Tips in Selecting A Whistleblower Lawyer
Whistleblower cases take various shapes and forms and can either live or die based on how and where they are filed and the various labyrinthine procedures. There are many important considerations in selection a whistleblower lawyer.
The first and most important consideration is to determine whether your case is viable or not. Some firms charge for employment based consultations, but most firms who have focus of their practice dealing with qui tam or whistleblower litigation offer free consultations and are only paid if they win your case.
There are a few different directions a qui tam, also known as a whistleblower action can take. The most common are brought under the False Claims Act (FCA), and involve inside information regarding the defrauding of the federal government. These claims typically are Medicare Fraud, Medicaid Fraud, and to a lesser extent coming fraud against the Department of Defense. Many of the Medicare and Medicaid regulations are highly technical and before you file a whistleblower lawsuit you need to determine whether your case is an action violation of the law and whether it’s material.
In recent years, the notion of materiality has played a larger role in the evaluation of qui tam cases. The Courts and the government are shying away from nuanced regulations which are a violation of the letter of the law, but don’t really harm the taxpayer or result in any actual loss.
Billions of dollars are recovered each year through the False Claims Act with the average recovery with government intervention around $13 million dollars, and the whistleblower award of 20% which could be roughly $3 million dollars for having the courage to come forward. Procedurally, though, even the slightest of missteps could preclude a whistleblower award. It is important when selection whistleblower counsel you determine whether they’ve actually filed a qui tam case before, and further if they’ve filed a case comparable to yours. Even though every case has its own complexion, a skilled whistleblower lawyer can analogize your case to other fact patterns and project what’s needed to file your case to assist with your chance in prevailing.
SEC Whistleblowers have the unique ability to remain anonymous with the use of counsel, but each year very few cases move forward. Generally, the standard in SEC cases is when financial institutions don’t have the best interest of the consumer in mind or evade other requirements. Cryptocurency litigation is a big emerging field in this arena.
CFTC Whistleblowers involve commodity fraud and a whistleblower in mid-2018 was awarded roughly $40 million dollars for commencing the correct action. A CFTC Whistleblower lawyer will evaluate when and how to bring the action. IRS whistleblower matters require detailed information distinctly teed up for the IRS whistleblower lawyers to present to the IRS.
Another critical element to selecting qui tam counsel is how quickly can they file and will they travel to you. Further, its important to have a gameplan in place to properly preserve information to present you case and how to countermand if you’re still with the company the inevitable hunt for the whistleblower and potential retaliation.