Actually nobody gave me a cert...in fact I didn't think that certs were even in the equation in JDBC until I saw that stack trace. All I did was type in a standard jdbc URL for a thin driver (nothing funky in it) and connecting to this one particular DB always gives me this stack trace that includes a message about certificates. That's why I was asking, how/when/why are certificates used in JDBC or is this just stack trace about certs just a red herring?
Do you have any specific advice I can pass on to the DBA such as "please turn off XYZ service which is preventing remote JDBC connections"? Otherwise, I think the DBA group is going to tell my code is the problem.