We’re often asked are you the Best Whistleblower Lawyer or Best Whistleblower Law Firm? The answer is as lawyerly as it gets, the best whistleblower lawyer is one that has experience in the subject matter of the case that you wish to file and that you connect with.
There’s an important preceding question to ferret out the best law firm for the action you want to file and that is what is it you want to file and is it actionable under the law? There’s a large percentage of people who think they qualify as whistleblowers under the law, but they just don’t for one reason or another.
Some examples of whistleblower cases under the law that are generally not actionable under Federal Statutes (but may be under certain state whistleblower laws): If the case involves someone not following internal company guidelines, but does not implicate an important issue like safety or defrauding the federal government out of money than it’s probably not actionable under federal whistleblower laws. Some states have additional protections, but the garden variety bad boss scenario in which management is acting poorly, but not violating any outside law, is generally not even actionable under most state laws.
Whistleblower cases that are actionable in which an insider of a company knows of systemic defrauding of the United States Government. Ripping off the taxpayer is too prevalent, and each year tens of billions of dollars go into phony claims to the government. Thankfully, each year several billion dollars are recaptured due to the courage of whistleblowers who successfully navigate the False Claims Act, which entitles whistleblowers up to 30% of what the government recovers if the whistleblower lawsuit is successful.
Other statutes include SEC whistleblowers in which a fiduciary fails to act in the best interest of its clients, whether it involves inside trading, improperly use of funds, pump and dumps releasing information materially false, or a host of other violations. Many emerging cryptocurrencies may fall into that category as the SEC is involved in a landmark case involving Ripple, determining whether it should be considered a registered security or more like Bitcoin, which seems to have embedded its way into the financial sector, though it has triggered lots of scams (although Bitcoin itself appears not to be – have to write this or else Bitcoin enthusiasts will flame this)
The CFTC whistleblower statute is like the SEC, except it deals with commodities. The re-engineered Anti-Money Laundering statute is a promising vehicle. There are a lot of cases out there, where businesses, like the marijuana business lied to the banks regarding the nature and purpose of the funds and we predict there will be major whistleblower awards under the Anti-Money Laundering Statute on those grounds alone. And, last, but not least, the IRS whistleblower statutes, if you have intel about over $2 million of fraud with taxation. New York and Illinois also have wonderful statutes if you defraud the state tax coffers. Why other states don’t have mechanisms to recapture monies that were defrauded is anyone’s guess.
Which brings us full circle, selection of the best whistleblower lawyer. There are a handful of quality firms who focus their practice on whistleblower matters, like Brown, LLC who protects whistleblowers nationwide. When you speak with a firm, certain things you should try to elicit:
- Do you have access to the senior whistleblower litigator on the case? If it’s too small a firm, it may not have the resources to litigate the case, but you may have more direct access to the trial attorney. If it’s too big of a firm, you may never be able to speak to the individual making command decisions about your whistleblower case. It’s important that the key individuals working your case are responsive to you in a prompt period of time.
- Has the firm resolved any whistleblower lawsuits? The lawyers at Brown, LLC have settled many complicated qui tam cases and will try to map out a path to maximize the potential with your case.
- Has the whistleblower law firm handled a case similar to yours. In the qui tam space, attorneys are sometimes gun shy about what they are presently handling, since everything is secretive, but they should be able to analogize your case to something they’ve handled or are handling. The whistleblower statutes are complicated and you don’t want to go down the wrong road with a firm that’s never handled a similar qui tam case.
- What does it cost to hire a whistleblower law firm? At Brown, LLC most of the cases we take are on a contingency basis, meaning we’re only paid if we win your case and we like to win! But for some matters, other firms may charge you by the hour and that may be the only way to have an attorney handle your case for a variety of reasons.
There are some very good whistleblower law firms out there, and you need to speak with the firms that focus their practice on whistleblower laws, like Brown, LLC, so you can determine who is the best whistleblower law firm for your case. You can call Brown, LLC at (877) 561-0000 when it’s most convenient to you to set up a free, confidential consultation with a whistleblower law firm and discuss whether they’re the right fit for your case.