We serve as the Public Defender for the Boro of Metuchen. Volunteer Law Clerk interns will attend Wednesday evening and Friday morning court sessions. The clerks will also serve as an Associate Editor of the NJ Municipal Court Law Review and the NJ Criminal Law website. Students learning marketing, and help set up free seminar programs for the public.
The Public Defenders provide Indigent individuals charged with criminal or serious motor vehicle charges with free or limited cost legal defense. The Public Defender of Metuchen again invites students interested in attending law school or a career in law enforcement to serve as volunteer interns.
Program lasts 12 weeks. Minimum time commitment September- May is 10 hours her week.
Minimum Volunteer time commitment in summer- 18 hours per week. Summer Law students only.
The Public Defender Internship Program" is now in its 7th year. Our volunteer students have learned while working in a busy law office and dealing with real clients. Students obtain experience in law office procedures, preparing legal correspondence, and assisting clients.
VOLUNTEER LEGAL INTERNS NEEDED
PUBLIC DEFENDER OF METUCHEN
Court times: Wednesday 1pm PM [approx]- 8:30 PM, Friday 9am-2:30, plus hearing preparation work.
VOLUNTEER INTERNSHIP DESCRIPTION:
-INTERVIEW CLIENTS FACING CHARGES IN MUNICIPAL COURT INCLUDING DRUG POSSESSION, DRUNK DRIVING, ASSAULT, THEFT, DRIVING WHILE SUSPENDED AND OTHER DISORDERLY AND TRAFFIC OFFENSES
-MAKE DEMANDS FOR DISCOVERY AND REVIEW POLICE REPORTS
-ATTEND TRIALS AND LEARN FROM EXPERIENCED TRIAL ATTORNEYS,
-PREPARE MOTIONS TO SUPPRESS AND MOTIONS TO DISMISS
-CONDUCT APPROPRIATE LEGAL RESEARCH
- ACQUIRE SKILLS IN CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE BY ACTIVE PARTICIPATION
- PARTICIPATE IN PUBLIC RELATIONS ACTIVITIES and help set up seminars
- Update Lists of Prosecutors, Judges and Attorneys for publication of
NJ Municipal Court Law Review
- Revise criminal and traffic law Articles and submit to Law Journals and criminal law websites.
Volunteer to help indigent people charged with criminal and motor vehicle offenses of magnitude. In additional to time in court, you will be given research assignments. You can work more hours if you want. Help people less fortunate than you who are down on their luck. Minimum time commitment 10 hours per week, for both Wednesday and Friday court sessions. Interested law students must mail or fax a cover letter and resume indicating the internship they are applying for. After sending resume, call to schedule interview 732-572-0500. [Summer internship is minimum 18 hours per week, 12 weeks- Law students only]
We also serve as Editor of a state wide website with information on litigation, personal injury, criminal and probate matters. Law Clerks work on updating articles on the website. No website experience required.
It is helpful if applicants have some familiarity with HTML programming, web page design and maintenance and Internet technology. If you can update a website, please indicate so in the first paragraph of your cover letter. This office is committed to excellence and service to clients and the community. Applicants must have attention to detail. We attempt to give assignments which will be meaningful and memorable but, nevertheless, except that interns will pitch in on whatever needs to be done. There are no special major requirements and we have had success with students from business, political science, law and other backgrounds.
Mail or fax cover letter and resume to
Kenneth Vercammen, Esq.
Public Defender for the Borough of Metuchen
c/o 2053 Woodbridge Ave., Edison, NJ 08817
Information regarding our Law Office plus articles on some of the type of matters students may work on can be found on the Internet website www.njlaws.com.
Other occasional assignments:
1. WORK ON PLAINTIFF PERSONAL INJURY & LITIGATION MATTERS
-ACCIDENT INVESTIGATION AND WITNESS CONTACTS
-CONTACT DOCTORS AND HOSPITALS TO OBTAIN MEDICAL RECORDS
-MEDICAL & EVIDENCE REVIEW
-CONTACT DEFENSE ATTORNEYS TO REQUEST DISCOVERY
-PREPARATION OF COMPLAINT, SERVICE ON DEFENDANTS
- ANSWERING & SERVING INTERROGATORIES AND OTHER DISCOVERY REQUESTS
-SPEAK WITH POTENTIAL CLIENTS PRIOR TO COURT AND DEPOSITION
-ATTEND TRIAL OR HEARINGS
2. WORK ON CRIMINAL, MUNICIPAL COURT AND DWI CASES
- CONTACT MUNICIPAL PROSECUTOR TO OBTAIN DISCOVERY
-CONTACTS WITH COURT AND COUNTY PROSECUTOR'S OFFICE
-PREPARE DISCOVERY DEMANDS
-EVIDENCE REVIEW AND ORGANIZATION
-PREPARATION FOR TRIAL AND ATTEND HEARINGS
3. WILLS & PROBATE PRACTICE
- ACT AS FORMAL WITNESS TO WILLS, POWER OF ATTORNEY AND OTHER LEGAL DOCUMENTS
-PUBLICIZE WILL SEMINARS AND ATTEND PROGRAMS FREE OF CHARGE
4 - WORK ON MARKETING AND COMMUNITY RELATIONS including submitting articles to search engines
Summer interns must work 18- 35 hours minimum per week. Student must stick to days and hours selected and make up missed days. The legal interns must work a minimum of 12 weeks. Longer hours or weeks permitted.
This is an excellent opportunity to gain valuable experience as a volunteer intern and learn New Jersey Practice and Procedure. Build your resume and obtain marketable skills. You will handle a client's file and learn details on running a successful law practice. This will not be a brief-writing and photocopying clerkship.
Kenneth Vercammen is a Edison, Middlesex County trial attorney who has published 130 articles in national and New Jersey publications on Municipal/Criminal Court, Personal Injury, and Probate/Elder Law topics. He is a highly regarded lecturer on litigation issues for the American Bar Association, ICLE, New Jersey State Bar Association and Middlesex County Bar Association. His articles have been published by New Jersey Law Journal, ABA Law Practice Management Magazine, and New Jersey Lawyer. He is the Editor in Chief of the New Jersey Municipal Court Law Review.
He is the Municipal Court Attorney of the Year, selected by the New Jersey State Bar Association. In 2002, the New Jersey State Bar Association awarded him the General Practitioner of the Year Award. Mr. Vercammen was also the recipient of the New Jersey State Bar Association- YLD Service to the Bar Award.
He has served as a Special Acting Prosecutor in nine different cities and towns in New Jersey and also successfully handled over One thousand Municipal Court and Superior Court matters in the past 20 years. He established one of the first websites to provide legal information to the public at www.njlaws.com.
In his private practice, he 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 several times each week on many personal injury matters, Municipal Court trials, and contested Probate hearings.
He has been active in both the NJ Bar and ABA's General Practice Section, writing articles for their newsletters and coordinating educational programs.
He is a triathlete and is one of the top Master Runners in New Jersey. He is married to Cynthia and has son Brendan [county champion wrestler] and daughter Shannon [Flight 1 travel soccer player]. They live in South Brunswick, NJ, next to Princeton.
Consequences of a Criminal Guilty Plea
1. You will have to appear in open court and tell the judge what you did that makes you guilty of the particular offense(s)
2. Do you understand that if you plead guilty:
a. You will have a criminal record
b. You may go to Jail or Prison.
c. You will have to pay Fines and Court Costs.
3. If you are on Probation, you will have to submit to random drug and urine testing. If you violate Probation, you often go to jail.
4. In indictable matters, you will be required to provide a DNA sample, which could be used by law enforcement for the investigation of criminal activity, and pay for the cost of testing.
5. You must pay restitution if the court finds there is a victim who has suffered a loss and if the court finds that you are able or will be able in the future to pay restitution.
6. If you are a public office holder or employee, you can be required to forfeit your office or job by virtue of your plea of guilty.
7. If you are not a United States citizen or national, you may be deported by virtue of your plea of guilty.
8. You must wait 5-10 years to expunge a first offense. 2C:52-3
9. You could be put on Probation.
10. In Drug Cases, a mandatory DEDR penalty of $500-$1,000, and lose your driver's license for 6 months - 2years. You must pay a Law Enforcement Officers Training and Equipment Fund penalty of $30.
11. You may be required to do Community Service.
12. You must pay a minimum Violent Crimes Compensation Board assessment of $50 ($100 minimum if you are convicted of a crime of violence) for each count to which you plead guilty.
13. You must pay a $75 Safe Neighborhood Services Fund assessment for each conviction.
14. If you are being sentenced to probation, you must pay a fee of up to $25 per month for the term of probation.
15. You lose the presumption against incarceration in future cases. 2C:44-1
16. You may lose your right to vote.
The defense of a person charged with a criminal offense is not impossible. There are a number of viable defenses and arguments which can be pursued to achieve a successful result. Advocacy, commitment, and persistence are essential to defending a client accused of a criminal offense.
Jail for Crimes and Disorderly Conduct:
If someone pleads Guilty or is found Guilty of a criminal offense, the following is the statutory Prison/Jail terms.
NJSA 2C: 43-8 (1) In the case of a crime of the first degree, for a specific term of years which shall be fixed by the court and shall be between 10 years and 20 years;
(2) In the case of a crime of the second degree, for a specific term of years which shall be fixed by the court and shall be between five years and 10 years;
(3) In the case of a crime of the third degree, for a specific term of years which shall be fixed by the court and shall be between three years and five years;
(4) In the case of a crime of the fourth degree, for a specific term which shall be fixed by the court and shall not exceed 18 months.
2C:43-3 Fines have been increased recently! 2C:43-3. Fines and Restitutions. A person who has been convicted of an offense may be sentenced to pay a fine, to make restitution, or both, such fine not to exceed:
a. (1) $200,000.00 when the conviction is of a crime of the first degree;
(2) $150,000.00 when the conviction is of a crime of the second degree;
b. (1) $15,000.00 when the conviction is of a crime of the third degree;
(2) $10,000.00 when the conviction is of a crime of the fourth degree;
c. $1,000.00, when the conviction is of a disorderly persons offense;
d. $500.00, when the conviction is of a petty disorderly persons offense;
If facing any criminal charge, retain an experienced attorney immediately to determine you rights and obligations to the court. Current criminal charge researched by Kenneth Vercammen, Esq. 732-572-0500