Blog

Join the False Claims Act Fight

Come on in, the water is fine

The Legal Intelligencer reports more plaintiff’s attorneys are getting into whistleblower law.

The article cites many not particularly well defined new protections and incentives as reasons for plaintiff’s lawyers wanting to get into the field.

It includes this ominous warning statement about the granddaddy of whistleblower rights, qui tam, and the ability to collect on a case involving government fraud:

According to many attorneys who spoke with The Legal, while qui tam is a highly attractive area for many attorneys, it is a difficult practice, and should not be entered into lightly.

Well, that is true. But then again, what area of law is one in which a lawyer should enter into lightly? It’s always a big deal to your client, whether the matter is a parking ticket or a bazillion dollar qui tam case.  Look, if you are a young lawyer, I won’t kid you. This area is and can be tough. The article cited business reasons for lawyers to get into this area or not get into it.

However, the fact remains that we need more not fewer whistleblower lawyers. This is a big country. Multiple factions that are seeking to destroy the False Claims Act and make it more difficult, if not impossible, for whistleblowers to file claims and obtain rewards — even after the case has been won — are ratcheting up their attacks. The only way to stop this assault is if the relatively small plaintiff’s bar for whistleblowers becomes robust enough to combat the massive and well-funded forces on the other side. There simply needs to be more of us.

I’m constantly astounded that in a country with a multi-trillion dollar budget there are so few lawyers who handle these cases. They are almost to a fault hard-working, decent, and good lawyers. These cases are the most complex and the most interesting. That is, perhaps, why whistleblower cases and qui tam cases in particular tend to attract committed attorneys.

We need more lawyers doing this because I just do not, for the life of me, think that all the fraud out there is being reported. I don’t think what is reported is even close to the real numbers.

Last year, there were 752 matters filed under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act. That is two a day. It can’t be close to all there is. It takes so long to win a case. I understand the difficulty presented in building a practice when you know it will take several years to pay off. Add to that the fact that False Claims Act law is constantly evolving. There are many issues lawyers have to keep up with and I could whine all day about how tough it is to practice False Claims Act and qui tam law.

Still, I say come on in and join us. Join us in one of the few righteous areas of the law where you can still potentially make money for your client. We need you. We need you to help us go after the horrifying practices defrauding Medicare and Medicaid. We need you to fight defense procurement fraud. We need more lawyers to help us find out about the next kind of fraud, whatever it may be, that we have not yet discovered.

It is our job to protect the brave individuals who stand up and tell the truth at perilous cost to their professional reputations and careers. We need as many friends as we can get.

Come on in.