As with any lawsuit, you should have all the essential ingredients needed to make a successful whistleblower case. But sometimes, especially if you’ve never had to deal with the legal system before, there are always missing pieces or you do something that will jeopardize your case.
Avoid these mistakes when you’re about to file your qui tam claim:
- Make sure you have the right lawyer. This is essential. You need to have a lawyer who has handled whistleblower cases before, especially someone who has dealt with the government. Some qui tam lawyers may promise the world but might not know the qui tam process well or have never dealt with government lawyers before. In addition, a qui tam lawsuit can be extremely expensive so you want a law firm that can afford all the costs involved with the case.
- Know which court is best for filing your claim. A qui tam lawsuit can be filed in a number of jurisdictions. But you should definitely take into account how certain courts have interpreted the False Claims Act in past cases before filing with that court. Also, some U.S. attorneys have more experience in these cases than others so you may want to file in the jurisdiction with the more experienced U.S. attorney.
- If you have evidence of fraud, do not wait. The possibility of someone taking the case before you increases the longer you wait to file a claim. In addition, keep an eye on time limits. Lawsuits generally need to be filed within six years of the date the fraud is committed.
- Do not discuss the lawsuit with anyone. Qui tam lawsuits are filed under seal, which means they’re not available to the public. The seal will remain until the government investigates the charges and decides whether to proceeds with the suit. Any public discussion can hurt your case.
- Know what may happen before filing your lawsuit. Remember, you’re about to embark on a very stressful time in your life. Whistleblowers can face many risks, both professionally and personally. You may want to discuss any pros or cons of your case with your lawyer before filing. Because once it’s filed, there’s no going back.
If you feel like you have a solid qui tam case on your hands, then our whistleblower lawyers would like to speak with you. Contact Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP now for a free evaluation of your case.