Why do I work on False Claims Act Cases?
First of all I sleep well at night. There are only a few areas of law which let you represent the good guys and try to do the right thing. This is certainly one of them.
People who bring False Claims Cases have to have more than just an interest in making money in a law suit. Nobody would take it upon themselves to challenge the authority of their current or former bosses in this way without a reason. That reason comes from within the whistleblower. They have an internal sense of what is right. Unlike most of the rest of us, these people, my clients, cannot simply live with it. They cannot just accept what is wrong. They have to act. The False Claims Act was founded on the hope that the financial rewards would induce people to report wrongdoing. The fact is that those who report wrongdoing are made of special stuff. They cannot abide it and they do something about it. The incentives are the least we, as a society owe such courageous people.
Often I meet my clients during an especially difficult time of their life.
They have just learned that the people they trusted, their colleagues, people they may spend more time with on a daily basis than their family, have been regularly cheating the government. Usually it is not just cheating but an extreme form of fraud, because by the time my clients have figured out how bad it is, the work practices have gotten out of control and may even have taken over the business. Indeed, public safety issues can be involved and the fraud may become the financial foundation of the business. This is difficult to accept. It may take years or months to come to the realization that the people you trusted simply cannot be trusted. It can get even worse. Often whistleblowers are fired for confronting management with just such information. The process of working with my clients so that they learn that they can now work with me, is difficult but especially rewarding. Hopefully they learn they can tell me what really happened and we can work with those facts to file an appropriate case.
Then usually the experience is fascinating. I know about the False Claims Act and that is what I bring to the Client, but the client brings expertise in a particular area of business. Since the False Claims Act allows a suit for fraud against the government, and since the government is involved in almost every area of business, I get to learn about whole new industries or parts of businesses, when filing a case. I have to understand, in detail, how a business is supposed to operate before being able to explain why what the defendant is doing amounts to fraud. Usually learning this from my client is fascinating. Usually the client is dedicated to doing the job correctly and is able to explain how it really is supposed to work.
This process makes working on False Claims Act cases especially interesting for a lawyer. Especially when we get to do the work knowing we are doing the right thing in the end.