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Showing 9 posts in Legal Procedures.

Qui Tam Lawsuits

What Is A Qui Tam Lawsuit?

The term qui tam originates from a Latin phrase that means "[he] who sues in this matter for the king as well as for himself." As such, a qui tam lawsuit is a type of civil lawsuit whereby a private individual, or a relator, with knowledge of fraudulent activity, assists in filing a case on behalf of the government. Qui tam lawsuits are filed under the False Claim Act and, in the event of a successful case, a relator receives as a reward a part of the funds recovered by the government. More

New Formal Guidelines on "Cooperation Credit" for False Claims Act Defendants

The Department of Justice released formal guidelines on May 7, 2019 allowing False Claims Act defendants to receive "credit" by taking steps to cooperate with an ongoing government investigation. The goal of this guidance is to incentivize companies to provide meaningful assistance throughout a DOJ investigation, including voluntarily disclosing misconduct that may not be within the scope of any pending investigation. Although the impact of the formal guidance on False Claims Act cases is still unclear, there is some possibility that cases will resolve more quickly due to increased cooperation by defendants. More

Recent Supreme Court Ruling Gives Whistleblowers More Time

SCOTUS delivered a unanimous opinion on May 13, 2019 affirming a Eleventh Circuit ruling that (1) the extended limitations period of up to 10 years applies to whistleblower-initiated False Claims Act lawsuits in which the government has declined to intervene and (2) whistleblowers in nonintervened cases are not "the official of the United States" referred to by the statute. This decision resolved a three circuit split. More

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The Brand Memo – Everything You Need to Know

The Brand memo was issued in January 2018 by then-Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand, limiting the use of guidance documents in civil enforcement actions and preventing DOJ attorneys from using informal agency guidance as binding law.  To understand more, it is important to first understand the Sessions memo.  More

Why Do So Many False Claims Cases Settle Before Trial?

It is widely recognized that many more False Claims Act (FCA) cases settle than go to trial.[1] While it is difficult to determine the exact proportion of cases that settle vs. cases that are tried, comprehensive reports on FCA developments published semi-annually indicate about a 16:1 ratio of notable settlements to verdicts/ judgments.[2] More

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The Public Disclosure Bar

The False Claims Act qui tam provision allows private citizens to act as whistleblowers, and file a lawsuit on behalf of the government if they are aware of fraud taking place. These whistleblowers, or relators, are eligible to receive a portion of the money the government recovers if the lawsuit is successful.

It is important to note that the False Claims Act is designed to encourage people to report fraud that might otherwise go undetected; it is not designed to reward people who repeat allegations that have already been publicized. To that end, the False Claims Act includes language stipulating that the court will dismiss a case if substantially the same allegations contained therein were already publicly disclosed and the relator bringing the action is not an original source of the information. This section of the Act is commonly referred to as the "public disclosure bar". More

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Escobar decision continues to affect major FCA cases

In 2016, the Supreme Court decided the landmark FCA case Universal Health Servs., Inc. v. United States ex rel. Escobar, 136 S.Ct. 1989 (2016). Escobar resolved a circuit split over the implied false certification theory of liability under the FCA, upholding the theory as valid but tightly circumscribing its scope through a "rigorous" interpretation of the Act's materiality and scienter requirements—holding that "[a] misrepresentation about compliance with a statutory, regulatory, or contractual requirement must be material to the Government's payment decision in order to be actionable under the False Claims Act." Escobar, 136 S.Ct. at 1996. This holding continues to percolate through the federal courts, proving determinative in several recent cases of interest. More

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Department of Justice Announces Mylan Settlements

On August 17, the Department of Justice announced a landmark $465 million settlement in a False Claims Act action against pharmaceutical companies Mylan Inc. and Mylan Specialty L.P., best known as the makers of EpiPen, a critical emergency medication for individuals suffering from life-threatening allergies. More

Why Whistleblowers Need to Follow Appropriate Legal Procedures

whistleblower procedures

Whistleblowers play a critical role in helping the government recover ill-gotten funds obtained through fraud. Accordingly, under the False Claims Act, whistleblowers are permitted to share in the government’s recovery of any fraudulently obtained funds. But, in order to share in the financial recovery, whistleblowers must follow certain procedures and meet certain legal requirements. More

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