Updated two-volume set on Employment Law in Virginia is on its way
After some delays, I finally sent off my updated chapter to the two-volume set Employment Law in Virginia. This set was last published in 2016, so it was time for an update.
As in prior years, I contributed Chapter 6 on Qui Tam Whistleblower litigation. While my chapter on qui tam litigation is not, perhaps, really about employment law, the folks at VaCLE say there is a lot of interest in it and feel like it should be published somewhere. I think this two-volume set, which is among the best-sellers at VaCLE, is as good as a place as any for it.
This got me thinking about how we, as lawyers and the public, categorize qui tam/false claims/whistleblower practice, so I thought I would write about that today. One frequent place we see qui tam (or false claims act) litigation categorized is under employment law — so lets start with that.
The Connections Between Employment Law and Qui Tam Litigation
So why are qui tam litigation and employment law so frequently thought of together? It’s a good question, and here is my attempt at an answer: most qui tam relators continue to be employees who discover wrongdoing (in the form of fraud or false claims to the government) during thier employment and decide to do something about it. Therefore, many of the first lawyers to file these cases were employment lawyers, for the obvious reasons: they were the ones that had access to wrongfully termination employees.
However, we are beginning to see more qui tam actions filed by individuals other than employees. I would say that small businesses seeking to correct anti-competitive behavior in the market place are probably the second largest group of qui tam relators after employees. These folks generally have the kind of information needed to put together a qui tam action.
They also usually have the motivation necessary to organize and execute a qui tam case; this requirement is not to e underestimated. Indeed, I even wrote a little book called How to be a Successful Qui Tam Whistleblower to assist potential qui tam relators organize thier thoughts (and documents) and find the right lawyer.
As always, feedback and comments are very welcome…stay tuned readers!