Bios

John Kennedy, Esq.

EXPERIENCE
John Kennedy is an accomplished attorney with considerable expertise in investigating and litigating fraud cases, having spent more than 25 years as a white-collar prosecutor with the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General. During that time, Mr. Kennedy directed the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor’s civil and criminal enforcement efforts for more than 10 years. His practice focuses on anti-fraud litigation, False Claims Act litigation, and internal investigations.

While in State service, Mr. Kennedy was second-in-command of the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor, helping lead an office with a staff of 120 attorneys, investigators and support staff, and a case list averaging several hundred criminal cases and several thousand civil cases. Simultaneously, Mr. Kennedy prosecuted some of the office’s most significant matters, securing state prison sentences for, among others, doctors who accepted cash kickbacks for patient referrals, and an insurance producer who stole nearly $2 million from his clients.

Between 2000 and 2005, Mr. Kennedy served as Deputy Director and then Director of the Office of Government Integrity, where he helped forge a new approach to promoting integrity in government, by combining the Attorney General’s civil and criminal authority in a single office. OGI was New Jersey’s first statewide inspector general’s office, and it promoted integrity and accountability in executive branch agencies through rigorous and impartial investigations.

Mr. Kennedy has prosecuted a wide range of white-collar crimes, including insurance frauds of all kinds, environmental crimes and tax frauds. Mr. Kennedy is also an accomplished appellate advocate, having represented the Attorney General in four cases before the New Jersey Supreme Court and dozens before the Appellate Division.

EDUCATION
Mr. Kennedy received his J.D. from New York University School of Law, and his bachelor’s degree summa cum laude from Saint Peter’s College.
BAR ADMISSIONS
Mr. Kennedy is admitted to practice law in the state and federal courts of New Jersey.
REPORTED CASES
State v. Fleischman, 189 N.J. 539 (N.J. Supreme Court, 2006)
State v. Hill, 121 N.J. 150 (N.J. Supreme Court, 1990)
State v. Jackson, 118 N.J. 484 (N.J. Supreme Court, 1990)
State v. Gallegan, 117 N.J. 345 (N.J. Supreme Court, 1989)
State v. Salaam, 225 N.J. Super. 66 (N.J. Appellate Division, 1988)
RECENT SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS
Recent Legal Developments in Insurance Fraud, New Jersey Special Investigators’ Association (2017)
Recent Legal Developments: Transportation Network Companies, New Jersey Special Investigators’ Association (2016)
Healthcare Fraud Legal Issues, American Academy of Professional Coders (2016)
PIP Tips: Panning for Gold in a Sea of Information, New Jersey Special Investigators’ Association (2015) (with Richard Vuernick)
Financial Facilitation of Criminal Activity in the Insurance Fraud Context, National Insurance Crime Bureau (2014)

Richard E. Vuernick, Esq.

EXPERIENCE
Mr. Vuernick began his legal career as a consumer advocate in Washington D.C., for Citizen Action, a nationwide consumer advocacy organization. As Legal Policy Director, he testified before Congress and federal administrative agencies about the impact on consumers of legislation and administrative regulations. He appeared frequently on television and radio programs discussing and debating consumer protection legislation.

Upon his return to New Jersey, Mr. Vuernick served as Deputy Attorney General in the New Jersey Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor, where he was responsible for investigating and prosecuting insurance fraud and organized crime matters from their inception through trial. For nearly 20 years since then, he has represented businesses and individuals pursuing legal remedies against fraud.

Mr. Vuernick concentrates his private practice on three areas. Mr. Vuernick uses his knowledge and expertise to help insurance companies and other businesses recoup money lost to fraud. He also litigates on behalf of corporate and individual whistleblowers with information about government contractor fraud, utilizing the federal or state False Claims Acts. He helps clients ensure the integrity of their organizations by conducting internal investigations into potential malfeasance, and offering workable solutions to the governing bodies of both governmental and private organizations.

EDUCATION
Mr. Vuernick received his bachelor’s degree from Vassar College and his J.D. from Western New England College School of Law.
BAR ADMISSIONS
Mr. Vuernick is admitted to practice law in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania and the federal courts in those states.
REPORTED CASES
Allstate Ins. Co. v. Greenberg, et al. 379 N.J. Super. 419 (N.J. Law Div. 2005)
Allstate Ins. Co. v. Greenberg, et al. 376 N.J. Super. 623 (N.J. Law Div. 2004)
RECENT SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS
Settlements and Judgments: Getting to the Money, New Jersey Special Investigators’ Association (2018)
State and Federal False Claims Acts: Opportunities and Challenges for Special Investigation Units, New Jersey Special Investigators’ Association (2017)
PIP Tips: Panning for Gold in a Sea of Information, New Jersey Special Investigators’ Association (2015) (with John Kennedy)

Douglas M. Alba, Esq.

EXPERIENCE
Mr. Alba began his prestigious litigation career as a Deputy Attorney General in the Division of Law with the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General. As a Deputy Attorney General, Mr. Alba litigated civil fraud cases on behalf of the Medicaid program. He also served as Counsel to the New Jersey Spinal Cord Injury Commission, the Board of Nursing Home Administrators and the Department of Human Services’ HIPAA Compliance Committee.

During more than 18 years in private practice, Mr. Alba has represented insurance carriers in some of the most significant civil prosecutions under the Insurance Fraud Prevention Act.

Since joining Kennedy Vuernick, Mr. Alba has continued his client-centered, practical approach to investigating and litigating insurance fraud. Mr. Alba also handles personal injury protection benefits litigation and bus medical expense benefits litigation.

EDUCATION
Mr. Alba received his bachelor’s degree from Marist College and his J.D. from the Rutgers School of Law at Camden.
BAR ADMISSIONS
Mr. Alba is admitted to practice in the state and federal courts of New Jersey and before the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
REPORTED CASES
Allstate New Jersey Ins. Co. v. Cherry Hill Pain & Rehab. Institute, 389 N.J. Super. 130 (N.J. Appellate Division, 2006)

Gabrielle H. Pohlman, Esq.

EXPERIENCE
Ms. Pohlman focuses on insurance fraud matters, with a concentration in health care fraud. She has deep experience in the insurance industry. Ms. Pohlman has represented insurance carriers, as well as insured individuals and businesses, for over 15 years. She has handled disputes in numerous insurance lines, including auto, commercial liability, and premises liability. She has litigated insurance fraud, coverage and liability issues. She is highly skilled in the application of insurance laws and regulations, and in the analysis of medical records and claims data.
EDUCATION
Ms. Pohlman received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan, and her J.D. from Tulane University School of Law, where she served as Senior Articles Editor for the Tulane Journal of Technology and Intellectual Property. She is a graduate of the Justice Morris Pashman American Inn of Court.
BAR ADMISSIONS
Ms. Pohlman is admitted to practice in the state and federal courts of New Jersey, New York and Michigan.

Samuel E. Howie, Esq.

EXPERIENCE
In his role as an associate at Kennedy Vuernick, Mr. Howie specializes in litigating healthcare fraud matters. Prior to joining Kennedy Vuernick, Mr. Howie served as law clerk to the Hon. Robert Jones, Jr., J.S.C., in the Superior Court, Civil Part.
EDUCATION
Mr. Howie earned his J.D. from the University of Maryland, where he was Articles Editor for the Maryland Journal of Race, Religion, Gender and Class. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland.
BAR ADMISSIONS
Mr. Howie is admitted to practice law in the state and federal courts of New Jersey.

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