Should I Contact A Qui Tam Attorney Before Blowing The Whistle?

The short answer is absolutely! Although the False Claims Act has one of the strongest whistle blower protection provisions in the United States, the scope of the protection is an issue that currently divides the courts. The law is complicated and may yet be modified. Due to the law’s complexity and the possibility of changes to come in the future, it is always advisable to contact an attorney who specializes in Qui Tam cases before you blow the whistle on fraud against the government. Learn what your rights and risks are first.

As the law stands now, if you are a federal employee, you cannot be discharged, demoted, harassed, or discriminated against because of filing a fraud or “qui tam” case under the False Claims Act. If you are, you will be entitled to compensation under the whistle blower protection laws. The compensation may include reinstatement to your job, double back pay, and reimbursement for any special damages including litigation costs and reasonable attorneys' fees if a lawsuit is necessary.

If you are not a federal employee, you may need to look to your state for whistle blower protection. If you are an employee of an entity that contracts with the federal government, your level of protection may depend on what jurisdiction you are in. Your attorney will be able to advise you as to what extent you and your job will be protected under the law, and under what circumstances you may not be protected. Even if the law protects your job, however, there may be other negative consequences in your life as a result of blowing the whistle, so do think it through carefully.

For your further protection, an attorney who is experienced in Qui Tam cases and is well versed in the False Claims Act will know what the filing requirements are and what the statute of limitations is on your case. He can advise you as to whether or not you have a good case (i.e., your chances of winning), and what the probability is of getting the government involved in the investigation and litigation. (Usually beneficial to the case) Your lawyer can tell you what money you may be entitled to should your case settle or a judgment be issued. Again, the rules are complicated, and only by consulting an experienced Qui Tam attorney can you be certain that you are getting the correct information.

Once you have all of the details you need about filing your qui tam case and you fully understand the possible consequences of taking such action, you can make an educated decision on whether or not to blow the whistle on the party you believe to have committed fraud against the government.

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