False Claims Act/Qui Tam/Whistleblower
For nearly two decades, Berger Montague’s Whistleblower, Qui Tam & False Claims Act practice group has represented whistleblowers in matters involving all types of fraud committed against government entities – in areas such as healthcare fraud, defense contractor fraud, tax fraud, securities fraud, and commodities fraud, helping to recover more than $3 billion in damages for federal and state governments.
For their services and information, our whistleblower clients have received more than $500 million in awards. Because successful whistleblowers also recover their reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs from defendants, and Berger Montague represents whistleblowers on a contingency fee basis, we only get paid if the lawsuit is successful, and a whistleblower does not owe us any money out of pocket. Answers to other frequently asked whistleblower questions are available here.
Qui Tam Cases Require Experienced Qui Tam Lawyers
Qui tam actions are not cookie-cutter litigation. There are confusing and demanding procedural requirements, which can tank a case if not properly followed. These cases are often highly complex and time-consuming, sometimes taking years to resolve. It is critical for whistleblowers to have experienced, battle-tested qui tam lawyers on their side. The attorneys in Berger Montague’s Whistleblower, Qui Tam & False Claims Act practice group have represented whistleblowers for decades in a wide variety of cases in federal and state courts across the country. We pride ourselves on our close working relationships with our clients, dealing with the often difficult issues that arise once someone decides to blow the whistle on a current or former employer or even against a company or individual with which the whistleblower has a different relationship.
Longstanding Working Relationships with Government Attorneys
Berger Montague has established and maintained effective working relationships with dozens of government prosecutors and investigators within the United States Department of Justice, local federal prosecutors in United States Attorneys offices, and State Attorneys General offices from coast to coast. During the course of qui tam proceedings, we interact with those prosecutors on an ongoing fashion, from initially introducing our cases and clients to providing whatever assistance is needed with investigation, discovery, legal research, consultation with experts or trial.
Qui tam cases can stretch on for years and require a substantial investment of resources. For the whistleblower, this involves varying amounts of time and assistance through the process, as well as the perseverance to monitor the case throughout this time period. For the law firm, there is typically a large investment of time and resources, to properly staff a case, pay travel and discovery expenses, retain consultants or experts, and possibly take the case to trial. Many law firms that handle qui tam cases are much smaller than ours and are not as well-equipped to handle the substantial expenses involved in filing, litigating and resolving Whistleblower/Qui Tam fraud cases. In some cases, whistleblower litigation expenses can add up to millions of dollars, which our Firm will advance and seek to collect upon successful resolution of the action. If a case is not successful, however, our clients do not owe us anything.
Because of Berger Montague’s size and excellent track record, we are able to aggressively litigate such cases and make the investment needed to enhance the likelihood of a successful outcome. We currently have seven attorneys who perform qui tam work full-time, in addition to several attorneys who perform this work as a substantial component of their overall responsibilities at the firm. Most importantly, Berger Montague’s qui tam lawyers have the requisite specialized understanding of the unique provisions of federal and state qui tam laws.
Close Client Relationships and Confidentiality
Berger Montague’s approach in qui tam representation involves cultivating close, productive attorney-client relationships with the maximum degree of confidentiality for our clients. Our goal is for each of our clients’ experience as a whistleblower working with our firm and the Government to be as positive and fulfilling as possible. We make ourselves available at times that fit your schedule and will reach out to you as often as needed to make sure that you understand any complications, victories, setbacks or delays, as well as to consult with you about significant strategy decisions. There are almost always bumps and jolts along the path from an initial inquiry until a final resolution of your case, and we are fully committed to sticking with you and supporting you along that entire journey.
No Fees Without Recovery
Berger Montague’s Whistleblower, Qui Tam & False Claims Act practice group litigates cases on a contingent fee basis, so whistleblowers do not pay attorneys’ fees or court costs unless there is a recovery.
Contact a Whistleblower Lawyer
Do you need a whistleblower lawyer or do you want to know more about qui tam law?
There are three easy ways to contact our firm:
- Use the Request A Free Consultation form on this page.
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Call (888) 647-9292
Your information will remain confidential while we evaluate your potential claims and we will work with you to protect your rights.
What is Whistleblowing?
Whistleblowing involves individuals willing to come forward to stop fraud and other wrongdoing against the government (and by extension, the taxpayers). Those individuals who come forward are known as whistleblowers. You can read more on our blog post “What is Whistleblowing?”
What is the False Claims Act?
The Federal False Claims Act (“FCA”) is the primary weapon in combating fraud against the federal government. The FCA covers fraudulent claims made against any federal agency, program, contract, or grant. Many states have similar laws to protect themselves against fraud. Under the FCA, whistleblowers are permitted to bring a case on behalf of the federal government to recover damages on its behalf. For more information, we recommend our blog post “What is the Federal False Claims Act?”
How Long Does a Whistleblower Case Take?
As with most complex litigation, many factors are considered when estimating the length of time until a whistleblower case concludes. In sum, a whistleblower lawsuit can take anywhere from under a year to decades. However, most whistleblower lawsuits are expected to take at least several years. You can read more on our blog post “How Long Does a Whistleblower Case Take?”
Can You be Fired for Whistleblowing?
No. The Federal False Claims Act includes a provision that protects whistleblowers (whether employees or independent contractors) from retaliation by their employers. The anti-retaliation provision of the FCA prohibits an employer from retaliating against an employee “because of lawful acts done by the employee…in furtherance of an action under this section or other efforts to stop 1 or more violations.” 31 U.S.C. §3730(h). Prohibited retaliation includes: termination, suspension, demotion, harassment, or any other discrimination in the terms and conditions of employment. For more information, we recommend our page “Employment Protections for Whistleblowers.”
What Does “Qui Tam” Mean?
“Qui tam” derives from the Latin phrase qui tam pro domino rege quam pro se ipso in hac parte sequitur, meaning “who as well for the king as for himself sues in this matter.” This means that both the government and private citizens (known as whistleblowers or relators) can sue for violations of the False Claims Act. You can read more on our blog post “Qui Tam Lawsuits.”
Can a Whistleblower be Anonymous?
Courts generally want litigation to be transparent and visible to the public, and there are rules in place designed to permit the public to view court proceedings. The good news is that although complete anonymity is not possible, there are various methods to (at least partially) protect the identity of whistleblowers in certain circumstances. For more information, we recommend our blog post “Can Whistleblowers Remain Anonymous?”
What Does “Qui Tam Relator” Mean?
The simplest answer is that, in False Claims Act cases, the “qui tam relator” is the whistleblower who brings the FCA claims against the company or individual who is committing fraud. Usually a qui tam relator is an insider—typically a current or former employee—who has access to confidential information showing that his or her employer has been committing fraud against the government. You can read more on our blog post “What is a Qui Tam Relator?”