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Qui Tam Lawsuits: 5 Filing Tips for Whistleblowers

What is a qui tam lawsuit? What does that phrase mean?

Lots of legal terms are in Latin. “Qui tam” is short for a long Latin phrase that means, “he who brings an action for the king as well as for himself.” When you file a qui tam lawsuit, you’re effectively suing your workplace on behalf of the US government.

The oldest qui tam law is called the False Claims Act and is powerful protection for those who blow the whistle on unethical employers. Let’s learn more about qui tam lawsuits and five filing tips for whistleblowers.

Partner With an Attorney

The False Claims Act is a complex piece of legislation. So you should find an Idaho attorney with experience in qui tam cases. Lay out all your evidence before them and only discuss your case with your attorney. Qui tam lawsuit information is under seal and not available to the public. Treat all your correspondence with your attorney as confidential.

Act Quickly

If you aren’t the first person to make the allegations, your qui tam lawsuit can end up thrown out. Additionally, if any information about the case leaks to the public, you could be out of luck. Be swift and discreet with your lawsuit.

Know Where To File

Make sure you and your attorney put your case in the right hands. When you file a lawsuit under the False Claims Act, you must take it to the federal district court, which will put it under seal. Copies of your complaint will also confidentially go to the US Attorney General and the US Attorney for your district.

Know the Risks

Before you file a qui tam lawsuit, be aware of what the process entails. You take a great personal and professional risk when you go public with your complaint, so keep your future in mind. When you consult an attorney, ask them about the strength of your case. Have an idea of how likely you are to win. Once the court begins its investigation, you no longer have control over it.

Be Patient

Qui tam lawsuits can drag out. In a way, that’s a good thing—the court is taking care to conduct its investigation thoroughly. The False Claims Act dictates that the case must remain under seal for 60 days while the investigation occurs, but many courts extend that period in the interest of due diligence. The phrase “hurry up and wait” reflects the process well, as is common with many lawsuits.

When you know your employer is engaging in fraudulent or otherwise illegal behavior, blowing the whistle is the right thing to do. Remember this information on qui tam lawsuits and filing tips for whistleblowers when you call Rossman Law Group for a free and productive consultation.