Let me first explain what I mean by “relator.” I’m referring to someone who “relates,” that is, brings information to the government in the form of a qui tam case (this is not a “realtor,” someone who handles real estate). That’s the nature of qui tam cases—someone with first-hand knowledge about false claims hiring a lawyer and presenting, or relating, his or her case to the government.
I have based parts of this book on materials I typically provide to clients as I investigate and then prepare their cases. If my clients found my memos helpful as they worked with me, I think that you, the potential whistleblower, might also find this HOW TO BE A SUCCESSFUL QUI TAM WHISTLEBLOWER information helpful as you begin to work your way through your thoughts and through the documents you may have gathered.
I did not write this book to help you determine if you have a case. Only by working with a lawyer with qui tam experience can you determine whether you have a case. But I do think this book can help you organize your information and thoughts so that when you do seek out a lawyer to help you determine if you have a case, you’ll be prepared.
FEDERAL FALSE CLAIMS ACT
The federal False Claims Act (FCA) offers significant monetary incentives for people like you to come forward, hire a lawyer, and file a case. Essentially, what qui tam relators (like you) and lawyers (like me) do is prepare cases for the government. In part, the reputation of your lawyer—and your future reputation with the government as a qui tam relator—depends on how well you organize and think your case through.
I wrote this book to help you do just that.
And make no mistake about it—failure at the early stages of your case could have catastrophic results for your case and for you personally. Failure to gather the right information in the right way can have so many bad outcomes that there is a whole chapter in this book dedicated to that. Failure to hire the right lawyer can be similarly disastrous in that your case could be dismissed or worse because of bad lawyering; I have dedicated a whole chapter to that as well.