Preparation for Civil Trial After Arbitration or Mediation
Kenneth Vercammen, Esq. handles Civil cases where the damages exceed $15,000. Under the NJ Court Rules, all Civil Cases are sent to Arbitration or Mediation. If the case cannot be settled at or shortly after Arbitration, you need to prepare for trial.
APPEAL OF ARBITRATORS DECISION
Either party if unhappy must pay $200.00 to appeal and have a trial. Usually insurance companies appeal to delay payment. Under Court Rule 4:21A-6 (1), a formal Trial De Novo must be filed within 30 days of the arbitration. If you are unsatisfied with the decision by the arbitrator, you must obtain a money order or prepare a check for $200.00 payable to Treasurer, State of New Jersey, Court Rule 4:21A-6. A trial week is scheduled 2-3 months after the Arbitration. Your doctors will usually require you to pay them up front for their testimony. They will often charge you up front between $2,500.00 and $4,000.00 for testimony. On the trial week, you will have to sit around at the courthouse for several days until a Judge becomes available.
Our Trial Notice to clients states the following:
This is to advise you that the Superior Court has scheduled a trial in your case for:
Date: Time: Location:
You have answered interrogatories and we provided a copy of your answers to interrogatories for your personal folder. Please carefully review the answers to interrogatories on the day before the trial. You should be fully familiar with the information which was supplied by way of answers to interrogatories because many of the questions will involve the same information. If you cannot locate your copy of the answers to the interrogatories, please call my secretary and we will forward to you another copy.
We suggest you visit the accident site during the week prior to trial.
You must be present in court and prepared to proceed at that time. You should bring all of your papers in connection with your case to Court. Please call my secretary approximately 24 hours before this hearing to confirm that the court has not adjourned your hearing. If you or any witnesses will not be available during the initial trial week, please contact us immediately. Being unavailable means being out of state or some other unavailability. It would be helpful if you personally speak with any witnesses to immediately confirm that they would be available during the entire week of the trial. Do not leave the court and go home until instructed by Mr. Vercammen or a member of our staff.
P.S. To Doctors and Witnesses: The above is self-explanatory. If you will not be available during the week of the trial calendar call, please let us know. Please call my secretary and leave a telephone number where you may be reached during the day of trial. Unless we hear from you to the contrary, we will assume that you will be available on telephone call and we will call you as soon as the case is started. Please advise us as to your fee for testimony in the above court. In addition, if you have not testified in court in the past year, we will be willing to spend time with you, free of charge, to help you prepare for your testimony. Please call my office to set up a convenient time and location.
Letter to Doctors
Trial Testimony / Fee Inquiry
Dear Dr. ______________:
We thank you for providing medical records regarding my above client. We previously wrote to your office and advised that we represent your patient. If any amount of your bill is unpaid, kindly have your office immediately forward a copy of the unpaid portion to both my office and your patient.
This matter has been called in for trial on ______________ in the Superior Court of Middlesex County. Your patient may need you to testify as an expert on their behalf at the trial. Would you or your staff kindly provide the information requested on the enclosed sheet and fax back to our office. We need communicate it to your patient.
We thank you for your cooperation in this matter.
Very truly yours,
KENNETH A. VERCAMMEN
KAV/ Enc: Information Sheet, On-Call Subpoena, Courthouse Map
1) Fee to testify in Superior Court: ______________
Hourly: _______ Flat Rate: _______
2) Best days of the week and time for trial testimony: _________
3) Days of the week unavailable: ________________
4) Weeks during next month you will be out of state and not available:
5) Can you please fax or mail us a copy of your resume?
6) Anything else important we should be made aware of: _________________________________________________________
Thank you for preparing a report on behalf of our client, NAME. This matter has been called in for trial on _____ at _______. Would you kindly have your secretary advise my office by fax or mail as to your fee for testimony and your availability that week, together with any weeks in which you will be unavailable.
We also request that if any amount of your bill is unpaid, that your office immediately fax to us a copy of the unpaid portion so that your office will be protected.
In accordance with New Jersey Rules of Court and to avoid inconvenience to you, we are providing you with an "on call" subpoena. I am also enclosing a copy of a map to the Court House.
We thank you for your cooperation in this matter.
RULE 4:25-7(b) Pretrial Exchange of Witness names, Exhibits, Interrogatory reading, evidence, Problems and Trial Judge fact details
4:25-7. Attorney Conferences
(a) Prior to Pretrial. In cases that are to be pretried, the attorneys shall confer before the date assigned for the pretrial conference in order to reach agreement on as many matters as possible. (b) Exchange of Information. Except as otherwise provided by paragraph (d) of this rule, in cases that have not been pretried, attorneys shall confer and, seven days prior to the initial trial date, exchange the pretrial information as prescribed by Appendix XXIII to these rules. At trial and prior to opening statements, the parties shall submit to the court the following in writing: (1) copies of any Pretrial Information Exchange materials that have been exchanged pursuant to this rule, and any objections made thereto; and (2) stipulations reached on contested procedural, evidentiary, and substantive issues. In addition, in jury trials, the parties shall also exchange and submit (1) any proposed voir dire questions, (2) a list of proposed jury instructions pursuant to R. 1:8-7, with specific reference either to the Model Civil Jury Charges, if applicable, or to applicable legal authority, and (3) a proposed jury verdict form that includes all possible verdicts the jury may return. Failure to exchange and submit all the information required by this rule may result in sanctions as determined by the trial judge. (c) Continuing Obligation. Attorneys shall have the continuing obligation to report to the court any stipulations reached during the course of the trial. (d) Waiver of Exchange. The parties may, in writing, waive the requirement of the exchange of information as set forth in paragraph (b) of this rule, but such waiver shall not affect the obligation to provide that information to the court at the commencement of trial.
Conclusion If you have a civil case where the damages exceed $15,000, call Kenneth Vercammen & Associates 732-572-0500 for a Confidential Appointment
He was awarded the NJ State State Bar Municipal Court Practitioner of the Year.
He lectures and handles criminal cases, Municipal Court, DWI, traffic and other litigation matters.
To schedule a confidential consultation, call us or New clients email us evenings and weekends via contact box www.njlaws.com.
Kenneth Vercammen & Associates, P.C,
2053 Woodbridge Avenue,
Edison, NJ 08817,