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Kenneth Vercammen & Associates
A Law Office with Experienced Attorneys for Your New Jersey Legal Needs

2053 Woodbridge Ave.
Edison NJ 08817
732-572-0500
1-800-655-2977

Personal Injury and Criminal
on Weekends 732-261-4005

Princeton Area
68 South Main St.
Cranbury, NJ 08512
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Civil Model Jury Charge 2.11 WRONGFUL DISCHARGE IN VIOLATIO

Civil Model Jury Charge 2.11 WRONGFUL DISCHARGE IN VIOLATION OF A CLEAR MANDATE OF PUBLIC POLICY1 Model Jury charge NJ

Plaintiff has alleged that he/she was wrongfully discharged from his/her position in violation of public policy. I charge you that the policy of ________________ is a clear mandate of public policy2; you must decide whether plaintiff was discharged:

[choose appropriate option below:]

(1) in violation of that policy; or

(2) for exercising rights protected by that policy; or

(3) for declining to perform an act or acts which require a violation of that policy;

[or] whether, as defendant states, plaintiff was not discharged for a reason related to that policy.

[choose appropriate corresponding option below:]

(1) In order to establish that plaintiff was discharged in violation of a public policy, you must find by a preponderance of the evidence that plaintiffs

1This charge is to be given only if a claim is asserted underPierce v. Ortho Pharmaceutical Corp., 84N.J. 58 (1980).

2Whether there is a clear mandate of public policy prohibiting the conduct is a question for the trial judge.Warthen v. Toms River Community Hospital, 199N.J. Super.18, 25 (App. Div. 1985).CHARGE 2.11Page 2 of 4

discharge violated the [state the public policy]. If plaintiff does not prove this, you need not consider whether plaintiffs discharge was wrongful. If plaintiff does prove that his/her discharge violated the [public policy], then you must consider whether3a determinative factor for his/her discharge was a violation of the [public policy], and not some other reason such as _______________________, which defendant has asserted.

3Erickson v. Marsh & McLennan, 117N.J.539, 560, 561 (1990). This seems tautological, but that is what the opinion says.

4Pierce v. Ortho Pharmaceutical Corp.,supra,at 72.

5Tartaglia v. UBS PaineWebber Inc., 197N.J. 81, 111 (2008).

(2 or 3) In order to establish that plaintiff was discharged for exercising rights under [public policy] or for declining to perform an act or acts which require a violation of the [public policy], you must find that plaintiff has proved by a preponderance of the evidence that he/she:

a. had a reasonable basis for believing defendant engaged in a violation of the [state the public policy];4and

b. brought the alleged violation of the [state the public policy] to the attention of an appropriate governmental outside authority or took other action reasonably calculated to prevent the objectionable conduct.5CHARGE 2.11Page 3 of 4

6Tartaglia v. UBS PaineWebber Inc.,supra,at 109.

7Tartaglia v. UBS PaineWebber Inc.,supra,at 112.

8Although the New Jersey Supreme Court and Appellate Division have held that plaintiffs bringing claims under theNew Jersey Law Against Discrimination(LAD),New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act(CEPA), andNew Jersey Family Leave Act(FLA) need only prove that the unlawful motive was a determinative factor in the adverse employment decision rather than the sole motivating factor,see, e.g., Bergen Commercial Bank v. Sisler,157N.J.188, 207 (1999) (so holding with regard to LAD),Donofry v. Autotote Systems, Inc., 350N.J. Super.276, 293 (App. Div. 2001) (so holding with regard to CEPA), andDePalma v. Building Inspection Underwriters, 350N.J. Super.195, 214 (App. Div. 2002) (so holding with regard to FLA), no reported New Jersey state or federal court decisions appear to have addressed that issue with regard to New Jersey common-law wrongful discharge claims.

Plaintiff must prove that he/she sufficiently expressed his/her disagreement with defendants [state the conduct alleged to be in violation of public policy] to support the conclusion that his/her discharge violates the mandate of public policy and is unlawful. That is to say, a complaint to an outside agency or a direct complaint to senior corporate management will ordinarily be sufficient. On the other hand, a complaint to an immediate supervisor or passing remarks to co-workers generally will not.6

[charge the following in every case]

It is the plaintiffs obligation to prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that his/her [describe the alleged adverse action in question, such as demotion, firing, etc.] violated a clear mandate of public policy.7, 8In this regard, I remind you that plaintiff was a so-called at will employee, that is he/she did not have aCHARGE 2.11Page 4 of 4

contract of employment. In New Jersey, such an employee can be discharged at the wish of the employer for any reason or for no reason. He/she could be discharged for a false cause, or for no cause at all, provided only that the reason the employer discharged the employee did not violate any clear mandate of public policy. A person fired unfairly, but not fired in violation of a specific public policy, does not have a cause of action for wrongful discharge in violation of public policy.

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Kenneth Vercammen was the Middlesex County Bar Municipal Court Attorney of the Year
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Since 1985, KENNETH VERCAMMEN has worked as a personal injury attorney, working for injury victims and their families. By taking a hard-hitting, aggressive approach toward the insurance companies, KENNETH VERCAMMEN and our co-counsel have consistently obtained outstanding results for many injured clients over the years I am proud to have worked on cases in various capacities, small and large. While obviously prior results cannot guarantee the outcome of future cases, I can guarantee that you case will receive the same degree of dedication and hard work that went into each of these prior cases.

In direct contrast to the hard-hitting approach we take toward the insurance companies is the soft approach we take toward our clients. I am proud of my compassionate staff as I am of the outstanding financial results they have achieved. For many years, I have watched them treat our clients with patience, dignity and respect. I would have it no other way.

Many years ago, I attended a seminar sponsored by the American Bar Association on Law Practice Management. This was to help insure that each of our clients is always treated like a person -- not a file! We recognize that you are innocent victims and that you have placed your trust in us. Please understand that we understand what you are going through. Feel comforted that we are here to help you.

If you retain KENNETH VERCAMMEN to represent you, we will give you the same advice we give each of our clients -- concentrate on your life, you family and your health. We will take care of everything else. Leave all of the work and worry about your legal rights to us. Trust us. Believe in us. Have faith in us as your attorneys. Understand that we will always to do what we believe is best for you and your case. Helping you is our job. In fact, it is our only job -- guiding injury victims like you through one of the most difficult times of your lives, with care and concern -- while fighting aggressively to the limits of the law to obtain compensation and justice for each of you!

Print our Personal Injury Questionnaire on our Website, Fill it out and Fax back, so we can determine if we can help you obtain an injury settlement. We would welcome an opportunity to prove to you what we have proven to thousands of injured clients -- that you can feel comfortable and secure in the fact that KENNETH VERCAMMEN - Trial Attorney We Fight To Win.

When you have been injured in an accident or collision, you are worried about who is going to pay your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. The last thing you want is to be taken advantage of by an insurance company. If you dont protect your rights, you may not be able to make a claim.

Insurance companies have attorneys and adjusters whose goal is to pay you as little as they can. You need a New Jersey personal injury lawyer to fight for you. I am dedicated to helping your recover as much money as possible under the law.

You need an attorney who will work hard to protect your rights, maximize your insurance settlement and minimize the hassles of dealing with the insurance companies. You need an experienced and aggressive New Jersey trial lawyer with PROVEN RESULTS who will fight for you. Having an experienced personal injury lawyer can make the difference between getting what you deserve and getting nothing.

Without the threat of a lawyer who is willing to go to trial and seek a big jury verdict, why would an insurance company pay you what your claim is really worth? Lawsuits can be expensive, and many people do not have the money to pursue their claim. In every case, I advance all costs associated with pursuing your case and I do not ask you for a penny until we recover from the other side.

I am an experienced aggressive trial lawyer and a 3rd degree Black Belt. I am not afraid to take your case to trial if that is what it takes to maximize the amount of money your recover for your personal injury. I offer one-on-one service, and I will not hand your case off to an inexperienced lawyer or a paralegal.

Reduce the stress of making a claim.

Personal injury accidents can turn your life upside down. Making a personal injury claim can be difficult and time consuming. Once I take your case, you can stop worrying about dealing with the insurance companies and focus on recovering from your injuries. I take care of all of the paperwork, phone calls, and negotiations, so you can get on with your life.

p.s. For those clients who are afraid or reluctant to go to Court, KENNETH VERCAMMEN also offers a special -- For Settlement Only -- program. This means that if we are unable to settle with the insurance company, we will not go any further -- unless you want us to. You have my personal assurance that there will be absolutely no pressure and no obligation.

We handle personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis.

This means: YOU DONT OWE ME A LEGAL FEE UNLESS I RECOVER MONEY FOR YOU.

Call our office to schedule a "confidential" appointment 732-572-0500

Kenneth A. Vercammen is the Managing Attorney at Kenneth Vercammen & Associates in Edison, NJ. He is a New Jersey trial attorney has devoted a substantial portion of his professional time to the preparation and trial of litigated matters. He has appeared in Courts throughout New Jersey each week on personal injury matters, Criminal /Municipal Court trials, and contested Probate hearings.

Mr. Vercammen has published over 125 legal articles in national and New Jersey publications on criminal, elder law, probate and litigation topics. He is a highly regarded lecturer on litigation issues for the American Bar Association, NJ ICLE, New Jersey State Bar Association and Middlesex County Bar Association. His articles have been published in noted publications included New Jersey Law Journal, ABA Law Practice Management Magazine, and New Jersey Lawyer. He is the Editor in Chief of the American Bar Association Tort and Insurance Committee Newsletter.

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