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Why You Need a Qui Tam Lawyer Specifically for Your Case

qui tam lawyer

qui tam lawyerA qui tam lawyer is a unique legal professional experienced enough to handle a unique type of lawsuit. Most lawyers focus on particular types of law or litigating certain types of lawsuits, and qui tam lawyers are no different. Therefore, if you’re thinking about starting your whistleblower lawsuit and need a lawyer, you’re best off hiring a qui tam attorney.

Qui Tam Lawsuits Are Unique

Qui tam lawsuits are special, not just because of the legal issues, but the procedural rules and processes. For example, unlike most lawsuits where the individual can choose to represent themselves pro se, there is no pro se option for qui tam lawsuits. This is due to the underlying basis of a qui tam lawsuit – the whistleblower is suing a defendant on behalf of the government. Understandably, the government doesn’t want a non-lawyer handling a lawsuit that’s potentially worth a lot of money.

Because a whistleblower must hire an attorney, they may try to save money by finding someone who’s not familiar with qui tam litigation. This is a very unwise thing to do. In certain areas of the law, lawyers can take on cases new to them; that’s because the lawyers are only required to learn new law. Most of the other court rules and procedures remain the same. This means the attorney can dabble in an unfamiliar area of the law and still provide high-quality legal services.

For lawyers who don’t normally practice qui tam law, they must not only learn a new type of law, but court rules and procedures, too. While some lawyers may be able to learn the law and court rules necessary to successfully present a client in a qui tam lawsuit, they will need to do a lot of “learning on the fly.” This results in the lawyer not being able to provide the best possible legal representation possible. If a whistleblower chooses an attorney that has to learn on the fly, they’re almost assured a lower quality of legal assistance than if the whistleblower hired an attorney who specifically handles qui tam cases.

Other Reasons a Qui Tam Lawyer Should Handle Your Case

Because many qui tam lawsuits take years to complete, potential whistleblowers must find a lawyer who has the resources and patience to see a case through for decades. Most lawsuits don’t last that long, but a qui tam lawsuit taking several years to complete is quite common. A qui tam lawyer understands this and will, therefore, have the resources and ability to pursue the case for the long haul.

A second reason for using a qui tam lawyer to handle your case is their relationship with the government. Since getting the government to take on your case is so important for its chances of success, it’s nice to hire an attorney who can communicate effectively with the government officials who will decide whether to take on the case for the government.

A good relationship will also be useful should the government choose to take on your case. This is because even though the government will take a lead role once they decide to “intervene,” they will need your assistance and cooperation for the majority of the lawsuit. Having a qui tam lawyer will make this cooperation as smooth and effective as possible.

A third reason to look for a qui tam lawyer is that they’re more able to assess the chances of success. As mentioned previously, qui tam lawsuits can take a long time. Add the fact that one of the major motivations for starting a qui tam lawsuit is the reward, and it’s easy to understand how accurately predicting the success of a lawsuit is very useful.

While no lawyer can predict the outcome of a lawsuit with 100% accuracy (and in fact, the professional and ethical rules usually prohibit lawyers from making definite predictions), a lawyer who works in the qui tam area of law can provide a clearer picture regarding what to expect and the chances of success.

A fourth reason to choose a qui tam lawyer is for their help with gathering evidence. Due to their experience with qui tam lawsuits, they can provide the best advice when it comes to gathering additional documents and information to help your case and allow the government to fully investigate the fraud.

Need a Qui Tam Lawyer?

If you think you may have a qui tam lawsuit, you’re going to need a qui tam lawyer. You can find one by contacting our skilled attorneys at Bothwell Law Group by calling 770-643-1606 now.

9 Tips for Whistleblowers from Experienced Qui Tam Law Firms

experienced Qui Tam Law Firms

experienced Qui Tam Law FirmsWhy should you go to an experienced qui tam law firm when you are building a whistleblower case? When you need to get something done right, you want advice from the experts, right? If you’re looking to invest in stocks, you find a Wall Street broker for the best tips. If you’re redecorating your home, you call a top designer. If you’re building a whistleblower case, you look to experienced qui tam law firms for tips.

Are you considering a whistleblower case? Keep in mind these nine tips from Bothwell Law Group:

1. Get a qualified attorney.

The single most important thing you can do as a whistleblower is to hire an experienced attorney. You need a lawyer familiar with the whistleblower laws and one who is familiar with the entire process. Not only can a good attorney help you determine if you have a whistleblower case, but he will keep your best interests in mind throughout the whole process.

Your employer will look out for their protection, and the government’s prime concern is the recovery of the assets fraudulently taken from them. Hire a qualified attorney who knows all the ins and outs of whistleblowing to help you protect your job and recover your reward.

2. Keep copies.

When you bring evidence of the fraud to either your employers or to the attorney general, make sure you keep copies of everything. You may never need them, but if you do, they’re invaluable. Also, keep copies of any positive remarks about your employment, such as reviews and recommendations. These are important if your employer attempts any retaliation disguised as a work performance issue.

3. Document everything.

If you’re considering building a whistleblower case, it’s imperative to document everything you can. Keep track of dates, conversations between involved parties, appointments that might be pertinent and anything else that might be related to the fraud. Keep a hard copy of everything, not just a digital copy. If your only documentation is on the computer and something happens to your hard drive, you will be left with nothing

4. Report to authorities promptly.

Once you’ve determined that fraud is going on, you need to report it, face to face, to the attorney general of your state. There are statutes of limitations for whistleblower cases. Also, only the original reporter is eligible for a reward. By delaying too long, you are taking the chance of someone else reporting the activity, and you lose any opportunity for the reward of up to 15%-25% of the amount of money recovered.

5. Save some cash.

Whistleblower laws protect you against any retaliation at your job. According to the law, you cannot be fired or passed over for promotions or wage increases. Harassment, in any way, including a change in hours, benefits or status, is against the law. Although the law is clear, that doesn’t mean your employer won’t try to dismiss you, forcing you to fight legally to get it back. If you can save some money before moving ahead with your suit, you will eliminate a significant amount of stress.

6. Keep it quiet.

Whistleblower cases are kept under seal while the government investigates the case. The seal means everything is kept anonymous and private. You are not allowed to discuss any of the particulars of your case, or even the fact that an investigation is taking place. Don’t risk the situation by speaking about it to the press or anyone else until the court seal is removed.

7. Be specific.

You’ve heard the adage about the three most important things in real estate being location, location, location. In a whistleblower case, it could be said the three most important things are specifics, specifics, specifics. Keep track of exact dates, timecards, participants in phone conversations or meetings, dollar amounts, billing dates, and any other details you have. The more specifics you provide, the tighter your case will be.

8. Be careful about whom you trust.

Whistleblowing is not something to take lightly. It’s a matter of felony fraud at a federal level, which can mean serious prison time and hefty fines if proven to be false reporting. Many times, the scam involves a significant number of people cooperating for a payoff. Be extremely careful whom you trust – especially at your job. You can’t be sure who might a part of the illegal activities – or who might blow the whistle on you and your suspicions. Make certain that what you think is happening actually is. Get copies of evidence and keep them offsite, never at work.

9. Don’t sign anything.

You may decide to bring your allegations to your employer before you go to an attorney. Many companies have specific procedures set up for reporting fraudulent activity or any other criminal behavior. Should you choose to do this, make sure you do not sign anything indicating an agreement to refrain from a lawsuit or showing any financial compensation in return for dropping the allegations. Not only will this eliminate any possibility of you receiving your rightful share of the recovered money, but it could also implicate you legally. Don’t sign anything until you show it to your attorney.

It’s possible to build a compelling qui tam case resulting in both knowing you helped right a wrong and receiving a potentially substantial reward. The first step is finding a law firm that knows how to help you. Visit us Bothwell Law Group online to learn more about the benefits of working with experienced qui tam law firms.

Who Pays for a Qui Tam Law Firm?

Qui Tam Law Firm

Qui Tam Law FirmWhen working with a qui tam law firm, one of the first questions you’re probably going to ask is, “How much will this case cost me?” It’s a reasonable question. You want to know how much you’ll be paying out of pocket, and what the impacts might be for you and your family.

While we can’t speak for every law firm, there is a general pattern most reputable firms follow. Keep reading to learn about the costs you can expect to incur at various stages throughout the process.

Initial Fees: Filing a Qui Tam or False Claims Lawsuit

To initiate your lawsuit, you will be required to cover a few small expenses. Generally speaking, there will be a court filing fee, and some administrative costs you will have to pay. However, in the event you win your case, you will be reimbursed for these expenses out of your settlement. You also have the right to request it directly as part of the settlement; something your attorney should be happy to provide.

Continuing the Qui Tam Lawsuit

As the lawsuit and settlement run their course, you’re unlikely to have to pay your attorney anything. This is because most attorneys operate on a contingency fee arrangement. This means they agree to a share of the recovered monies, and they take their expenses from the resulting settlement amount.

There is also a strong possibility that the defendant will be required to cover all statutory fees. Again, this is only in cases where you receive a favorable settlement, but you are entitled to ask for it under the False Claims statutes.

What Happens If You Lose the False Claims Case?

Honestly, it depends. Most contingent fee clauses stipulate fees will only become due and payable upon successful conclusion of the defined scope of legal work. While this usually means a favorable outcome (i.e. the court awards you money, or you reach a favorable settlement outside the courtroom), you should pay close attention to the wording of the contract.

There is the possibility that your lawyer will define a successful conclusion as ANY outcome. This means you may be on the hook for the fees you’ve incurred to this point, even if you don’t win anything in the way of monetary compensation.

What Does All This Mean In the End?

Bottom line? You can file and take your case quite a considerable distance with very little money out of pocket. Just be sure to pay close attention to the documents you are signing, and what the limitations are with regards to a payout of attorney fees at the end of an unsuccessful case.

How Can You Learn More About Qui Tam Representation?

Call 770.643.1606 to find out more about our qui tam law firm by contacting Bothwell Law Group online.