July 15, 2013 False Claims Act Information
How to File a Successful Qui Tam Complaint
The decision to file a qui tam lawsuit is an important one. Naturally, you want to provide yourself with the best chance of filing a successful case, and the following tips can help.
Choose Your Qui Tam Lawyer Carefully
The federal False Claims Act is a detailed and complex law. You want to make sure that your lawyer has experience filing and litigating these unique lawsuits. Some law firms promise huge monetary rewards, but, in reality, do not know the process well enough to make good on those promises.
It is also important for the law firm to have the proper resources to take on a qui tam case, as the process can be lengthy and often requires the attention of several lawyers at one time. You should also ask a potential law firm’s record if they work closely with the government, as the chances of winning a False Claims Act qui tam lawsuit are much higher if the government elects to join the suit.
When you are consulting with a potential qui tam lawyer, make sure that he or she plans to play an active role in your lawsuit after the case has been filed. You are a party to the qui tam lawsuit, and your attorney should be participating and contributing to the litigation.
Act Quickly After Obtaining Evidence of Fraud
You should always keep in mind that a qui tam lawsuit may be dismissed if you are not the first to bring the allegations. It can also be dismissed if details of the fraud are made public before your case is filed, unless of course you are an original source of the information.
In addition, there are time limits on how long you have to file a False Claims Act lawsuit. Generally, you must file within six years from the date that the fraud was committed. However, there are certain circumstances that will allow you to file within 10 years. This is another example of the detailed process when it comes to the federal False Claims Act and, without an experienced lawyer, your case may be dismissed due to a court’s decision on time restraints.
Understand Which Court is Best for Filing Your Lawsuit
Whistleblowers are allowed to file a qui tam lawsuit in a number of jurisdictions, and you will notice that different courts interpret details of the False Claims Act in different ways. When you are deciding which court to file your suit, both you and your attorney should take these decisions into account.
Never Discuss Your Lawsuit With Anyone Other Than Your Lawyer
When you file your lawsuit, it is done under seal. This means the information is not available to the public. The seal will not be lifted until after the federal government has completed an investigation of the charges contained in the suit and made a decision as to whether they will intervene.
Discussing your case in public, or with anyone for that matter, and revealing details of your allegations can be detrimental to your qui tam lawsuit. This means you should not discuss the details of your lawsuit with family or friends, or post information about your allegations on social media.
Understand What it Means to be a Whistleblower
When someone makes the decision to come forward with information of fraudulent activity and file a False Claims Act qui tam lawsuit, they take on both personal and professional risks. Without a strong resolve and an even stronger legal team to rely on, the process can be extremely stressful.
You should also be aware that the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act provide workplace protection for relators, and sharing in the monetary recovery of a successful action can help to compensate you for the risks taken. In addition, you will have the personal satisfaction that you were able to make a difference by putting an end to fraudulent activity against the United States government and the American taxpayers.
Contact Us to Learn More
Do you need a Whistleblower Lawyer or want to know more information about Qui Tam Law and your rights under the False Claims Act?
There are three easy ways to contact our firm for a free, confidential evaluation with one of our whistleblower attorneys:
- Fill out the contact form on this page.
- Email [email protected]
- Call (844) 781-3088
Your submission will be reviewed by a Berger Montague qui tam attorney and remain confidential.