Who Decides if the Government Takes the Whistleblower Case?

The decision is made by a combination of officials of the United States Department of Justice. Usually the Assistant U.S. attorney assigned to the case and the Department of Justice trial lawyer will make a decision after they consult with an investigator and review all the evidence they have compiled in the whistleblower case.

They have a chain of command and report up through the Civil Frauds Division of the Department of Justice. So, it is hard to say when any one individual decides. It is a large government agency and many people will be involved in such a decision.

The people that you can impress are the people you will meet, when they interview you about your case. Unless you are filing a completely frivolous action, or unless your action is rejected on some technical grounds, like, for example, every allegation in your Complaint is based entirely on a news story you neglected to mention. Maybe you read about it all in a news story and you had absolutely no knowledge about the case until you did. Unless there is something unusual you are likely to get an opportunity to discuss the issues with the officials of the government.

What is the Meeting with the Government Like?

Such a meeting is informal. You will not hear lawyers shouting “Objection!” You most likely not be sworn in at the meeting. (We have done many, many such meetings and nobody has ever been sworn in, but do not under any circumstances mistake this for some kind of a license to misrepresent anything to a government official.)

There may not even be anyone recording what you say. Make no mistake about the informal nature of this meeting. It is extremely serious. The lawyers and investigators you meet will want to know everything you know about the False Claims case. They will want to know who else they can talk to who can corroborate your allegations. They will want to know where they can obtain documents.

They will, of course, judge your credibility too. All this goes into a meeting. So what can you do?

You can work with your lawyer to prepare the best Complaint possible and you can be as knowledgeable about the facts and as truthful and co-operative as possible. You want to make it possible for the Justice Department to pursue your case. If they do you have a greater chance of success.