Category Archives: Practice Points

4th Circuit: Violation of False Claims Act’s Seal Provision Does Not Require Dismissal

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In an issue of first impression for the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, the court was confronted with the question of the appropriate remedy for a relator’s violations of the automatic seal provision of the False Claims Act. In Smith v. Clark/Smoot/Russell, 796 F.3d 424, 429 (4th Cir. 2015), the relator’s counsel, after filing the FCA complaint [...]

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Defend Trade Secrets Act + Uniform Trade Secrets Act = Potent Defense for Whistleblowers

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Courts have reached nuanced decisions on the question of whether a whistleblower who takes protected employer documents can face liability under confidentiality agreements or common-law theories, like trade secret misappropriation, conversion, or breach of the loyalty duty. Courts have generally rejected attempts to prevent whistleblower suits, including under the False Claims Act, based on such [...]

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The Intersection of the Eleventh Amendment and the False Claims Act–A Recurring and Difficult Issue

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One of the most common recurring issues in False Claims Act (FCA) cases is whether the Eleventh Amendment immunizes the defendant from suit. Given the amount of federal funds that flow to other levels of government–states, state agencies, counties, cities, and other quasi-governmental bodies, these entities are frequently the target of FCA cases. Since FCA [...]

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