After a False Claims Act case is unsealed and the complaint is served upon the defendant, the next step is motion practice and discovery. Vorys has extensive experience — and, more importantly, documented success — in these areas.
We have obtained the dismissals of numerous qui tam cases on motions to dismiss and without any discovery. These dismissals have been based on a range of grounds, from failures to plead False Claims Act claims with the required particularity, to failures to state claims for relief, to unique jurisdictional defenses available against relators under the False Claims Act. In one recent case, the court concluded that our client did nothing illegal even if the relator’s allegations were true — a remarkable conclusion at the pleading stage. We know the ins and outs of these defenses, and have implemented them successfully in our cases. If there’s a way to dispose of your case prior to engaging in costly discovery, we’ll strive to find it, and to allow your organization to enjoy the resulting cost savings.
If your case proceeds to discovery, we’ll have a plan. We have extensive experience using discovery to create the building blocks of a successful summary judgment motion. Having defended False Claims Act lawsuits for decades, we are skilled at assessing your case and pinpointing the weaknesses in the government’s or the relator’s theories of liability. We recently defended a Department of Energy contractor that was accused of mismanaging the cleanup of a former uranium processing facility and defrauding the United States of over $750 million. We built a record of testimony establishing that the Department of Energy officials who administered the contract were knowledgeable about all of the issues raised by the relator, that our client did not violate the contractual provisions in question, and that they could not have acted with the requisite mental state to violate the False Claims Act. Summary judgment was granted on all claims brought against our client.
At Vorys, we pride ourselves on our advocacy during motion practice and discovery, and it has made a difference for our clients.