The first thing that happens after filing a whistleblower case is, essentially, a good deal of waiting. The case is under seal for 60 days, but this period can be extended for a good cause, and of course the proper authorities usually can’t fully investigate a serious matter in 60 days. So it takes them some time to get to the point where they can contact you and handle your case. When they do, they will be contacting you likely to interview or discuss the matter and try to come up with the way to continue to investigate the case.
Possibilities After Filing
After you file a whistleblower case, you usually, meet with government officials as they have a duty to investigate your allegations. They have to decide on behalf of the government whether the government wants to intervene and take over the case if they do the government effectively takes control of and responsibility for all aspects of litigation.
They can also decide to decline to intervene, which brings up a whole different set of decisions for the whistleblower attorney and the client. The government can take months or years to do that and they can request documents from the defendants, or they may even ask the whistleblower for further information or to discuss information that they otherwise have in the case. So all this can be a pretty involved process of going back and forth between the whistleblower and the Department of Justice to attempt to find out how the whistleblower can be of help to the government in pursuing the case.
Actions to Take After Filing
The act of filing a case is not the end of it. It can be, if you’ve included all the relevant information in the initial filing and the government accepts and takes over the case, and you go directly to some kind of resolution. Usually, however, a whistleblower’s participation doesn’t end that quickly, because usually what happens is the government has a whole set of questions and they want you to help them understand more about the allegations.
Quite often, whistleblowers will think of additional things that they just didn’t think of initially or maybe they find some evidence that they didn’t realize was evidence before. It is possible to file additional disclosures and an amended complaint with additional allegations.
Sometimes, while all this is going on, a company might buy another company and become, maybe even without realizing it, a party to an action that they may not have known about. It is possible to amend the complaint to bring them in as well. So filing by no means it’s not the end of it. In fact, it’s usually only the beginning of what the DC whistleblower attorney and their client have to do.