Kenneth Mr. Vercammen was included in the 2020 “Super Lawyers” list published by Thomson Reuters.

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Sunday, January 26, 2020


Plaintiff, John Doe, initiated this tort action in New Jersey against the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and St. Charles Borromeo Seminary (hereinafter “Archdiocese defendants”). The Archdiocese defendants filed a motion to dismiss plaintiff’s complaint raising the defenses of lack of personal jurisdiction, statute of limitations and forum non conveniens. The motion was initially denied and a plenary hearing on the issue of the statute of limitations was scheduled; however, that hearing was adjourned nearly one year as the court permitted an additional period of discovery. The Archdiocese defendants subsequently renewed their prior motion seeking a decision as to whether Pennsylvania or New Jersey law applies. The choice-of-law question raised in the motion is particularly important because under Pennsylvania law, plaintiff’s mental state cannot toll the statute of limitations. After oral argument, the court determined it would not violate the Archdiocese defendants’ due process rights to subject them to in personam long-arm jurisdiction of the courts of New Jersey. Additionally, the court conducted a forum non conveniens analysis, and found New Jersey to be an appropriate forum for this action. The court next must determine if New Jersey’s statute of limitations precludes further adjudication of this claim. A plenary hearing, pursuant to Lopez v. Swyer, 62 N.J. 267 (1973), will be scheduled.