How Partnering with a Qui Tam Attorney Can Help You
New whistleblower cases are coming to light on a regular basis as more people continue to step forward. The False Claims Act gives any citizen the power to bring a case when they have sufficient evidence that the government has been defrauded. Whistleblowers, also known as relators, usually receive between 15 and 30 percent of a settlement or judgment in a successful case.
Do you believe you have actionable information that would enable you to bring a successful qui tam suit, but you hesitate to go it alone? At the Louthian Law Firm, we know how intimidating all the government forms, regulations, requirements, and deadlines can be. Not only that, the process of bringing a qui tam case can take a while and wear on you. It’s important that you secure the legal and emotional support and protection you need while the government and the courts take what can seem like an extraordinary amount of time to resolve each step of the process.
Bringing a qui tam case is complicated—there’s no getting around the fact. You need a support system while you go through the process. Hiring the right whistleblower attorney and their team who will work tirelessly for you can be the best move you will ever make.
What Do I Need to Bring to the Table?
Right from the beginning, an experienced qui tam attorney can help you determine whether you have enough evidence to bring a case. But should you not have sufficient information, it’s not necessarily the end of the world. Your attorney may be able to assist you in obtaining the information you need without tipping off your employer that an investigation is underway. (We point out that you should never do anything illegal in your pursuit of evidence.)
Substantive information is crucial in qui tam cases, because, without it, you won’t get far. One of the many things you will have to demonstrate is that the fraud was deliberate. Other information you will need to establish often includes:
- The range of the fraud you discovered, i.e., is it extensive?
- How much hard evidence you have in hand.
- What kind of internal reporting system your employer has in place.
- How much taxpayer money has been taken in the fraud.
A skilled whistleblower lawyer on your side can mean the difference between success and failure.
How Do I Find the Right Attorney?
One of the best ways to find the attorney who is right for you is by asking questions. We have some questions you can ask to aid you in your quest:
- Are you a law firm, or a referral service? Referral services can look like law firms online, but they only pass along your information to someone else in exchange for a fee. Be sure you are talking with the person who would take your case.
- How will we work together, how will we communicate, and what are your expectations of me? In the sometimes delicate situations involved in blowing the whistle, it’s important to feel that your attorney is on your side and to know that they will be there for you should a crisis arise. Because of this, many people prefer to go with a smaller, more personalized organization that makes communication easier, rather than an enormous firm with hundreds of attorneys and, perhaps, service that feels impersonal or anonymous.
- What kind of legal team do you have backing you up, and what kind of resources does your firm have? It’s essential to know that the entire team for a qui tam case will be there for you, and that the firm has the needed expertise—and resources—to handle your case.
- Have you handled qui tam cases similar to mine, and what is your track record? The right lawyer will be a good fit for you and for the specific area of whistleblower law under which your case falls.
- How do you get paid? In virtually all whistleblower cases, your attorney gets paid only if you win. If you lose, they take nothing. It is known as working on contingency. Be suspicious if you are asked to pay attorney’s fees up front.
How Qui Tam Cases Proceed
Several issues contribute to the matter of whether your case moves forward. In addition to the amount and substance of the evidence is the dollar value of the case, or how much the government can expect to gain. Sizeable monetary amounts make your case more attractive. It also helps if the person, company or entity being sued under the False Claims Act has the resources to pay any money and fines that might be owed.
In a typical qui tam case, the case is filed in the U.S. District Court, along with a written disclosure of the case’s material evidence that is in the whistleblower’s possession. The whistleblower’s identity is kept confidential during the early stages of the investigation, meaning that all disclosures are filed “under seal.” Once this is done, the Department of Justice (DOJ) investigates so they can decide whether the government will intervene, or join the suit. The DOJ takes over the pursuit of the case should they decide to intervene.
The DOJ intervenes in about 25 percent of whistleblower suits.
However, in the cases that the DOJ does join, they are settled or won more than 90 percent of the time. The number is not nearly so high without DOJ intervention—about 20 percent. Using a skilled qui tam attorney can help you present a powerful, convincing case so that the government will be persuaded that it is in their best interests to join the suit.
We at the Louthian Law Firm can help you build a compelling case by finding expert witnesses, creating persuasive exhibits, and helping you discover evidence so that, together, we can build the most airtight case that is possible.
Get heard by partnering with The Whistleblower Lawyer.
If you think you have the facts needed to bring a whistleblower case, the experienced whistleblower attorneys at the Louthian Law Firm can review your case and help you file the appropriate disclosure statement. Under some circumstances, the government will intervene, or join in your lawsuit.
Your chances of succeeding are greater if your whistleblower claim is substantive, clear, and to the point. Because of this, meeting with a qualified whistleblower attorney can increase your chances of winning. The Louthian Law Firm can help you form your claim so that the government will be more inclined to intervene in your case; government intervention can sometimes increase the chances of recovering reward money. Even if the government decides not to intervene, it could still be a good idea to pursue your case without government involvement. Our strong support system can assist you through every step of the process.
For a free, confidential evaluation of your case, call the Louthian Law Firm today at 1-803-454-1200 or, if you prefer, you can fill out our online contact form.