Bracker & Marcus LLC Litigates False Claims Act Cases That Other Relator’s Counsel Turns Away
In last week’s blog post, I mentioned that Bracker & Marcus LLC practices differently from a lot of other firms. While I have the utmost respect for our colleagues in the relator’s bar and understand that they have to make difficult decisions based on completely different factors than we do, I couldn’t help but feel great about the “unicorn” law practice that we have built.
What Sets Bracker & Marcus LLC Apart
Here are some of the realizations I had about what distinguishes us from other plaintiff’s firms:
- Our clients are always dealing with an experienced False Claims Act attorney. Even our new counsel additions, Anna Dover and Nathan Peak, were partners in charge of the qui tam groups at their previous firms. When speaking with clients past and present, we hear repeatedly how meaningful it is that they are never handed off to an associate or paralegal.
- Our clients have regular, direct contact with us. Much like the above point, they send us emails directly and we respond. If we are not immediately available to take calls, we schedule something soon thereafter. Our clients are never struggling to get in touch with their lawyers.
- As mentioned above, we take cases of all sizes. Some firms will not even consider offering representation unless the damages are in the millions or even tens of millions. As long as the damages are more than the costs of litigation (around six figures), we will consider offering representation. The more egregious the fraud, the more willing we will be to overlook small damages.
- One big reason why we can take more cases is because we do more cases. That’s confusing, so let me explain. If you have a small case that requires us to dig into obscure Medicare regulations, some firms may not be willing to expend that time to do the work when the reward is small. Because we only do qui tam, chances are good we have already had a case like yours and have already done the work. And if we haven’t, chances are good we will eventually get another case like yours, so there’s no reason not to do it now.
- One surprising revelation from the FCA Today series is how many firms are looking only for ideal relators – insiders whose hands are completely clean. But most whistleblowers – like most people, generally – are not perfect angels. We routinely represent employees who obeyed instructions and participated in the fraud for a time. Sometimes, it takes time to realize that what is happening is wrong. Sometimes, it takes time to build up the courage to do something about it. Often our clients need their jobs, and frankly, that means doing what they are told long after they may suspect a problem. We understand that whistleblowers don’t always have emergency funds stashed away and new lucrative jobs lined up. What matters is that you are willing to do the right thing now, and it is our job to help you do it.
- Similarly, some firms only want cases that relators can bring to them on a silver platter. Again, that is simply not realistic. It is very difficult for even the most perfect insider to have access to all the elements of a False Claims Act case. Savvy fraudsters keep their workers away from the billers and vice versa, so it is common for someone to have access to all the dirt, but none of the billing. That is okay with us! If you have enough information so that your claim is more than speculation, we and the government can often fill in those gaps in your knowledge. While it is always nice to present the government with a complete puzzle, we recognize that is simply not possible much of the time. That is why experienced qui tam counsel is so necessary.
An Imperfect Case Needs Competent Relator’s Counsel More Than a Perfect Case Does
Sometimes cases are messy, relators have bruises, the facts are not immediately apparent, and the damages are low. Sometimes the defendant may not have a lot of money, the fraud is not easy to prove, the legal theory is shaky, and the evidence is not already in hand. All too often, many of these things are true. They certainly are with many of our cases.
But we take these cases because our job is to stop fraud, and you can’t stop fraud if you’re standing on the sidelines waiting for the perfect case. As Michael Scott quotes Wayne Gretzky, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” If you’re ready to take a shot, even if every other firm in town has told you it’s not worth it to them, give us a call. Let’s discuss whether it is worth it to you and the American taxpayer.