Choosing the right False Claims Act attorney is a big decision.
Second only to deciding do the right thing, the biggest, most important decision a Georgia whistleblower will make is choosing the right attorney to investigate and present the case to the Government, guide you through what may be years of ligitation, and protect your rights as a whistleblower.
Mike Bothwell, Roswell whistleblower protection lawyer, at Bothwell Law Group serves the metro Atlanta area, focusing solely on False Claims Act/qui tam litigation.
How much real experience does the law firm have in whistleblower litigation?
Whistleblowers should ask the Georgia law firm about their experience with whistleblower litigation and choose a Roswell qui tam lawyer with a solid history of successful whistleblower litigation. More and more law firms are advertising for whistleblower clients, but in reality they have more interest in the field than they have experience. Ask potential attorneys how many cases they have actually brought. Most have only prosecuted one or two cases. Many have only had cases in which the Government intervened and litigated the case for itself and have no experience with non-intervened cases. This does not give them the same breadth of experience in the False Claims Act as true specialists in the field possess.
By contrast, Mike Bothwell, Roswell whistleblower litigation lawyer at Bothwell Law Group was (and is) a pioneer in the field and has litigated every aspect of the False Claims Act for nearly two decades. We provide the same in-depth legal service whether the Government intervenes or not. We have taken many cases through the entire litigation life cycle – with and without the Government’s assistance – and have handled myriad appeals all across the country.
Bothwell Law Group does not do any general practice litigation, plaintiff’s injury work, criminal defense, or other specialties. We focus exclusively on this very unique area of law. We have spent decades becoming experts on the nuances of the partnership with the Government, the complexities of settling cases with many stakeholders, how to protect whistleblowers’ rights against all other parties, and when and how to appeal.
What happens to you if the Government declines?
Even many law firms that do focus exclusively on False Claims Act litigation will not carry your case forward if the Government declines to prosecute it. This happens with equal or even greater regularity if the law firm does not have much prior False Claims Act experience. This “lottery ticket” mentality is based on the notion that the lawyers will take the case, present it to the Government (sometimes destroying the case in the process, through ignorance of the specialized requirements of the law), and if the Government intervenes and runs the case, the lawyer and the client can sit back and collect their “winnings.” Because the potential upside to False Claims Act cases is so high, this sometimes works (and, of course, is also why there is a temptation to advertise for False Claims Act whistleblower clients even if you do not truly have the breadth of experience!).
Bothwell Law Group whistleblower help law firm knows (and can help its clients understand) that over 90% of cases are not intervened –which means that more than 9 out of every 10 people who think they have a “slam dunk” case get an initial declination by the Government. If those 9 people start out with lottery ticket lawyers, they then lose their legal representation and are left to find a new lawyer quickly or get thrown out of court.
Bothwell Law Group takes cases we believe in, on the merits – not based on a lottery ticket mentality. We know that decisions not to intervene are based on many factors, including low potential damages, resource allocation issues, cost of prosecution, political incentives, and types of cases already being prosecuted in a given district. In our experience, non-intervention has little to do with the relative merits of the case.
Because of its experience in the law and with the Government’s priorities, and because of its dedicated resources, Bothwell Law Group’s expert team headed by Roswell qui tam litigation attorney Mike Bothwell is uniquely situated to be able to:
- assess the likelihood of intervention at the outset of the case
- assess the likelihood of a successful outcome to the case without the Government
- avoid pre-filing “rookie mistakes” that can jeopardize the case, like creating a public disclosure
- present the case to the Government effectively, based on the individual district
- help the client decide what to do in the event of non-intervention
- if appropriate, prosecute a non-intervened case to the fullest extent
We have obtained millions of dollars in settlements from cases in which the Government could not invest resources due to an initially low estimate of damages.
A Bothwell Law Group Georgia whistleblower help lawyer is also uniquely positioned to try to obtain intervention at a later date and has been able to assist the Government in prosecuting cases when the Government’s initial theory changes during litigation.
Because of the firm’s experience and added value in litigation, Bothwell Law Group’s clients have historically received well above the national average (around 16%) for relator’s share, and have sometimes achieved the maximum relator’s share in both intervened (25%) and non-intervened (30%) cases.
Does the attention paid to the client vary with the perceived size of the False Claims Act case?
Whistleblowers have unique concerns that are not well understood even by some experienced False Claims Act practitioners. Many law firms provide different levels of service depending on the anticipated size of the case, and some jettison their clients if the anticipated value dips below a pre-designated cut-off. While larger and more complex cases demand more attorney time, Bothwell Law Group whistleblower protection attorney Mike Bothwell is committed to assisting each client with his or her unique needs – whether the case is large, small, or somewhere in between.
The average False Claims Act case goes on for years. It must be filed under seal and remain under seal until the government finishes its investigation or until the court stops granting extensions. Bothwell Law Group qui tam lawyers has had cases under seal for up to ten years and expects at the outset that any given case may be under seal for several years. Even if the case is unsealed rather quickly, the litigation can often last several years on its own. Therefore, the relationship between attorney and client needs to be one that can last through long years of hard fought litigation. Bothwell Law Group works hard to maintain very good client relations and to assist its clients through every cycle of the process.
What happens if the Government does not offer a fair relator’s share? Roswell Whistleblower Attorney Mike Bothwell Knows How Fight For Your Rights
False Claims Act experts Bothwell Law Group is one of the only firms in the country with experience in dealing with – not running away from – confrontations with the Government. Bothwell Law Group has rarely had to litigate such disputes, but it is important to know that your law firm has the experience (and willingness) to do so if needed.
The 1986 amendments to the False Claims Act were intended to make the relator a full participant in the matter until it is fully and adequately resolved. The False Claims Act also intends to guarantee a fair and adequate relator’s share. Roswell whistleblower attorney Mike Bothwell knows how to fight for your rights. Bothwell Law Group works closely with the Government, but represents relators’ interests even when the relator’s interests diverge from the interests of the United States.