Because of the unique nature of the False Claims Act — including the fact that lawsuits are filed under seal — companies often learn that they are targets of a qui tam complaint when they receive a government subpoena, prior even to being served with a copy of the complaint. In fact, a subpoena might be served years before the company is provided with the complaint.
We have extensive experience responding to subpoenas from the Department of Justice and other government agencies. In one recent case, we received a request for documents two years before the case was unsealed and a copy of the complaint was served upon our client. By the time the complaint was served, we had already interviewed witnesses, produced the relevant documents, and formed a defense position based on the anticipated allegations. This defense persuaded the Department of Justice to decline to intervene in the lawsuit and placed our client far ahead of the game when it was served with the complaint. We then filed a motion to dismiss the relator’s qui tam complaint — which alleged tens of millions of dollars in single damages — and the case was dismissed prior to discovery.
If your organization receives a subpoena, we can help.