The firing of the president of a company partly run by a New Jersey law firm is at the center of a U.S. Supreme Court case, testing whether a whistle-blower can use the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act to gain treble damages.

The Court will hear the case, Robert Beck v. Ronald Prupis, et al, No. 98-1480, on Wednesday, and may settle an issue that has split circuit courts: whether a whistle-blower can assert a civil RICO conspiracy claim even if the act that has injured him (his firing) is not itself a predicate, or criminal, act of racketeering.

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