How about the False Claims Act, Act, Act?
As we enter day 845 (approximately) of quarantine, the regular qui tam conferences that we have come to enjoy every fall, winter, and spring soldier on in a virtual format. And with them, Julie and I have the honor of being talking heads on webinar panels, discussing the False Claims Act, whistleblowers, and other aspects of representing relators in qui tam cases.
Look Out for Our Upcoming Speaking Engagements
I kicked things off last week with the Federal Bar Association Qui Tam Section’s “False Claims Act Today” panel for the Districts of Vermont and New Hampshire. These presentations travel around the country to different districts to discuss different U.S. Attorney’s offices, courts, and qui tam relator and defense practices.
When I volunteered to help set the event up, I had visions of traveling to New England and driving with my wife through the fall foliage. Instead, I sat in front of a painting of fall foliage in my dining room as we presented our thoughts and ideas via Zoom.
At the end of the month, Julie and I will each be presenting to other relator’s counsel at the Taxpayers Against Fraud annual conference. Julie will be discussing best practices for litigating cases with multiple relators.
I will be presenting on the very sexy and exciting topic of how bankruptcies filed by relators or defendants affect False Claims Act cases. I will also be speaking to the membership about the amazing progress of the Taxpayers Against Fraud Young Lawyers Division. It’s an initiative that I started a year ago and for which I am chairman of the board. More on all of these topics to come in future blogs.
Bracker & Marcus LLC will also be making its much-anticipated return to the False Claims Act Summit, a seminar that was previously presented right here in Atlanta, but now, like the rest, will be broadcast directly into homes and offices. We are honored to have been invited to speak to our esteemed colleagues on our favorite topic*: the False Claims Act.
Lesson of the Day: Bracker & Marcus LLC Is Not Like Other Qui Tam Practices
Notwithstanding the lack of luxurious travel and relaxing autumn scenery, the webinar was a success, attended by relator’s counsel, defense counsel, and a sizable contingent of Vermont government attorneys. Having watched previous “FCA Today” events, we have had several discussions in the last few months about the stark differences between the practices of the other relators’ attorneys and Bracker & Marcus LLC.
To begin with, many relator’s counsels are at large firms that practice multiple areas, not just qui tam. When they consider which potential clients to represent, they have to factor in the cost to the rest of the firm: the overhead of the offices, the salaries, the opportunity cost of taking resources away from other practice areas. Money spent litigating a False Claims Act case is money they can’t spend on a medical malpractice or truck accident case.
Associates working on contingency can’t also earn money from their hourly clients. They need large, slam-dunk cases to make the qui tam practice sufficiently profitable, as partners are always asking, “What have you done for me lately?” They cannot afford to spend time investing in new areas of the law when the potential recoveries are low. Or to take cases that it cannot litigate to trial if the government declines to intervene.
That profit-driven decision-making is so different from what Julie and I had in mind when we formed Bracker & Marcus LLC. We represent relators in False Claims Act cases because we enjoy doing the work. We take great pride in stopping fraud, whether it is committed on an enormous scale by a defense contractor, hospital chain, mortgage broker, or pharmaceutical manufacturer, or whether it is a single doctor over-billing their procedures.
We take a lot of cases that most other firms would turn away, and we get interventions or settlements. In other words, we routinely win cases that other firms don’t think is worth the risk.
Tune in next week for more on how Bracker & Marcus LLC is different from other law firms!
*Except maybe college football. Jason is a Dawg fan. Julie is a War Eagle. But Julie doesn’t want me to write a blog about the 27-6 shellacking her team recently endured at the hands of my team, so I’ll just leave it at “Go Dawgs!”