Who is the best whistleblower lawyer near me? Still a common question, with a complicated answer. One needs to delve into what area of whistleblower lawyer one needs.
The most common and successful whistleblower actions in recent years involve the False Claims Act, which used to be known as the Lincoln Law. The False Claims Act (“FCA”) is implicated when the whistleblower also known as the relator knows of companies, doctors, medical facilities, defense contractors or others who have and/or are defrauding the federal government, which in turn is defrauding you, the taxpayer. The FCA has aggressive penalties which include triple damages, and relator awards can obtain up to 30% of the government’s recovery which can result in a substantial whistleblower award.
Whistleblower awards are evaluated based on a multitude of factors, such as how cooperative and forthcoming you’ve been, whether you profited from the fraud, how long you knew of the fraud before blowing the whistle to name a few. Mathematically, if you know about a Million Dollar False Claims Act, and the fraudster is solvent enough, they can be hit with a 3-million-dollar verdict. If the government intervenes in all likelihood your percentage as a whistleblower award will only go as high as 25%, but in all likelihood 20% or less, which in this example still could result in a $600,000 whistleblower award, which is not bad for doing the right thing. Consider that when the government intervenes the average settlement is around 12 million dollars, 20% of that could result in 2.4 million dollar whistleblower award. Of course, results vary depending on what your actual case is.
Qui tam litigation is not for general practice lawyers, it is a highly specialized area of law that requires interfacing with the Federal Government in secrecy and making sure you keep that secret. Most firms that practice and are accomplished whistleblower law firms have former FBI Special Agents (like our firm Brown, LLC), or United States Attorneys or both on their staff to navigate the landscape.
The bulk of the cases seem to focus on Medicare Fraud, and Medicaid Fraud, but a savvy firm can try to maximize your case if it possibly implicates states statutes that provide for additional forms of discovery like the Illinois, California and New York statutes.
If you’re looking for a Chicago Whistleblower lawyer, it’s important that they are familiar with both the state and federal whistleblower laws, similarly a New York Whistleblower lawyer should know whether they can obtain further mileage out of the New York Qui Tam statute.
Outside of the False Claims Act, the other statutes that have resulted in big settlements for whistleblowers include the SEC whistleblower laws, the CFTC whistleblower laws and the IRS whistleblower laws, along with a swath of state whistleblower laws and various other sneaky statutes that may be implicated.
Since whistleblower cases are shrouded in secrecy, firms don’t always tout their accomplishments, then again others do. A fair question to ask a firm you’re considering is if they’re handling a case similar to the fact pattern you present or how they will handle the case you present in terms of where they’re filing, and whether its even worth filing at all?
There are many secrets of top whistleblower lawyers, but the best way to learn them and to find out if you have a case is to speak with a whistleblower law firm, like Brown, LLC (877) 561-0000 who can offer you a free, confidential whistleblower consultation.