The qui tam claims process can be a complex exercise. Every case is unique and needs to be handled in a slightly different way. The process is also very specific; any variations or deviations from the appropriate procedure can end your suit before it even starts.
With this in mind, we’ve gone ahead and outlined some general guidance for processing qui tam cases, as well as advice to potential whistleblowers on where they should start. We hope you find it useful in your investigation!
Where to Start: Hiring a Whistleblower Law Firm
Remember when we said qui tam cases were complex and unique? They play by an entirely different set of rules than regular litigation, requiring a law firm with the skill, experience, and know-how to ensure you have the best possible chance of reaching a successful conclusion.
Once you’ve settled on a few prospective firms, look at each one carefully and assess them based on the following:
- Experience in similar cases
- Understanding of the particulars of your case
- Honest and thorough assessment of your prospects
- Clear outline and understanding of next steps and how to proceed
- A good working rapport between the two of you
All of these will be critical to successfully surviving what’s to come.
Next Up: Building the Narrative and Filing Suit
This step is where your legal team will document all the information available, and begin crafting it into a graphic and compelling story. The goal is to send a persuasive argument and abundance of initial proof to the government, sparking further investigation. Depending on the strength of the material and content, the government will then decide whether to take over the case themselves, or let you proceed further on your own.
Further Investigation and Interviews in Your Whistleblower Case
Once the complaint is filed, your attorneys will continue to gather evidence, monitor the case progress, and work with the Department of Justice to keep your case moving along. This will likely include an interview between the whistleblower and the government, where the government will determine how effective and compelling the individual’s story is. The right legal team will help you prep for the occasion, and be with you every step of the way.
Patience and the Waiting Game for Whistleblowers
Whistleblower cases can take years to develop. During this time, you will be prohibited from talking to anyone about the case, outside of the government, your legal team, and anyone else sanctioned by the DOJ. In general, you can expect to wait up to two years for the government to make an ultimate determination regarding whether or not they will take over the case – also called intervening or joining.
If they decide not to join, you and your attorneys will need to make a decision regarding whether or not you wish to press forward with your case anyway. An experienced attorney should be able to tell you what the odds are, and make a recommendation that’s in both parties’ best interests.
Going to Court with Your Whistleblower Case
If you decide to go to trial, the court case will proceed normally from this point on. At the end of the process, the court will rule on whether your case is valid, and also the percentage of the recovery to which you will be entitled.
Want to Learn More about the Qui Tam Claims Process?
You can find out more about the qui tam claims process by contacting Bothwell Law Group online. We’ll be happy to answer your questions as you make your decision about moving forward with your claim.