New York, New York, November 15, 2019. Watch a 3-part “False Claims Act 101” series with Former Federal Civil Prosecutor Renée Brooker, Of Counsel at Finch McCranie, LLP and 4 of her former DOJ colleagues. The 3-part PLI series gives the “inside scoop” for whistleblowers.
Released in November 2019, the three-part program covers these topics and more!
A discussion among the prosecutors includes the assessment and intake of False Claims Act Cases, putting together the government team, investigating False Claims Act cases, parallel civil and criminal investigations and concluding the DOJ’s investigation. Questions posed and addressed include: from relator’s perspective, what should you expect to happen after you reach out to a whistleblower attorney; how do you decide where to file your qui tam case, should you speak with DOJ prosecutors before you file a qui tam case, how does DOJ handle the intake of your False Claims Act case, what is DOJ’s process for deciding whether your case merits further investigation, to what extent does the use of data and analytics advance the investigation of your qui tam case, how do the various U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and Main Department of Justice attorneys triage cases like yours at the time of filing, why do government investigations seem to take so long, and is there anything a relator can do to shorten the investigative time span.
Part II: Intervention Through Trial
Further, the discussion among prosecutors also addresses what occurs when DOJ has completed the whistleblower’s investigation—the time period from the intervention recommendation and the internal decision process at DOJ. Lively debate addresses the DOJ authority process and how it works, whether DOJ shares information with relators at the time of the election decision, best practices in working with whistleblowers and their counsel, motions practice in declined cases, unique features of False Claims Act cases, and litigation hold notices and other nuts and bolts of litigating qui tam cases.
Finally, former prosecutors, including me, discuss the settlement process, relator’s share, how it impacts whistleblowers and the calculation of single damages. All prosecutors share their views and experience on the application of cooperation credit, the roles of whistleblowers in the settlement process and affected agencies, parallel cases and cases involving states and other federal regulators and negotiating the settlement agreement language and scope of release. Particular questions that are addressed include under what circumstances does DOJ decide to settle matters instead of litigate matters, to what extent does DOJ use litigation risk in the settlement process, how do DOJ guidelines address the settlement process, what are the advantages and disadvantages of defense cooperation, what is your role as whistleblower in the settlement process, when is a relator notified about settlement discussions, how much information does the government provide relators during the settlement process, what is relator’s role in determining an acceptable damages number, how is relator’s share determined, when are attorneys fees discussed, and what happens when there are parallel civil and criminal cases and much more.
The authors are former prosecutors who represent whistleblowers: Renée Brooker (former Assistant Director for Civil Frauds) firstname.lastname@example.org (202) 288-1295 and Eva Gunasekera (former Senior Counsel for Health Care Fraud) email@example.com You may contact Renée Brooker, Washington, D.C. if you believe you may have a False Claims Act whistleblower case.