Filing the Initial Disclosure for National Whistleblower Cases

The process of filing an initial disclosure for a national whistleblower case can often be very complicated. To follow these procedures correctly, it is crucial to hire an experienced attorney who knows how to execute a case effectively. If you have found yourself in a situation where you are looking to file an initial disclosure for a national whisteblower case, it is pertinent you hire a knowledgeable lawyer, who can dedicate the strength and attention your case deserves.

Initial Disclosure

To be an original source, an individual has to provide information voluntarily to the government prior to filing a complaint, and that act of providing information for a national case is the initial disclosure. During an initial disclosure, an individual will want to get as much information as possible. Whatever an individual can legitimately get their hands on will bolster their claim.

Usually, an initial disclosure for a national case is both a statement of evidence and the evidence itself. Technically, an individual can submit an initial disclosure that states their intention to disclose specific allegations later, but it should be made as detailed as possible. This will help an individual prepare the complaint that they are going to end up filing.

In a national case, a weak initial disclosure can hurt an individual’s chances of getting the government on board. However, most of the time, the government will wait to see the complaint, interview the relator, and weigh the merits of the claim before deciding whether to intervene. The main problem with a weak original disclosure is when it discloses only some of the facts. An individual wants to make sure that they have covered all the allegations that their client is going to put in the complaint, so that they can claim original source status over all the allegations.

Role of the Attorney General

After sending the initial disclosure in a national case, an individual should want to be able to confirm the attorney general received the materials. It is possible for some attorney generals to pick up a case while others decline, but it does not occur very often. This happens when one state has no claims in a particular case.

For instance, a healthcare provider might not do business in a particular state, but does business in another, affecting the process of the claim. If an individual finds out they do not have any claims in a particular jurisdiction, they would dismiss the claims in that jurisdiction or simply not file a claim there if that is known information upfront. Assuming that there is similar liability across jurisdictions, especially now with the option for consolidated actions, states tend to follow the federal government.

When an individual first sends information to state attorney generals, it is meant to outline the allegations, and includes almost everything that would be in the complaint. An attorney is trying to establish their client as the original source for the information, and to do that an attorney will have to inform the various governments as to what is going on.

Sending a Complaint

The complaint is a more formal document than the initial disclosure. For one thing, certain jurisdictional issues have to be included in the complaint. Also, court filings have to abide by the standards of whatever court the individual is filing in, which can be pretty specific. These courts can have a range of requirements, from the typeface and the size of the document, to statements of jurisdiction. None of these specifications are required in the initial disclosure. The initial disclosure can often be formatted in whichever way the individual prefers.

However, there are things that an individual would not put in the complaint that they might put in a disclosure. An individual is allowed to provide the government certain information, and under a joint privilege, have that material remain not filed in court. Sometimes, an individual may provide material in an initial disclosure to help the government with their investigation, but not necessarily include it in a complaint that might at some point become public.

In general, an individual will want to provide as much information as possible. That said, there are certain exhibits that may involve sensitive material that an individual would be entitled to provide to the government, but not necessarily put on the record of the court.