What Do I Need To Do To File a Whistleblower Case?

It may seem obvious, but the first thing you have to do is call a lawyer. In all the timelines on the web, which try to explain the circuitous route a False Claims Act case takes through the Department of Justice and the Courts, this particular step gets short shrift.

Do not underestimate how hard this is and how long it will take to file a whistleblower claim.

Working with an Attorney

It is important to be honest and upfront with a whistleblower attorney because you will have to become a partner with your whistleblower lawyer. Qui tam cases take time. They involve complicated facts, sometimes years of wrongdoing and large amounts of money. They have to be pursued on a contingent fee basis 99% of the time, because the clients do not have any money or anywhere near enough money to compensate lawyers for their time. So everybody agrees to take a percentage of the case and goes forward.

That is great, but you and your whistleblower lawyer will be working together for a while. You are going to have to be able to explain what it is that happened. What do you know and how you know it? What kind of proof do you have in hand and what kind of proof will be able to direct government investigators to find? These are all complicated issues to discuss.

You may be involved in a highly specialized part of an industry. You are going to have to explain to your lawyer how that industry is supposed to work and what went wrong. You are going to have to be able to talk to a lawyer for quite a while, because chances are you are upset about a lot of issues.

Important Considerations

Everything from how you were insulted by having library card privileges taken away from you, to how you witnessed a kickback on a contract may or may not be important to your case. They may or may not also be important to you. It can take some time to sort all this out with your lawyer, to determine what it is that makes your case important.

First you need to think about what the damages are. How much money got taken? How big was the contract? Was the government the only one who lost money? Were other governments or other State entities involved? There are questions after questions that your lawyer will ask. Usually the more the lawyer asks the better. It takes a while to explain a good case.

You and your lawyer need to be able to understand what you have so that you can explain it throughout the rest of the process. For more information on whistleblowers and whistleblower law, click here.