Cost of Filing a Whistleblower Case

Filing a whistleblower takes a lot of courage, what it does not take, is a lot of money. People may perceive the cost of filing a whistleblower case as a major barrier to whistleblowing. In actuality, the cost of filing a case is not that expensive. Filing costs are often relatively low and attorneys typically work on a contingency basis, meaning they do not get paid unless the whistleblower receives their settlement. If an individual is considering filing a case but is worried about the cost, they should consult a determined whistleblower lawyer that could answer their questions and advocate for them.

How Much Does it Cost to File a Case?

Whistleblower cases may see expensive but surprisingly little funds are required to file a case and those funds are generally obtained upon a settlement. To file a False Claims Act case there is a $400 filing fee and relatively low actual expenses. There can be other minor court fees as well. Most whistleblower lawyers dealing with all whistleblower laws take these cases on a contingency basis. Most whistleblower lawyers, the ones who do this type of case full time and would take any associated expenses out of an award. Even then, the initial expenses to file a case are relatively low. To file a case, a contingency means that the lawyer would expect to take a share of whatever the whistleblower obtains in a case. In one sense, one hopes that is largely because one hopes for a large recovery for the relator as well as an award for the attorney, but to file a case there is no impediment.

Cost of Filing a Case According to Other Whistleblower Laws

The other whistleblower reward laws do not involve or do not provide an independent right of action to file a case in the court based on fraud. On the other hand the SEC program, the IRS program, or the Commodity Futures Trading Commission Program, also involve relatively little expenses to file a case. Indeed there are no filing fees with these agencies. The cost of filing a whistleblower case is remarkably inexpensive in terms of fees or other charges to initiate the process, which is, of course, helpful to whistleblowers and their counsel who want to pursue a serious claim.

Time and Effort That Go Into Filing a Case

While the cost of filing a whistleblower case may not be that high, a great deal of time and effort and work that goes into filing any case for both the attorney and the whistleblower. A serious case of fraud, one that would get the government to act and to create a serious recovery,  requires a major investment by the whistleblower in time and effort if not money.

Whistleblowers have to be able to spend a great deal of time with their attorneys explaining the particular industry of which they are a part and substantiate their allegations to the best of their ability. They have to cooperate with the government when the government has more questions about their case, and they may even have to be proactive in working with the attorney to present more evidence to the government.

Ease of Filing a Whistleblower Case

Filing a whistleblower case is an involved process. Usually, whistleblowers who bring cases are bringing cases that involve some substantial period of time out of their life and professional experience. Remembering all of that and being able to present it in a manner that is persuasive to the government takes work. It takes a great deal of work and time, so whistleblowers need to understand that, while they do not have to expend financial resources to bring a case, it is a work of time and personal and emotional commitment. It is a serious investment that anyone should respect.

One of the great fallacies about whistleblower law spread widely by those who want to undermine the effectiveness of these laws, is that it is some kind of lottery ticket from which someone just automatically gets money, and it is easy to do. It is not easy to do. Whistleblowers are experts in their field. Most whistleblowers are only in a position to blow the whistle by virtue of having substantial experience and knowing when a company is acting in a manner that is illegal. Those whistleblowers have to be able to explain what is wrong and in that sense, in the sense of time, experience, and understanding the industry there is a lifetime of work that goes into a whistleblower’s complaint. If an individual wants to know more about the cost of filing a whistleblower case and how much effort goes into it, they should consult a knowledgeable qui tam lawyer that could answer their questions.