Whistleblower Law Attorneys to Gather for Symposium on False Claims Act, State False Medicaid Claims Act, and New IRS Whistleblower Rewards Program

Some of the country’s leading attorneys in qui tam whistleblower cases and IRS Whistleblower cases will gather for the “First Annual Whistleblower Law Symposium,” which will take place at the Georgia State Bar Headquarters on Thursday, September 20, beginning at 9:00 a.m. (See Agenda below). This Whistleblower Law Symposium is organized and co-chaired by the authors of this whistleblower lawyer blog, Michael A. Sullivan and Richard W. Hendrix.

The presenters will include the very successful Pat O’Connell of the Texas Attorney General’s Office, whose group has recovered more than $216 million in health care fraud cases since 1999; and Jim Breen, who has represented relator Ven-A-Care of the Florida Keys Inc. in many very substantial qui tam cases, including the action that led to last week’s announcement by DOJ of a settlement with Aventis Pharmaceuticals Inc.

In addition, Steve Cowen of King & Spalding, LLP will chair a discussion of issues in defending False Claims Act cases; Marlan Wilbanks and other relators’ counsel will speak as well; and Charlie Richards of the Georgia Attorney General’s Office and Georgia’s Inspector General Doug Colburn will discuss the new Georgia State False Medicaid Claims Act.

We will also discuss the bill introduced last week by Senators Grassley, Durbin, Specter, and Leahy to make substantial modifications to the federal False Claims Act, the “False Claims Act Correction Act of 2007.” (See http://grassley.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressReleases.Detail&PressRelease_id=fac0a482-1321-0e36-ba6f-0150b8a2b182&Month=9&Year=2007).

Further, my partner Richard Hendrix and I will explain and discuss the new IRS Whistleblower Program created by Congress in December 2006. I spent several hours this past week in Washington with the Director of the new IRS Whistleblower Office, Stephen Whitlock, to prepare for and appear in a panel discussion to explain the new IRS Whistleblower Program. I also enjoyed lunch with the lead IRS official responsible for IRS Whistleblower claims in the financial services industry, Stuart Mann, and with Nicole Cammarota, an IRS official who is working on the new regulations. There is a great deal of excitement about this new IRS Whistleblower program, which rewards citizens who report large tax fraud, tax evasion, and other tax law violations to the IRS. (Our firm is pursuing a variety of IRS Whistleblower cases across the country.)

For anyone who believes that taxpayers pay too much to allow fraud against the federal and state governments, these exciting new developments in the law are important.

We are excited to be hosting this Whistleblower Law Symposium, and to discuss recent developments in the False Claims Act, the new state False Claims Acts, and the new IRS Whistleblower Program. The Agenda for the Symposium is below.

FIRST ANNUAL WHISTLEBLOWER LAW SYMPOSIUM:

GEORGIA’S NEW “STATE FALSE MEDICAID CLAIMS ACT”
AND OTHER QUI TAM WHISTLEBLOWER LAWS
September 20, 2007 State Bar of Georgia Headquarters
Congress and the states are enacting a wave of new “whistleblower” statutes, based on two decades of successes with the federal False Claims Act in recovering money for the government. This seminar will explore how these new statutes work, and how lawyers should handle cases brought under them. This seminar will focus on the federal False Claims Act, the new Georgia “State False Medicaid Claims Act,” and the new IRS Whistleblower Program.

Presiding: Michael A. Sullivan, Program Co-Chair, Finch McCranie, LLP, Atlanta Richard W. Hendrix, Program Co-Chair, Finch McCranie, LLP, Atlanta
8:00 REGISTRATION AND CONTINENTAL BREAKFAST (Attendees must check in upon arrival. A sweater or jacket is recommended.)

9:00 INTRODUCTION AND PROGRAM OVERVIEW Richard W. Hendrix
9:10 OVERVIEW OF THE FEDERAL FALSE CLAIMS ACT AND THE WAVE OF NEW STATE FALSE CLAIMS ACTS Michael A. Sullivan
10:00 ANOTHER STATE’S SUCCESSES WITH ITS STATUTE: HOW TEXAS HAS ACCOMPLISHED LARGE RECOVERIES IN ITS HEATH CARE FRAUD CASES Patrick J. O’Connell, Chief, Civil Medicaid Fraud Section, Office of Attorney General of Texas, Austin, TX
10:50 BREAK
11:00 HOW TO DEFEND CASES UNDER THE FALSE CLAIMS ACT AND THE NEW STATE FALSE CLAIMS ACTS: A PANEL DISCUSSION Moderator: Stephen S. Cowen, King & Spalding LLP, Atlanta Panelists:
Barry J. Armstrong, McKenna, Long & Aldridge, LLP, Atlanta Glenn P. Hendrix, Arnall Golden & Gregory, LLP, Atlanta Bryan B. Lavine, Troutman Sanders LLP, Atlanta
Rebekah N. Plowman, Epstein, Becker & Green, P.C., Atlanta
12:05 LUNCH (Included in registration fee)
Luncheon Presentation: LEGISLATIVE GOALS IN ENACTING THE NEW GEORGIA STATE FALSE MEDICAID CLAIMS ACT Rep. Edward Lindsey, Legislative Sponsor of the New Georgia State False Medicaid Claims Act, Atlanta
12:50 HOW GEORGIA WILL IMPLEMENT ITS NEW STATE FALSE CLAIMS ACT Charles M. Richards, Heathcare Fraud Section Leader & Senior Assistant Attorney General, Office of Attorney General of Georgia, Atlanta
Doug Colburn, Inspector General, Georgia Department of Community Health, Atlanta
1:30 COORDINATING MULTIPLE FEDERAL AND STATE LAWSUITS UNDER THE FALSE CLAIMS ACT AND THE STATE FALSE CLAIMS ACTS James J. Breen, The Breen Law Firm, P.A., Alpharetta Patrick J. O’Connell
2:15 THE NUTS AND BOLTS OF OBTAINING FAVORABLE SETTLEMENTS IN FALSE CLAIMS ACT CASES – FROM THE PERSPECTIVES OF ALL SIDES Moderator: Amy L. Berne, Chief of Civil Division, United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Panelists:
William R. “Mitch” Mitchelson, Alston & Bird LLP, Atlanta Marlan B. Wilbanks, Harmon, Smith, Bridges & Wilbanks, LLP, Atlanta
3:05 BREAK
3:15 PURSUING TWO IMPORTANT BASES OF LIABILITY UNDER THE FALSE CLAIMS ACT: STARK AND ANTI-KICKBACK VIOLATIONS Mark Simpson, Simpson Law Firm, LLC, Atlanta
3:45 UNDERSTANDING THE ARCANE: THE NEW IRS WHISTLEBLOWER PROGRAM Richard W. Hendrix
4:15 ADJOURN