False Claims Act Litigation Attorneys Gather in Atlanta to Explore Whistleblower Issues

At a conference on False Claims Act Litigation on November 30, attorneys representing the government, relators or whistleblowers, and defendants gathered to discuss whistleblower law issues. The conference was organized by the law firm of Balch & Bingham LLP.

This whistleblower lawyer blog writer had the pleasure of appearing on a panel with the Chief of the Civil Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Atlanta, Amy Berne, and with Balch & Bingham’s John Markus.

Amy Berne opened with an overview of how the government handles False Claims Act cases, and answered many questions about what affects the government’s assessment of an FCA case. It is always informative to be able to ask the chief prosecutor what influences her decisions.

John Markus offered a very interesting perspective on compliance issues. From 2004 to 2007, John served as Executive Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer for HealthSouth Corporation, where he directed the development of a regulatory compliance program as part of a comprehensive restructuring initiative. He also negotiated and directed the implementation of Corporate Integrity Agreement with the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services.

This whistleblower lawyer spoke on some of the reasons whistleblowers come forward and report fraud; goals in representing whistleblowers or relators; and new legal developments such as the wave of new State False Claims Acts, and proposed dramatic changes to the federal False Claims Act.

I appreciated the opportunity to join this group of accomplished lawyers, and thank Balch & Bingham’s Mike Bowers, Rich Saunders, John Markus, and Christopher S. Anulewicz for organizing the seminar.