National Whistleblower Violation Procedures

Major whistleblower cases can often carry heavy burdens and expectations, on the part of both the lawyer and the individual involved. An experienced whistleblower attorney can aid in lessening any overwhelming expectations the state may have on the part of the individual. If you have found yourself in a situation where you feel as if you want to divulge certain critical information, it is of the utmost importance that you hire a knowledgeable whistleblower attorney immediately.

An attorney will handle a national case just like any other whistleblower case. They will look at the defendant’s possible liability, and determine if they have a strong case to file. If it is a nationwide case, the issue becomes whether there are state law claims in addition to the federal claims that the individual can bring. If there are both federal and state claims, an individual can usually file a consolidated action and attempt to alert the states that might be affected by a nationwide case.

Multiple Jurisdictions

It certainly is possible for a national violation case to be filed under whistleblower laws in multiple jurisdictions and agencies, and that does happen. For instance, an individual might have a False Claims Act claim that involves someone ripping off the government, and at the same time, that case could also involve a securities fraud claim, which an individual would file separately with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

An attorney will also normally work with counsel local to each state the case needs to be filed in. This co-counsel cooperation is often beneficial, because it combines the intelligence, knowledge, and experience of two lawyers, normally producing more favorable outcomes for the client.

Crafting a Case

In a major, national violation whistleblower case, it is important to know the quality of the evidence the whistleblower has been able to gather. While an attorney will want to weigh every document that they can get relating to the case, the liability of the defendant is a key issue. A lawyer has to make sure that the actions of the person bringing forth the claim have not materially damaged the government. That is fundamental for an attorney to be able to determine the strength of the case, and be able to put together the best case possible.

Filing Under State Laws

Many big, national violation cases won’t fit under many state laws unless they’re medical claims, so it is important to check state laws before attempting to pursue a case at the state level. The majority of false claims cases against a state and federal government agencies, are going to be medical cases. Often they are related to Medicaid, because the federal government distributes funds to the state, and together their funds pay the claims.

While there is jurisdiction in most states for a nationwide type of case involving some form of healthcare fraud, there are not many. This is because there are not many services that both the federal and state governments purchase or use at the same time, outside of healthcare. In addition, not every state that has a False Claims Act allows for full jurisdiction over all kinds of claims; many states only allow for Medicaid-based or healthcare-based false claims.

Federal Government Intervention

If an attorney general in one state declines to take part in a national violation case, theoretically, it does not kill intervention across other jurisdictions. Most of the time, the federal government makes the decision to intervene, and takes the lead on a case. The state governments usually, but not always, appoint one state to keep them all informed about the status of the case. It is still necessary to serve all the states, but in a consolidated action, the federal government would take the lead on such a decision. The proper attorney can assist you in defending yourself against the prosecution.

Benefits of Working with Local Co-Counsel

Working with local co-counsel is tremendously beneficial because different lawyers have different ways of approaching a problem and can learn from each other. In addition, if an individual is filing a case in a particular jurisdiction with which one attorney is not familiar, it is helpful for them to have a relationship with a lawyer who is. Mostly, however, it just makes the case stronger to have multiple attorneys working on it.

Generally, the first thing an attorney can do for local counsel is to figure out if there is a case. If someone has a viable False Claims Act case, it can usually take a while to figure out. There are a lot of complicated issues to consider, and it is not necessarily something that an individual attorney will know right away. Any attorney that can work with local counsel to figure these elements out is incredibly beneficial.