Federal Bar Association

Settle or Litigate a Qui Tam Case?

Red whistle with a closed zipper. 3D render illustration isolated on white background

Qui tam litigation requires a specific knowledge of decidedly nuanced areas of law and experience working closely with government investigators, whistleblowers, and prosecutors in federal courts.  Qui tam actions involve claims against businesses, corporations, and individuals for submitting false and fraudulent claims for payment to federal, state or local governments, or to government contractors. Qui tam actions have been credited with tremendous growth in prosecutions for fraud. The fastest growing area of federal litigation may just be qui tam cases.

The structure of the False Claims Act (FCA), which forbids fraud against the federal government, involves a private citizen representing the public interest. FCA litigation creates many ethical and legal issues that are unique to qui tam actions. As a consequence, lawyers that participate in FCA cases – whether they represent the government, relators or defendants – have important factors to consider when initiating, trying or settling a qui tam case.

The Federal Bar Association’s Qui Tam Conference February 27-28, 2018 in Washington, D.C. will examine the roles of the primary stakeholders in qui tam litigation and motion practice tips. Conference speakers will analyze practices that may facilitate more efficient and more equitable settlement of appropriate qui tam cases. To attend the Qui Tam Conference, register today at www.fedbar.org/quitam18.

Draw on insight from experienced FCA litigators from a variety of perspectives who will dive into advanced topics and discuss the latest developments, practices, and pitfalls pertaining to the FCA. Learn about pretrial through trial and appeal procedures as well as counseling on government intervention and associated publicity issues.

Attendees will explore settlement practice and public relations tools in qui tam cases in “Thinking of Settlement from Filing to Press Release” moderated by Katherine J. Seikaly (Reed Smith LLP) with speakers Traci L. Buschner (Guttman, Buschner & Brooks PLLC), David Finkelstein (Department of Justice), and R. Jeffrey Layne (Norton Rose Fulbright).

The size and complexity of FCA settlements and judgments has increased. The scope of the settlements has increased. Attorneys’ fees and costs have substantially been driven up. As a result, the class of relators who can and do bring these claims has swelled.  As more qui tams are filed, litigants and their attorneys need to examine those cases that can and should be resolved early before costs escalate.

Gain valuable understanding of the strategic use of pre-trial motions with speakers Nola J. Hitchcock Cross (Cross Law Firm), Michael Carter (Civil Frauds Coordinator), Kathleen McDermott (Morgan Lewis), and H. Vincent McKnight Jr. (Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP). Explore best practices for document production, depositions, sanction motions, and counterclaims.

Learn about trying a qui tam case from speakers Wendy West Feinstein (Morgan Lewis), Charlene Fulmer (Assistant US Attorney, EDPA), Michael Morse (Pietragallo Gordon Alfano Bosick & Raspanti LLP), and Eric W. Sitarchuk (Morgan Lewis).

The FCA is a powerful tool available to both the Department of Justice and whistleblowers seeking to file lawsuits on the government’s behalf and obtain a percentage of what they recover.  Join the Federal Bar Association’s Qui Tam section this February as it provides fresh analysis on the rapidly changing landscape of FCA enforcement.  Register at www.fedbar.org/quitam18 on or before February 2, 2018 to sign up using early bird rates.


Stacy Slotnick, Esq. holds a J.D., cum laude, from Touro Law Center and a B.A., summa cum laude, from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She performs a broad range of duties as an entertainment lawyer, including drafting and negotiating contracts; addressing and litigating trademark, copyright, patent, and other IP issues; and directing the strategy and implementation of public relations, blogging, and social media campaigns.