First and foremost, the objective of this blog is to inform its noble readers about recent developments in the laws governing whistleblowers and whistleblowing, particularly developments relating to the federal False Claims Act.
To this end, the blog will review recent court rulings and legislative developments relating to those laws, scholarly articles and other blogs on these topics, and other timely and topical materials that come to the authors’ attention.
Additionally, this blog will focus its attention on recent court developments from the Rocky Mountain region, an often overlooked and neglected area of the country when it comes to legal reporting and scholarly legal work. As is often said, “write about what you know.” Because this author lives and works in the Intermountain West, this blog will draw heavily from the court decisions and other developments from this region. Nevertheless, the blog aims to avoid parochialism, and seeks to take a national perspective on the topics it covers.
Finally, I was inspired to write this blog in order to address the topic in a more nuanced and, what I believe to be, thoughtful way than many of the sources of information on these issues. I made a conscious decision many years ago to ensure that my practice included exposure to the False Claims Act and similar such laws. I did so because the Act is a very interesting area of law with many unique features, not the least of which is its qui tam provisions.
As I dove headfirst into the professional literature covering this topic, including treatises, law review articles, and continuing legal education seminars, I was dismayed at the dogmatic approach often revealed in such sources, even when the sources were presented as ostensibly scholarly. I learned that the lawyers who practice in this area often take a similarly doctrinaire approach—those who regularly represent relators demonize defendants and defense counsel, while the defense bar unfairly caricaturizes relators and their counsel as merely “greedy.” Some relators’ counsel push for extreme positions that ultimately damage the public’s perception of the laws they seek to employ, while some in the defense bar call for completely abolishing the qui tam provisions and other extreme positions.
However, like most things in life, I believe that the best public policy lies somewhere between the two extremes often presented by lawyers on either side of the issue. This blog seeks to travel on this so-called “third rail” of the issue. Because I believe that the federal False Claims Act is, despite its abuse by some unscrupulous actors, a worthwhile and effective way for taxpayers to recover money rightfully owed them, this blog will advocate positions that are moderate and reasonable, and that, in the long run, advance the interest of the Act itself.