of the following:

* Required by law. Disclosures of protected privacy are permitted when required by other laws, whether federal, tribal, state, or local. * Public health. Protected privacy can be disclosed to public health authorities and their authorized agents for public health purposes including but not limited to public health surveillance, investigations, and interventions. * Health research. A covered entity can use or disclose protected privacy for research without authorization under certain conditions, including 1) if it obtains documentation of a waiver from an institutional review board (IRB) or a privacy board, according to a series of considerations; 2) for activities preparatory to research; and 3) for research on a decedent's information. * Abuse, neglect, or domestic violence. Protected privacy may be disclosed to report abuse, neglect, or domestic violence under specified circumstances. * Law enforcement. Covered entities may, under specified conditions, disclose protected privacy to law enforcement officials pursuant to a court order, subpoena, or other legal order, to help identify and locate a suspect, fugitive, or missing person; to provide information related to a victim of a crime or a death that may have resulted from a crime, or to report a crime. * Judicial and administrative proceedings. A covered entity may disclose protected privacy in the course of a judicial or administrative proceeding under specified circumstances. * Cadaveric organ, eye, or tissue donation purposes. Organ- procurement agencies may use protected privacy for the purposes of facilitating transplant. * Oversight. Covered entities may usually disclose protected privacy to a health oversight agency for oversight activities authorized by law. * Worker's compensation. The Privacy Rule permits disclosure of work- related health information as authorized by, and to the extent necessary to comply with, workers' compensation programs.

Other Authorized Disclosures

A valid authorization is required for any use or disclosure of Protected Health Information (PHI) that is not required or otherwise permitted without authorization by the Privacy Rule. In general, these authorizations must

* specifically identify the protected privacyto be used or disclosed; * provide the names of persons or organizations, or classes of persons or organizations, who will receive, use, or disclose the protected privacy; * state the purpose for each request; * notify individuals of their right to refuse to sign the authorization without negative consequences to treatment, payment, or health plan enrollment or benefit eligibility, except under specific circumstances; * be signed and dated by the individual or the individual's personal representative; * be written in plain language; * include an expiration date or event; * notify the individual of the right to revoke authorization at any time in writing, and how to exercise that right, and any applicable exceptions to that right under the Privacy Rule; and * explain the potential for the information to be subject to redisclosure by recipient and no longer protected by the Privacy Rule.

The Privacy Rule and Public Health

The Privacy Rule recognizes 1) the legitimate need for public health authorities and others responsible for ensuring the public's health and safety to have access to protected privacy to conduct their missions; and 2) the importance of public health reporting by covered entities to identify threats to the public and individuals. Accordingly, the rule 1) permits protected privacy disclosures without a written patient authorization for specified public health purposes to public health authorities legally authorized to collect and receive the information for such purposes, and 2) permits disclosures that are required by state and local public health or other laws.

However, because the Privacy Rule affects the traditional ways protected privacy is used and exchanged among covered entities (e.g., doctors, hospitals, and health insurers), it can affect public health practice and research in multiple ways. To prevent misconceptions, understanding the Privacy Rule is important for public health practice.

Part of Kenneth Vercammen¹s Power of Attorney, modified in 2004

Grant of Authority. I appoint You to act as my Agent (called an attorney in fact) to do each and every act which I could personally do for the following uses and purposes:

1. REAL ESTATE: To execute all contracts, deeds, bonds, mortgages, notes, checks, drafts, money orders, and to lease, collect rents, grant, bargain, sell, or borrow and mortgage, and to manage, compromise, settle, and adjust all matters pertaining to any real estate or lands in which I have an interest. This includes the power to sell all land I own.

2. ENDORSEMENT AND PAYMENT OF NOTES, ETC.: To make, execute, endorse, accept, and deliver any and all bills of exchange, checks, drafts, notes and trade acceptances. To pay all sums of money, at any time, or times, that may hereafter be owing by me upon any bill of exchange, check, draft, note, or trade acceptance, made, executed, endorsed, accepted, and delivered by me, or for me, and in my name, by my Agent.

3. MEDICAL RECORDS ACCESS: To be able to access my medical and hospital records under Federal Law HIPAA. Healthcare providers shall release medical information to my agent.

4. STOCKS, BONDS, AND SECURITIES: To sell any and all shares of stocks, bonds, or other securities now or hereafter, belonging to me, that may be issued by an association, trust, or corporation whether private or public, and to make, execute, and deliver any assignment, or assignments, of any such shares of stock, bonds, or other securities.

5. CONTRACTS, AGREEMENTS, ETC.: To enter into safe deposit boxes, and to make, sign, execute, and deliver, acknowledge, and perform any contract, agreement, writing, or thing that may, in the opinion of my Agent, be necessary or proper to be entered into, made or signed, sealed, executed, delivered, acknowledged or performed.

6. BANK ACCOUNTS, CERTIFICATES OF DEPOSIT, MONEY MARKET ACCOUNTS, ETC.: To add to or withdraw any amounts from any of my bank accounts, Certificates of Deposit, Money Market Accounts, etc. on my behalf or for my benefit. To make, execute, endorse, accept and deliver any and all checks and drafts, deposit and withdraw funds, acquire and redeem certificates of deposit, in banks, savings and loan associations and other institutions, execute or release such deeds of trust or other security agreements as may be necessary or proper in the exercise of the rights and powers herein granted; Without in any way being limited by or limiting the foregoing, to conduct banking transactions as set forth in section 2 of P.L. 1991, c. 95 (c. 46:2B-11).

7. TAX RETURNS, INSURANCE AND OTHER DOCUMENTS: To sign all Federal, State, and municipal tax returns, insurance forms and any other documents and to represent me in all matters concerning the foregoing.

8. GIFT GIVING POWERS: To make gifts in amounts which my agent in his sole, absolute and unfettered discretion shall deem appropriate in any given year on my behalf.

Powers. I give you all the power and authority which I may legally give to You. You may revoke this Power of Attorney. I approve and confirm all that You or your substitute may lawfully do on my behalf.

The following is a portion of a form Kenneth Vercammen uses in personal injury cases.

HIPAA Authorization to Disclose Patient Information

Purpose: This form is to be used for including, but not limited to: patient¹s telephone, fax or mail requests for films, reports or disclosures and for non-TPO requests such as lawyers, clergy, employers, schools or for marketing or research purposes.

I ________________ hereby authorize ______________ to disclose my health information described below to:

Recipient¹s Name: Kenneth Vercammen & Associates, PC Recipient¹s Address: 2053 Woodbridge Avenue, Edison, NJ 08817 Recipient¹s Telephone Number: (732) 572-0050

Films/Documents/Information to Be Released:


Purpose of Disclosure (explain or indicate at the request of the individual): PERSONAL INJURY LAWSUIT

There is no expiration date on this authorization. I understand that the terms of this authorization are governed by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 and its implementing regulations (HIPAA). I understand that I have the right to revoke this authorization, at any time prior to your compliance with the request set forth herein, provided that the revocation is in writing. I further understand that additional information relating to the exceptions to the right to revoke and a description of how I may revoke this authorization is set forth in your Notice of Privacy Practices. I understand that any revocation must include my name, address, telephone number, date of this authorization and my signature and that I should send it to you.

I understand that the information used or disclosed pursuant to this authorization may be subject to re-disclosure by the Recipient listed above and, in that case, will no longer be protected by HIPAA.

This authorization expires upon your release of the information described above or thirty days after the Date of Authorization, as set forth below, whichever comes first.

___________________ __________________ _____________ Signature of Individual Patient¹s Social Security # Date of Birth

RULE 1:6. MOTIONS AND BRIEFS IN THE TRIAL COURTS 1:6-1. Applicability of Rule

Rule 1:6 shall apply to all trial courts, except the Municipal Courts and except as otherwise provided by R. 3:26-2(d) (motions for bail reductions), R. 5:5-4 (motions in civil family actions), and R. 6:3-3 (motions in the Special Civil Part).
1:6-2. Form of Motion; Hearing

(a) Generally. An application to the court for an order shall be by motion, or in special cases, by order to show cause. A motion, other than for bail pursuant to R. 3:26-2(d) or one made during a trial or hearing, shall be by notice of motion in writing unless the court permits it to be made orally. Every motion shall state the time and place when it is to be presented to the court, the grounds upon which it is made and the nature of the relief sought and shall be accompanied by a proposed form of order in accordance with R. 3:1-4(a) or R. 4:42-1(e), as applicable. The form of order shall note whether the motion was opposed or unopposed. If the motion or response thereto relies on facts not of record or not subject of judicial notice, it shall be supported by affidavit made in compliance with R. 1:6-6. The motion shall be deemed uncontested and there shall be no right to argue orally in opposition unless responsive papers are timely filed and served stating with particularity the basis of the opposition to the relief sought.

(b) Civil Motions in Chancery Division and Specially Assigned Cases. When a civil action, by reason of its complexity or other good cause, has been specially assigned prior to trial to an individual judge for disposition of all pretrial and trial proceedings and in all cases pending in the Superior Court, Chancery Division, all motions therein shall be made directly to the judge assigned to the cause, who shall determine the mode and scheduling of their disposition. Except as provided in R. 5:5-4, motions filed in causes pending in the Superior Court, Chancery Division, Family Part, shall be governed by this paragraph.

(c) Civil and Family Part Discovery and Calendar Motions. Every motion in a civil case or a case in the Chancery Division, Family Part, not governed by paragraph (b), involving any aspect of pretrial discovery or the calendar, shall be listed for disposition only if accompanied by a certification stating that the attorney for the moving party has either (1) personally conferred orally or has made a specifically described good faith attempt to confer orally with the attorney for the opposing party in order to resolve the issues raised by the motion by agreement or consent order and that such effort at resolution has been unsuccessful, or (2) advised the attorney for the opposing party by letter, after the default has occurred, that continued non-compliance with a discovery obligation will result in an appropriate motion being made without further attempt to resolve the matter. The moving papers shall also set forth the date of any scheduled pretrial conference, arbitration proceeding scheduled pursuant to R. 4:21A, calendar call or trial, or state that no such dates have been fixed. Discovery and calendar motions shall be disposed of on the papers unless, on at least two days notice, the court specifically directs oral argument on its own motion or, in its discretion, on a party's request. A movant's request for oral argument shall be made either in the moving papers or reply; a respondent's request for oral argument shall be made in the answering papers.

(d) Civil and Family Part Motions-Oral Argument. Except as otherwise provided by R. 5:5-4 (family actions), no motion shall be listed for oral argument unless a party requests oral argument in the moving papers or in timely-filed answering or reply papers, or unless the court directs. A party requesting oral argument may, however, condition the request on the motion being contested. If the motion involves pretrial discovery or is directly addressed to the calendar, the request shall be considered only if accompanied by a statement of reasons and shall be deemed denied unless the court otherwise advises counsel prior to the return day. As to all other motions, the request shall be granted as of right. (e) Oral Argument-Mode. The court in civil matters, on its own motion or on a party's request, may direct argument of any motion by telephone conference without court appearance. A verbatim record shall be made of all such telephone arguments and the rulings thereon. (f) Order; Record Notation. If the court has made findings of fact and conclusions of law explaining its disposition of the motion, the order shall so note indicating whether the findings and conclusions were written or oral and the date on which they were rendered. If no such findings have been made, the court shall append to the order a statement of reasons for its disposition if it concludes that explanation is either necessary or appropriate. If the order directs a plenary or other evidential hearing, it shall specifically describe the issues to be so tried. A written order or record notation shall be entered by the court memorializing the disposition made on a telephone motion.

1:6-3. Filing and Service of Motions and Cross-Motions

(a) Motions Generally. Other than an ex parte motion and except as otherwise provided by R. 4:46-1 (summary judgment) and R. 5:5-4(c) (post judgment motions), a notice of motion shall be filed and served not later than 16 days before the specified return date unless otherwise provided by court order, which may be applied for ex parte. Thus, for example, if the return date of the motion is a Friday, the motion must be filed and served not later than the Wednesday, 16 days prior. If a motion is supported by affidavit or certification, the affidavit or certification shall be filed and served with the motion. Except as provided by R. 4:49-1(b) (motion for new trial), any opposing affidavits, certifications or objections filed pursuant to R. 1:6-2 shall be filed and served not later than 8 days before the return date unless the court relaxes that time. Thus, for example, if the return date is on a Friday, any response must be filed and served no later than Thursday of the prior week. Reply papers responding to opposing affidavits or certifications shall be filed and served not later than 4 days before the return date unless the court otherwise orders. Thus, for example, such papers must be filed and served on Monday for a return date of the following Friday. No other papers may be filed without leave of court.

(b) Cross-Motions. A cross-motion may be filed and served by the responding party together with that party's opposition to the motion and noticed for the same return date only if it relates to the subject matter of the original motion. A cross-motion relating to the subject matter of the original motion shall, if timely filed pursuant to this rule, relate back to the date of the filing of the original motion. The original moving party's response to the cross-motion shall be filed and served as provided by paragraph (a) for reply papers. The court may, however, on request of the original moving party, or on its own motion, enlarge the time for filing an answer to the cross-motion, or fix a new return date for both. No reply papers may be served or filed by the cross-movant without leave of court. (c) Completion of Service. For purposes of this rule, service of motion papers is complete only on receipt at the office of adverse counsel or the address of a pro se party. If service is by ordinary mail, receipt will be presumed on the third business day after mailing.

1:6-4. Superior Court; Place for Filing Motions, Orders to Show Cause and Orders

The original of all motion papers, orders to show cause and orders in civil actions in the Superior Court shall be filed in accordance with R. 1:5-6(b), except that in all actions in the Chancery Division or specially assigned to a judge of the Law Division or, if the judge to whom the motion is assigned is known, a copy of all motion papers shall also be filed with the judge.

1:6-5. Briefs The moving party's brief in support of a motion shall, pursuant to R. 1:6-3, be served and submitted to the court with the moving papers. The respondent shall serve and submit an answering brief at least 8 days before the return date. A reply brief, if any, shall be served and submitted at least 4 days before the return date. Briefs may not be submitted after the time fixed by this rule or by court order, including the pretrial order, without leave of court, which may be applied for ex parte.

1:6-6. Evidence on Motions; Affidavits

If a motion is based on facts not appearing of record, or not judicially noticeable, the court may hear it on affidavits made on personal knowledge, setting forth only facts which are admissible in evidence to which the affiant is competent to testify and which may have annexed thereto certified copies of all papers or parts thereof referred to therein. The court may direct the affiant to submit to cross-examination, or hear the matter wholly or partly on oral testimony or depositions.

1:6-7. Reading of Moving Papers and Briefs in Advance

Insofar as possible judges shall read moving papers and briefs in advance of the hearing and to this end, when briefs are submitted in the trial courts, the matter shall be assigned insofar as possible to the judge in advance of the hearing. The parties shall promptly advise the court if the matter has been disposed of by settlement prior to the hearing date.

Middlesex County Bar Association Civil Practice Seminar

Middlesex County Bar Association Civil Practice Seminar speakers:

Hon. Alexander P. Waugh, JSC, Middlesex County, Ken Oleckna, Esq., Gary M. Price, Esq. Karim Arzadi, Esq. and Ken Vercammen, Esq., Seminar Series Chair

Middlesex County Bar Civil Trial Seminar Series

January 8, 2004 Middlesex County Courthouse, New Brunswick

Topics: Interview; Pre-Complaint Investigation; Medical Bill
Issues; Insurance Problems; Filing Complaint

For Great Upcoming Seminars and Events contact:

Middlesex County Bar Association
87 Bayard Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901 US

Phone: 732-828-3433

Medicaid has lien on special needs Trust

Waldman v. Condia NJ Super. ______(App. Div. 1999) (A-347-8712 and A-681-8712, decided January 28, 1999).
The State is entitled to recover Medicaid payments in full from the settlement of a beneficiary's tort claim. The right to reimbursement may not be defeated or postponed by dedicating proceeds of the settlement to establishing a special - needs trust. For purposes of Medicaid recovery, an award to a beneficiary's parents on account of injuries for the treatment of which Medicaid funds were paid is considered an award to the beneficiary. Under the New Jersey Medicaid statute, a court is not authorized to allocate the proceeds of a settlement to specific categories of damages or to compromise a Medicaid lien.

Lost wages in a Personal Injury case

Keep a complete record of all lost wages. Obtain a statement from your company outlining the time you have lost, the rate of salary you are paid, the hours you work per week, your average weekly salary, and any losses suffered as a result of this accident. Where possible, also obtain other types of evidence such as ledger sheets, copies of time cards, canceled checks, check stubs, vouchers, pay slips, etc.

After you return to work, have your employer fill out and sign the following form dealing with wage losses.

Employer Wage authorization You are hereby requested and authorized to furnish to the Law Office of Kenneth Vercammen and Associates, PC, whose address is: 407 Main Street, Metuchen, N.J. 08840, the information requested below, concerning my loss of wages or earnings as a result of injuries received in an accident on __________________________.

__________________________________ Employee


1. When did employment start? __________________

2. What is the nature of employee's work? ______________

3. What is the average number of working days per week? __________

4. How much time did employee lose from work following the accident date? ______________________ (Set out inclusive dates and/or total hours absent.) Total number of hours or days lost ___________

5. How much money (gross and net) did employee lose due to this absence? _____________ Did the employee lose any overtime he/she may usually have earned? _____________

6. What was employee's regular pay rate? Answer only one: (a) Hourly and hours worked per day; _____________ (b) Weekly gross and net pay; _____________ (c) Semi-monthly gross and net pay; _____________ or (d) Monthly gross and net pay. _____________

7. How much, if any, of employee's sick leave or vacation time was used due to this absence? _____________

8. If any wages or earnings were paid to employee for period during which he/she was out: (a) how much was paid? (total) ________________________ (b) for what period? _________________________________ (c) nature of payment _________________________________

9. Date stopped work _____________________ 20 _________

10. Date returned to work ______________________ 20 _________ 11. Where any other benefits lost, forfeited or used, such as vacation time, sick leave, seniority rights, etc. ___________________________

12. Was employee reimbursed by NJ State Temporary Disability benefits or private insurance for lost wages.

It would be most appreciated if you would respond on your own business stationery. Many thanks for your assistance in this regard.

Date of reply: _______________, 20 ______ ____________________________ Title Name of company ____________________________ COMPLETE AND RETURN WITHIN 20 DAYS

Legal Publications of Kenneth Vercammen, Esq., Edison, NJ

(Available upon Request or for Republication- Send Stamped, Self- Addressed Envelope and indicate the number of the article)
161. " Administrator of a Probate Estate" American Bar Association Law Trends ABA General Practice Division March 2008 Vol. 4, Number 2

160. " Improving Your Personal Injury Practice and Service to New Clients" American Bar Association Law Trends ABA General Practice Division Late Fall 2007 Vol 4, Number 1

159. "Estate Planning to Protect Your Children" American Bar Association Law Trends ABA General Practice Division Late Fall 2007 Vol. 4, Number 1

158. “The Durable Power of Attorney” Metuchen Chamber of Commerce Connection Fall 2007 p 12

157. "Post Will Signing Instructions" Atom Tabloid July 20, 2007

156. “Municipal Courts and hearsay” NJ Lawyer July 23, 2007

155. Accident Reports Now Available by Mail or Fax Atom Tabloid April 20, 200

154. Changing Your Name Legally in New Jersey Atom Tabloid April 6, 2007

153. The Importance of Uninsured or Under-Insured Driver Insurance Atom Tabloid March 16, 2007

152. "Estate Law Questions" Atom Tabloid January 5, 2007

151. "Trusts in New Jersey" Atom Tabloid December 22, 2006

150. "2006 Measure Amends State's Guardianship Law" Atom Tabloid November 10, 2006

149.B "Duties & Responsibilities of an Executor of a Will" Atom Tabloid October 6, 2006

148. " Removing an Executor of An Estate" Atom Tabloid September 15, 2006

147. Planning Ahead- How to Prepare Letters of Instruction Regarding Funeral Arrangements, Business Transfer and Post- Death Procedures Atom Tabloid August 4, 2006

146. "If You Have No Will" Atom Tabloid July 7, 2006

145. "Probate & Administration of an Estate when there is a Will" Atom Tabloid May 5, 2006

144. "Pre-Trial Intervention to Dismiss First Time Criminal Charges" Atom Tabloid April 7, 2006

143. What to Do if Injured in a Hit & Run Car Accident Atom Tabloid March 3, 2006

142. What to do in a Car Accident Atom Tabloid January 13, 2006

141. Points in Motor Vehicle Violations Atom Tabloid December 2, 2005

140. The Power of Attorney Atom Tabloid November 4, 2005

139. Erase Records of Old Arrests to Avoid Embarrassment and Disclosure Atom Tabloid October 7, 2005

138. Living Wills" Atom Tabloid September 9, 2005

137. "Wills and Estate Planning- Atom Tabloid of Woodbridge August 12, 2005

136. "Implications of New Jersey's DWI Law" NJ Lawyer May 3, 2004

135. " Handling the DWI Blood Case and Under Influence of CDS: Quick Tips" Bergen Barrister Winter 2002

134. "Municipal Courts are Barred from Handing Discovery Requests" Bergen Barrister Winter 2001

133. "Marketing Tips: What Works, What Doesn't" ABA GP Link Winter, 2001

republished in Louisiana State Bar Association Solo Section Newsletter

133b "Setting up a Detailed Marketing Plan" ABA-GP Marketing Legal Services Committee Newsletter July, 2001

132. "Appeals from Municipal Court Convictions" NJ General Practice Gazette November , 2000

131a. " Complete Guide to Marketing Your Law Practice" Book Review on ABA LPM Book NJ State Bar Dictum November, 2000

131b. "Lawyer's Quick Guide to E-Mail' Book Review on ABA LPM Book NJ State Bar Dictum November, 2000

130. "Major Cases Affecting DWI Prosecution and Searches" NJ Police Chief p92 2000

129. 'What to Expect in a Car Accident Personal Injury Case" Business & Entertainment Journal May, 2000

128. "Private Adoption" Metuchen Minute March, 2000

127. "In Case of an Auto Accident" Business & Entertainment Journal March 2000

126. "Answer to Your Questions about Probate and Administration of an Estate" Metuchen Minute February, 2000

125a. "Ten Estate Planning Ideas for a Divorced or Separated Person" Atom Tabloid June 16, 2006

125. "Ten Estate Planning Ideas for a Divorced or Separated Person" Metuchen Minute July, 1999

124. " New Cases Affecting Municipal Court and Law Enforcement" New Jersey State Bar Assoc. GP Gazette March 1999

123. " Removing an Executor of An Estate" NJ State Bar Association Dictum p 18 April, 1999

122. "Pre-Trial Intervention to Dismiss Criminal Charges" NJ State Bar Association Dictum April, 1999

122b "Pre-Trial Intervention to Dismiss Criminal Charges" Bergen Barrister Summer 2000

121. "Ideas for Low-Cost and No-Cost Legal Marketing" The Practical Lawyer American Law Institute- American Bar Association p 49, April, 1999

120. " Running a Law Practice on a Shoestring" Journal of Law Office Economics and Management West Publishing p 9 February, 1999

119. Letters of Instruction to Family & Executor" Metuchen Minute November, 1998

118. "Making Your Wishes Known... The Living Will" Metuchen Minute August, 1998

117. "How to Create a Great Client Newsletter" Lawyers Weekly USA June 29, 1998

116. "Major Recent Cases Affecting Municipal Court Practice- Spring, 1998" New Jersey State Bar Dictum June, 1998

116b "NJ Municipal Court Law Review" The New Jersey Police Chief May-June 1998

115. "Selected Major Cases Affecting Personal Injury Matters and Chiropractors" New Jersey State Bar GP Gazette May, 1998

114. "Recent Law Changes Guardianship of Disabled Adults" Metuchen Minute May, 1998

113. "Mortgage Refinance" Metuchen Minute April, 1998

112. "Starting Your Own Personal Injury Firm" Book Review on How to Build and Manage a Personal Injury Practice Lawyers Weekly March 23, 1998

111. "Join a 'Barter Group' to Get New Clients" Lawyers Weekly March 9, 1998 p. B3

111b. "New Business Clients Through Barter Group Participation" ABA Law Practice Management Idea Exchanger April, 1998

111c. "Business Clients Through Barter Group Participation" Metuchen Minute May 1999

111d "Using Barter Groups to Expand Business" ABA Counselor's Computer & Management Report" Fall, 1999

110. "Cooperating & Working With Your Attorney" Metuchen Minute February, 1998

109. "Municipal Court Procedure- Highlights of the New Rules" New Jersey Law Journal December 22, 1997

109b "New Court Rules Governing Municipal Courts Effective February 1, 1998" New Jersey State Bar GP Gazette March, 1998

109c. "New Court Rules Governing Municipal Courts Effective February 1, 1998" NJ State Bar Dictum April, 1998

108. "Buying & Selling Real Estate" Metuchen Minute, December, 1997

107. "Marketing Secrets of Successful Lawyers" Book Review of Marketing Success Stories Lawyers Weekly USA November 3, 1997

107b. "Marketing Secrets of Successful Lawyers" Book Review of Marketing Success Stories ABA Law Practice Management Idea Exchanger February, 1998

106. "Checklist for Defending DWI Cases" New Jersey State Bar Dictum October, 1997

105. "25 Major Cases Affecting Municipal Courts in 1996-1997" NJ Lawyer Magazine September/ October 1997 p 40

105b. "Major Recent Municipal Court Cases" New Jersey State Bar Dictum October, 1997

105c "Municipal Court Cases Fall 1997" New Jersey State Bar Dictum March, 1998

104a. "Strict Liability for Dog Bites" Atom Tabloid February 6, 2006

104b. "Strict Liability for Dog Bites" Metuchen Minute October, 1997

103. "20 Tips on Handling the Soft-Tissue Case" New Jersey Law Journal September 15, 1997

102. "Get Others to Market Your Firm" Lawyers Weekly USA September 8, 1997

101. "Medicaid and Nursing Homes- 1997 Update" NJ State Bar Association Dictum June, 1997

100. "Using the Net to Attract Clients" Book Review on "Marketing on the Internet" Lawyers Weekly June 2, 1997

100b "Marketing on the Internet" Book Review Published in NJ State Bar Association Dictum June, 1997

100c "Lawyer's Guide to Marketing on the Internet" Book Review Published in ABA-GP Marketing Legal Services Committee Summer, 1997

100d "Lawyer's Guide to Marketing on the Internet" Book Review Published in ABA-LPM Personal Marketing Idea Exchanger July, 1997

100e "Lawyer's Guide to Marketing on the Internet" Book Review Published in ABA-GP Probate, Trust & Estate Planning Committee

99. "IRA Rollover- Final Regulations on Eligible Rollover Distributions" Elder Law Newsletter- NJSBA May, 1997 (with Martin Spigner, Esq.)

99b. "IRA Rollover- Final Regulations on Eligible Rollover Distributions" Metuchen Minute November, 1997

98. "Recent Municipal Court Decision 1996-1997 Help Police" NJ State Bar Dictum April, 1997

98b "Recent Municipal Court Decision 1996-1997 Help Police" NJ State Bar GP Gazette May, 1997

97. "Driving While Intoxicated- Preparing for the Difficult Case" Metuchen Minute p39 April, 1997

96. "Suspended driver's license: What lawyers don't know can hurt their clients" NJ Lawyer W1997

96b "Increased Penalties for Driving While Suspended" NJ State Bar Dictum April, 1997

96c "Increased Penalties for Driving While Suspended" NJ State Bar GP Gazette May, 1997

95. "Writing a Press Release" American Bar Association GP Marketing Legal Services Spring, 1997

94. "Shareholder Agreements & Life Insurance to Cover Buy-Outs" Metuchen Minute February, 1997

93. "Proposed Amendments to Rules on Municipal Courts will Increase Work" New Jersey State Bar Association GP Gazette December, 1996

93b. "Proposed Amendments to Rules on Municipal Courts will Increase Work For Defense Counsel and Prosecutors" New Jersey State Bar Association Dictum February, 1997

93c. "Leave Some Prosecutors for the Private Bar" NJ Law Journal April 7, 1997

93d. "Waste of Prosecutor's Time" NJ Lawyer April 14, 1997

92. "Testifying in a Civil Case" New Jersey State Bar Association GP Gazette December, 1996

91. "The Uncontested, Undisputed Divorce Retainer Agreement" New Jersey State Bar Association GP Gazette October, 1996

90. "Introduction to the Criminal Court System" Metuchen Minute December, 1996

89. "Defending a Juvenile Case In New Jersey" New Jersey Law Journal September 30, 1996

89b. "Defending a Juvenile Case" ABA Criminal Law Committee- GP Winter, 1997

88. "Executor of a Will: Duties & Responsibilities" Metuchen Minute September, 1996

87. "Ethically Serving Your Personal Injury Clients" ABA Ethics & Professionalism Committee YLD August, 1996

87b. "Marketing and Improving Your Personal Injury Practice" ABA- GP Marketing Legal Services Newsletter Fall, 1996

87c. "Staying on Top of Your Personal Injury Practice" ABA Lawyering Skills Magazine- LPM Spring, 1997

86 ""Prenuptial Agreements To Protect Your Assets or Business in Case of Divorce" Metuchen Minute March, 1997

85 "Laws Guard against Home Improvement Contractors" Forbes Weekend Real Estate Supplement and Metuchen- Edison Review March 8, 1996

84. "The Durable Power of Attorney" New Jersey State Bar Association Dictum April, 1996

84b " The Durable Power of Attorney" ABA Probate and Trust Law Committee GP March, 1996

83. "Working Families Should Plan Their Estates" Forbes Weekend Real Estate Supplement and Metuchen- Edison Review March 1, 1996

82. "Legislators out of Bounds on Lawyer Solicitation" New Jersey Lawyer 4 NJL 2159 (October 30, 1995)

81. "Bankruptcy- An Outline for Consumers and Small Businesses" ABA Bankruptcy Law Committee- GP Winter, 1996

81b. "Bankruptcy Retainer Agreement" New Jersey State Bar Association GP Gazette October, 1996

80. " Collection of Business Debts" NJ Business Owner January, 1996

81b. "Collection of Business Debts" Metuchen Minute May, 1997

79. "Easy Networking in Your Community" ABA Barrister Winter, 1996

78. "Reasons to Expand Liability for Malicious Prosecution" New Jersey State Bar Dictum January, 1996

77. "Even Attorneys Need Lawyer's Advice When Purchasing a Home" The Legal Intelligencer January 11, 1996

76. " DMV Points following a Motor Vehicle Violation" Hands Across New Jersey Jan. 1996

76b. "What are DMV Points" Metuchen Minute November, 1996

76c. "DMV Points Following a Motor Vehicle Violation" India Link January, 1997

75. " Living Wills" ABA Delivery of Legal Services Newsletter Jan. 1996

75b. "Living Wills" New Jersey State Bar GP Gazette May, 1997

74a. "The New Jersey Business Legal Plan- Free Legal Advice For Business Owners in New Jersey " NJ Business Owner January, 1996

74b "Free Group Legal Plans: Low Cost Legal Advice For New Jersey Consumers" NJ Business Owner November, 1995

74c "Free Legal Advice for Civil Service Employees" NJ Civil Service Leader April 13, 1996

74d. "The New Jersey Business Legal Plan- Free Legal Advice For Business Owners in New Jersey " Metuchen Minute August, 1997

73. "Inexpensive Marketing for the Solo and Small Firm" American Bar Association Marketing Legal Services Committee Update Fall, 1995

72. "Expanded Rights to Documents Held by Government" Hands Across New Jersey Newsletter November, 1995

71. "How Self-Defense Works in New Jersey" New Jersey Law Journal p10 September 25, 1995

70. "Expungement of Old Arrests to Avoid Embarrassment and Disclosure" Hands Across New Jersey October, 1995

70b. "Erase/ Expungement of Old Arrests Today to Avoid Embarrassment" Metuchen Minute January, 1997

69 "How to Handle the Personal Injury Case" New Jersey Law Journal- Special Personal Injury Issue p28 September 18, 1995

69b "Marketing and Improving Your Personal Injury Practice" ABA Law Practice Management Idea Exchanger Fall, 1996

68a "How to Survive as a Small-Firm Lawyer" - Book Review on Survival

Skills for Practicing Lawyers- ABA-LPM Lawyers Weekly

September 11, 1995

68b "Flying Solo, A Survival Guide for the Solo Lawyer" Book Review

published in NJSBA GP Gazette August, 1995

68c "Are You Flying Solo?" Book Review on Flying Solo in ATLA-NJ December, 1995

69d. "Finding the Right Lawyer" Book Review in New Jersey State Bar GP Gazette March, 1997

67. "New Litigation Cases Through Pre-Paid Legal Plans" ABA Litigation Section's Litigation Management & Economics Magazine August, 1995

66a. "Helping New Staff and Law Clerks Get Started" Lawyering Skills Bulletin ABA-LPM Summer, 1995

66b "New Staff and Law Clerks- General Instructions to Help Them Get Started" GP Gazette- NJSBA p8. August, 1995

65. "Deposition Questions in a Personal Injury Case" GP Gazette- NJSBA

p5. August, 1995

64. "How to Organize Legal Seminars" Leadership & Management Directions ABA-LPM p12 Summer 1995

64b "Organizing Legal Seminars to Improve Professional Competency" Marketing Legal Services Newsletter ABA GP Spring, 1996

64c "How to Organize Legal Seminars" Sharpening the Focus: Practice Management Series Legal Education Society of Alberta, Canada April, 1999

63. "Sunshine Law" Hands Across New Jersey Newsletter August, 1995

62. Editor and Chief Writer- "Idea Exchanger- Personal Marketing Skills Interest Group July, 1995

61. 'Six Ideas for Greater Efficiency" Leadership & Management Directions ABA-LPM p9 Summer 1995

60. "Reducing the Cost of Attorneys: Computer Bulletin Boards Help" NJ Business Owner p4 August, 1995 vol. 10

59. "Eight Defenses to Possession of Marijuana" The ABA Compleat Lawyer

p11 Summer, 1995

59b. "Defense of Marijuana Charges" ABA Criminal Law Committee- GP Winter, 1997

58. "Local Municipal Ethics Boards are Precluded From Making Determinations Regarding the Discipline of Township Attorneys and Prosecutors" NJ Municipal Law Review June, 1995

57. "Shareholder's Agreements" N.J. Business Owner p14 July, 1995

56. "How an Attorney Can Help at Closing Time" Forbes Newspaper/ Metuchen-Edison Review July 12, 1995

55. "Self-Defense Permitted Under the Law" Inside Tae Kwon Do Magazine August, 1995

54. "The Basics About Living Wills" Trust & Estate Law Report-ABA June, 1995

53. "Compelling Car Insurance Companies to Pay for Chiropractic Treatment" The Jersey Journal of Chiropractic June, 1995

52. "Wills and Estate Planning- Save Money and Provide for Loved Ones" ABA Probate, Trust & Estate Planning Committee Update- GP Section Spring, 1995 Vol. 2.

52b. "Wills and Estate Planning Advice to Clients" ABA Marketing Legal Services- GP Section Spring, 1997

52c. "Wills and Estate Planning Advice to Clients" ABA Idea Exchanger Newsletter LPM Spring, 1997

52d "Wills and Estate Planning: Business & Entertainment Journal April, 2000

51. "Using the Right to Know Laws to Obtain Public Records" Hands Across New Jersey Newsletter June, 1995

50. "Corporations and Non Profits: Don't Forget to File Your Annual Return" NJ Business Owner Vol. 8 May, 1995

50b "Corporations and Non Profits: Don't Forget to File Your Annual Return" Metuchen Minute June, 1997

49 "Reducing Stress for the Trial Attorney Through Tae Kwon Do" New Jersey State Bar Dictum April, 1995

49b "Reducing Stress for Professionals Through Tae Kwon Do" NJ Business Owner Vol 11 August, 1995

49c "Reducing Stress with Tae Kwon Do" ABA Solo- General Practice Spring, 1996

48a. "Estate Planning for Elks" Red Bank Area Elks Bulletin May, 1995

48b "Wills & Estate Planning" Bishop Ahr Alumni Newsletter Fall, 1993

48c "Wills and Estate Planning- Save Money" Hands Across New Jersey December, 1995

48d " Wills and Estate Planning- Save Money and Provide for Loved Ones"

NJ Business Owner January, 1996

48e "Wills, Children, Guardians... Prepare a Will to Protect Your Spouse and Children" Metuchen Minute August, 1996, reprinted March, 1998

47a. "Should Your Firm Start an Internship Program?" Lawyering Skills Bulletin Spring, 1995

47b "To Get the Word Out, Help a Student" The Compleat Lawyer Winter, 1995

47c ""Should Your Firm Start an Internship Program?" Pennsylvania Bar News April, 1996

46. "Put Yourself in the Client's Seat" Lawyers Weekly Book Review of "Through the Client's Eyes" March 13, 1995

46a Book Review of "Through the Client's Eyes ABA Law Practice Management Magazine p64 July, 1995

46b. Book Review of "Through the Client's Eyes New Jersey State Bar Association GP Gazette January, 1996

45. "Starting Your Own Business in New Jersey" Business Owner- NJ Edition April, 1995

45b. "Starting Your Own Business in New Jersey" Metuchen Minute January, 1998

44a. "Macintosh Computer is the Best for Solo Practitioners and Small Firms" ABA Litigation Committee Update- GP Winter, 1995

44b "A Few of My Favorite Mac Things" Counselor's Computer & Management Report-ABA Spring 1995

43. "Preparation for the Traffic and Misdemeanor Cases" ABA Litigation Committee Newsletter YLD Fall, 1994

"Preparation for the Traffic and Misdemeanor Cases and Client Service" ABA Idea Exchanger Newsletter LPM Spring, 1997

42a. "Ideas to Help You Open and Expand Your Law Practice" ABA Lawyering Skills Bulletin Winter, 1995,

42b "Ideas to Help You Open and Expand Your Law Practice" Marketing Legal Services Newsletter Spring, 1995

41. "10 Marketing Techniques for New and Solo Attorneys in a Small Community" ABA Law Practice Management Magazine p30 January, 1995

41b "Unique Marketing Techniques You Can Do Yourself" NJ Business Owner Vol 8, May, 1995

41c "Unique Marketing Techniques and Positive Community Involvement" Journal of the American Chiropractic Association p15, August, 1996

41d ""10 Marketing Techniques for New and Solo Attorneys in a Small Community" Sharpening the Focus: Practice Management Series Legal Education Society of Alberta, Canada April, 1999

40. "Signing a Power of Attorney" Princeton Packet Publications December, 1994

39. "Bankruptcy Leads Debtor to a Fresh Start" North Brunswick Post December 22, 1994, printed also in Central Post as "Bankruptcy allows a Fresh Start"

38. "Improving Racing Times With Tae Kwon Do" Inside Tae Kwon Do Magazine p 60 December, 1994

37. “How Attorneys Use E-Mail and Bulletin Boards” Litigation Management and Economics p1 September, 1994

36. When Carrier Delay, Ask for Counsel Fees/ Compelling Car Insurance Companies to Pay Medical Bills" New Jersey Law Journal August 29, 1994

35. "Preparation for the Winning Personal Injury Case" ABA/YLD Litigation Newsletter p. 3 Summer, 1994

34. "Reimbursement for Counsel Fees for Town Employees" Municipal Law Review June, 1994

33a. "Using Computer Bulletin Boards" Litigation Newsletter ABA-GP May, 1994 modified and republished 33b "Volunteer Sharing Through BBSs" Network 2d Spring 1995

32. "Using the Right to Know Law in Municipal Court & Civil Matters" New Jersey Law Journal May 25, 1994

31. "Information About Living Wills" The Monroe Township View p4 Mid-April, 1994

30. "Answers to Questions About Probate and Administration of An Estate" The Cranbury View April, 1994

29. "Defense to Driving Without Insurance -Winning the Impossible Case" New Jersey Law Journal April 4, 1994

28. "Handling Verbal Threshold Personal Injury Cases" New Jersey State Bar Association GP Gazette March, 1994

27a. "Preparing for the Municipal Court Case" New Jersey State Bar Association Dictum February, 1994, revised in 1996 & published as

27b. "Preparation for the Municipal Court Case" GP Gazette of New Jersey State bar Association January, 1996

27c. "Municipal Court Retainer" New Jersey State Bar Association GP Gazette December, 1996

27d. "Municipal Court Rights" Hands Across New Jersey July, August, September 1997 (3 part series)

26. "A 45- Second Solution to Sharing Forms and Advice" Law Practice Management's Counselor's Computer and Management Report, ABA Spring 1994

25. "Self -Defense in New Jersey", Cranbury View February 1994

24a. "Prepaid Legal Plans - Helping Small Law Firms" American Bar Association General Practice Section Committee Update July, 1993;

24b "Prepaid Legal Plans - Helping Small Law Firms" Solo Magazine General Practice Section ABA Winter, 1994

23a "Defending Domestic Violence Complaints" ABA Family Law Committee Newsletter January, 1996

23b. "Defending Domestic Violence Complaints" New Jersey Lawyer p. 5

June 14, 1993 2 NJL 927

22. "How to Win When Your Client Has a Speeding Ticket," Barrister- American Bar Association, YLD National Publication, p. 47 Spring 1993

21. "Winning Lawsuit/Verbal Threshold Cases", New Jersey State Bar Association Dictum p. 4, April 1993

20. "Tips for Using Computer Bulletin Boards to Share Legal Expertise" New Jersey Lawyer p. 15, February 1, 1993

19. "Defending a Speeding Ticket" ABA Briefcase General Practice Publication December 1992

18. "How to Defend a Charge of Driving While Suspended" New Jersey Law Journal p. 7 September 19, 1992 (with Joe Skinner)

17. "Better To Try Drug Cases Than Just Pleading Out," New Jersey Law Journal, page 7, (June 20, 1991)

16. "Speeding Trials Call for Fine-Tuned Defense," New Jersey Law Journal, page 8, (February 8, 1990)

15. "The New Lemon Law-A Consumer's Rights," New Jersey State Bar Association Dictum, October, 1989), reprinted in Middlesex County Bar Newsletter, (May, 1990)

14. "Defense of Speeding Charges," New Jersey State Bar Association Dictum, (April, 1989)

13. "Asset-Based Financing: Issues of Concern to the Banking Community." New Jersey Law Journal, page 1, (July 2, 1987)

12. "The Effect of Bankruptcy on Divorce and Equitable Distribution," page 7, New Jersey Family Lawyer, p7 (June, 1987)

11. "Clients, when told not to testify, now claim counsel ineffectiveness" with Vram Nedurian, Pennsylvania Law Journal Reporter, (April, 1985)

10. "Maryland's Liability for Hand Gun Manufacturers," Delaware Law Forum, (December, 1985)

9. "Advertising and the FTC: Less Regulation Can Mean More Consumer Protection," with Professor E.C. Smith, 8 Corporation Law Review 49, (1985), Reprinted in 9 Advertising Law Anthology 155, (1986)

8. "Social Host Liability: Recovery for Innocent Victims," 7 Delaware Trial Lawyer, (Spring, 1985)

7A. "Civil Rico-Recent Developments," Delaware Law Forum, (March, 1985)

7. "Landlord Liability for Criminal Attacks," Delaware Law Forum, (March, 1985)

6. "Agents Face Liability," Life Insurance Selling, (December, 1984)

5. "Kelly vs. Gwinnell: Responsibility to Third Party Victims," Association of Trial Lawyers of America-NJ. News, (Summer, 1984) expanded and reprinted in Delaware Law Forum as "Social Hosts Given Liability" (November 1984)

4. "Hazardous Waste - The Hidden Threat," Delaware Law Forum, (May, 1984)

3. "The Alabama School Prayer Case: Constitutional Implications," United States Justice Foundation Newsletter, (Summer, 1984) reprinted from Delaware Law Forum (April, 1984) p.5

2. "Insurance Agents' Liability for Wrongful Financial Advise Based on a Professional Standard," Association of Trial Lawyers of America-NJ. NEWS, (Winter, 1984)

"Generator Liability for the Dumping of Hazardous Waste," First Prize, ATLA Environmental Law Essay Contest (1984) (100 pages), Reprinted as "Things Prosser Didn't Teach You: TOXIC TORTS" at the request of Dean Arthur A. Weeks. 80 pages

1. Casenote/Headnote Writer on 8 Federal Circuit Court and N.J. Superior Court Cases for Delaware Law Forum (1983-1984)
Books and Seminar Program Materials written by

Kenneth Vercammen, Esq:

DWI- Winning the Blood or Drug Case- NJ State Bar Annual Meeting Program 2005, 2002, 2001, 2000 50+ pages

Personal Injury- Tips for a Better Practice ICLE & New Jersey State Bar Association 2000, 1999, 1998 150+ pages

Nuts & Bolts of Elder Law and Probate- ICLE & New Jersey State Bar Association 2005, 2004, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1998, 97, 96 100+ pages

Municipal Court- ICLE & New Jersey State Bar Association 2005, 2004, 2001, 2000, 1998, 1997

Personal Injury- Winning Strategies Library of Congress Catalog Card # 97-091694 (1997)

Answers to Questions About Probate and Elder Law Library of Congress Catalog Card # 96-093068 (1996)

Municipal Court in New Jersey Library of Congress Catalog Card # 96-092111 (1996)

Personal Injury Preparation NJSBA, Trial Attorneys of NJ 1997, 1996,1995, 1994

Trying the Soft Tissue Case- National Business Institute, Princeton 1996

-Municipal Court- How to Win NJSBA- 1996, 1995, 1994 ,1993

-Research Consultant: NJ Labor Unions 1999, 1996, 1995 published by Research Communications Group

-Changes in Municipal Courts - NJSBA Convention 1994

-Laptop Computers in the Law Office NJSBA and Law

Office Management 1994

-Preparing for Family Law Trial Practice and Domestic Violence

NJSBA- 1995, 1994,1993

-Winning Lawsuit Threshold Cases 1992- NJSBA

-1992 Changes in Municipal Courts - NJSBA

-Winning Personal Injury Cases 1991- NJSBA

-"Municipal Court- Winning Strategies" 1991- NJSBA and Middlesex Bar

-How to Defend Speeding Tickets -NJSBA 1989

-Survival in the Superior Courts, NJ State Bar and Criminal Division of Monmouth County 1987

New Law signed which helps victims of a Hit & Run Accidents, prohibits the use of “step-down” provisions to limit uninsured and underinsured motorist

This new law prohibits the use of "step-down" provisions in motor vehicle liability policies issued to corporate or business entities to lower uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage for employees to the limits of coverage available to the employees under their personal policies.

This new law is in response to the New Jersey Supreme Court's decision in Pinto v. New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Company, 183 N.J. 205 (2005). In Pinto, the court held that as to a motor vehicle liability policy that names a corporate or business entity as a named insured, step-down provisions which limit uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage for employees of that entity that are not individually named on the policy are valid and enforceable. Thus, the court's ruling allows an employee's coverage under an employer's business motor vehicle insurance policy to be limited to the lower limits of uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage contained in the employee's individual motor vehicle liability policy, even in situations in which the employee is injured in a covered vehicle in a work-related accident, if the employer's policy so provides.

This new law reverses the effect of the Pinto decision by prohibiting step-down provisions in these policies. Further, the new law expressly provides that a policy that names a corporate or business entity as a named insured shall be deemed to provide the maximum uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage available under the policy to any individual employed by the corporate or business entity, regardless of whether the individual is an additional named insured under that policy or is a named insured or is covered under any other policy providing uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.

Drivers now receive better protection against negligent drivers who have no insurance or bare minimum policies but cause traumatic injuries. The new law also helps persons injured in hit & run car accidents.

New Court Jury Instruction in car accident cases where the lawsuit threshold applies

In order to recover damages in most in a car Personal Injury case, the plaintiff must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that he/she sustained injuries which fit into one or more of the following categories:
1. Death;
2. Dismemberment;
3. Significant disfigurement or significant scarring;
4. Displaced fracture;
5. Loss of a fetus;
6. A permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability, other than scarring or disfigurement.

At the trial, the Judge will read the "formal instructions" to the Jury. They are called Request to Charge. The Request to Charge in an accident case was revised recently.


A. Introduction
In order to recover damages in this case, plaintiff must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that [he] [she] sustained injuries which fit into one or more of the following categories:
1. Death;
2. Dismemberment;
3. Significant disfigurement or significant scarring;
4. Displaced fracture;
5. Loss of a fetus;
6. A permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability, other than scarring or disfigurement.

1 See N.J.S.A. 39:6A-8a. Though not numbered in the statute, the Limitation on Lawsuit Option within the Automobile Insurance Cost Reduction Act of 1998 (L.1998, c. 21 and c. 22) (“AICRA”), the categories are: (1) death; (2) dismemberment; (3) significant disfigurement or significant scarring; (4) displaced fractures; (5) loss of a fetus; (6) a permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability, other than scarring or disfigurement. The effective date of this provision of AICRA is March 22, 1999.

Therefore, the Limitation on Lawsuit Option shall apply to individuals who, at the time of the accident, were insured under automobile liability insurance policies issued after March 22, 1999. By way of example, if an individual was involved in a motor vehicle collision on March 23, 1999, but was still covered under a policy issued before the effective date of the statute (March 22, 1999), he or she will be subject to the verbal threshold charge applicable to L.1988, c.119 effective January 1, 1989.


If you find the injuries caused by the accident do not come within one of these categories, your verdict must be for the defendant. If you find the injuries caused by the accident do come within one of these categories, your verdict must be for the plaintiff.

B. Permanent Injury (Type 6)
In this case, the plaintiff alleges that [he] [she] suffered a permanent injury as a result of the motor vehicle accident. An injury shall be considered permanent when the body part or organ, or both, has not healed to function normally and will not heal to function normally with further medical treatment. 2 Plaintiff must prove this claim through objective, credible medical evidence. Objective proof means the injury must be verified by physical examination or medical testing and cannot be based solely upon the plaintiff’s subjective complaints. Credible evidence is evidence you find to be believable. 2 This definition of “permanent injury” is taken directly from the Automobile Insurance Cost Reduction Act of 1998 (“AICRA”), N.J.S.A. 39:6A-8. In DiProspero v. Penn, 183 N.J. 477 (2005), the New Jersey Supreme Court held that the Legislature did not intend to require a plaintiff with a Type 6 injury to prove a “serious or substantial impact” on his or her life in order to pierce the verbal threshold. Therefore, a plaintiff need only prove a permanent injury, as defined in the statute, to recover for non-economic damages.

• CHARGE 5.42

C. Sample Interrogatories (Limitation on Lawsuit Option)
(Category 1) Has the plaintiff proven by a preponderance of the credible evidence that the decedent [insert name] died as a proximate result of the accident?
_____ Yes _____ No _____ Vote
(Category 2) Has the plaintiff proven by a preponderance of the credible evidence that [he] [she] sustained a dismemberment that was proximately caused by the accident?
_____ Yes _____ No _____ Vote
(Category 3) Has the plaintiff proven by a preponderance of the credible evidence that [he] [she] sustained a significant disfigurement or significant scarring that was proximately caused by the accident?
_____ Yes _____ No _____ Vote
(Category 4) Has the plaintiff proven by a preponderance of the credible evidence that [he] [she] sustained a displaced fracture that was proximately caused by the accident?
_____ Yes _____ No _____ Vote
(Category 5) Has the plaintiff proven by a preponderance of the credible evidence that she lost a fetus as a proximate result of the accident?
_____ Yes _____ No _____ Vote

• CHARGE 5.42

(Category 6) Has the plaintiff proven by a preponderance of the credible evidence that [he] [she] sustained a permanent injury that was proximately caused by the accident?
_____ Yes _____ No _____ Vote
(Damages) What amount of money will fairly and reasonably compensate the plaintiff for all injuries that were proximately caused by the accident?
$______________________ _____ Vote

Judgement Default in Civil Cases

Filing of Complaint

Our office represents Companies, insurance companies and people involved in civil lawsuits where the amount in controversy is over $15,000. We provide representation throughout New Jersey. Procedurally, the following events occur in most civil cases. First, your Attorney must complete the investigation and research the possible causes of action. When we feel that we have sufficient information to form an opinion as to the financial extent of your damages, we may commence negotiations with the opposition for a settlement. If the opposition will not make an adequate offer, then a Complaint and Case Information Statement is prepared by your attorney. It is filed in the Superior Court, Law Division. Your attorney then will prepare a summons and have the defendants personally served with the Summons and Complaint. The defendant, through their insurance company, must file an "Answer" within 35 days.

If a timely formal "Answer to Complaint" is not filed within 35 days, a default can be entered against the defendant.

The following is the Court Rule on entering a default.

RULE 4:43. DEFAULT 4:43-1. Entry of Default If a party against whom a judgment for affirmative relief is sought has failed to plead or otherwise defend as provided by these rules or court order, or if the answer has been stricken with prejudice, the clerk shall enter a default on the docket as to such party. Except where the default is entered on special order of the court, the moving party shall make a formal written request of the clerk for the entry of the default, supported by the attorney's affidavit. The affidavit shall recite the service of the process and copy of complaint on the defendant or defendants (if more than one, naming them), the date of service as appears from the return of the process, and that the time within which the defendant or defendants may answer or otherwise move as to the complaint, counterclaim, cross-claim, or third-party complaint has expired and has not been extended. The request and affidavit for entry of default shall be filed together within 6 months of the actual default, and the default shall not be entered thereafter except on notice of motion filed and served in accordance with R. 1:6 on the party in default. If defendant was originally served with process either personally or by certified or ordinary mail, the attorney obtaining the entry of the default shall send a copy thereof to the defaulting defendant by ordinary mail addressed to the same address at which defendant was served with process.

If the amount owed is on a book account or amount certain, your attorney can file a Certification of Proof on the debt, plus an Affidavit of Non Military Service. The following is the Court Rule on Obtaining a Final Judgment by Default:

4:43-2. Final Judgment by Default When a default has been entered in accordance with R. 4:43-1, except as otherwise provided by R. 4:64 (foreclosures), a final judgment may be entered in the action as follows:

(a) By the Clerk. If the plaintiff's claim against a defendant is for a sum certain or for a sum which can by computation be made certain, the clerk upon request of the plaintiff and upon affidavit setting forth a particular statement of the items of the claim, their amounts and dates, a calculation in figures of the amount of interest, the payments or credits, if any, and the net amount due, shall sign and enter judgment for the net amount and costs against such defendant, if not a minor or mentally incapacitated person. If prejudgment interest is demanded in the complaint the clerk shall add that interest to the amount due provided the affidavit of proof states the date of defendant's breach. If the judgment is based on a document of obligation that provides a rate of interest, prejudgment interest shall be calculated in accordance therewith; otherwise it shall be calculated in accordance with Rule 4:42-11(a). If the claim is founded upon a note, check or bill of exchange or is evidenced by entries in the plaintiff's book of account, or other records, a copy thereof shall be attached to the affidavit. (b) By the Court. In all other cases the party entitled to a judgment by default shall apply to the court therefor; but no judgment by default shall be entered against a minor or mentally incapacitated person unless that person is represented in the action by a guardian or guardian ad litem who has appeared therein. If the party against whom judgment by default is sought has appeared in the action, that party (or, if appearing by representative, the representative) shall be served with notice of the motion for judgment filed and served in accordance with R. 1:6. If, in order to enable the court to enter judgment or to carry it into effect, it is necessary to take an account or to determine the amount of damages or to establish the truth of any allegation by evidence or to make an investigation of any other matter, the court may conduct such hearings with or without a jury or take such proceedings as it deems appropriate, and in that event, if the defendant was originally served with process either personally or by certified or ordinary mail, the attorney for the claimant shall give notice of the proof hearing to the defaulting defendant by ordinary mail addressed to the same address at which process was served. In tort actions involving multiple defendants whose percentage of liability is subject to comparison and actions in which fewer than all defendants have defaulted, default judgment of liability may be entered against the defaulting defendants but such questions as defendants' respective percentages of liability and total damages due plaintiff shall be reserved for trial or other final disposition of the action.

If application is made for the entry of judgment by default in deficiency suits or claims based directly or indirectly upon the sale of a chattel which has been repossessed, the plaintiff shall prove before the court the description of the property, the amount realized at the sale or credited to the defendant and the costs of the sale. In actions for possession of land, however, the court need not require proof of title by the plaintiff. If application is made for the entry of judgment by default in negligence actions involving property damage only, proof shall be made as provided by R. 6:6-3(c).

(c) Conformance of Judgment With Pleading; Service of Judgment. Whether entered by the clerk or the court, the final judgment shall not be different in kind nor exceed the amount demanded in the pleading, except that in continuing causes, installments coming due after the filing of the pleading but before entry of judgment may be added to the amount of the demand stated in the pleading. Within seven days after receipt of the executed judgment from the court, the proponent of the judgment shall serve a copy thereof on the defaulting defendant as required by R. 1:5-2 except that service may be made by ordinary mail alone.

(d) Failure to Apply for Judgment Within Six Months. If a party entitled to a judgment by default fails to apply therefor within four months after the entry of the default, the court shall issue a written notice to the party entitled to apply for entry of default judgment advising that the action will be dismissed without prejudice when six months have elapsed following the date of the entry of default unless within said period the party files application for entry of default judgment or by affidavit shows exceptional circumstances for the delay in seeking the judgment. If exceptional circumstances are shown, the court shall issue an order extending the time for entry of the judgment for a specified period, which may be further extended on motion. An application for entry of default judgment made after the expiration of six months following the entry of default shall not be granted except on notice of motion filed and served in accordance with R. 1:6.

1:5-7. Non-military Affidavit

An affidavit of non-military service of each defendant, male or female, when required by law, shall be filed before entry of judgment by default against such defendant. Such affidavit may be included as part of the affidavit of proof.

After the Default Judgment is obtained, your attorney will docket the judgment in the Superior Court Clerk's office in Trenton. The Filing Fee is $35 in 2004. CONCLUSION

If a lawsuit is filed, immediately schedule a consultation with an attorney. Our office represents parties in Civil Litigation cases. If facing a lawsuit, immediately schedule an appointment with a civil attorney. Don't rely on a real estate attorney, public defender or a family member who took a law class in school. When your life and business is on the line, hire the best attorney available.