- Will VS&G treat my information confidentially from the start?
- How will I pay for the firm’s services?
- Does VS&G represent clients outside Washington, D.C.?
- Does the firm collaborate with other firms?
- Who at the firm would work on my case?
- How does the prior government experience of the firm’s partners benefit its qui tam and whistleblower clients?
- What happens if the Government decides not to go forward with my case? Do VS&G qui tam attorneys litigate cases declined by the Government?
- If I have been fired or discriminated against for blowing the whistle, can VS&G help me?
Will VS&G treat my information confidentially from the start?
Yes. If you are inquiring about possible legal representation by our firm in a potential whistleblower action, from your very first contact with our firm, we will treat your communications with us as confidential and subject to the attorney-client privilege. Communications by potential clients with VS&G attorneys made as part of an effort to find legal representation are deemed privileged by the ethical rules that govern lawyers.
How will I pay for the firm’s services?
Our whistleblower clients pay for our legal services (our fees) on a “contingent” basis. What this means is that we are paid our fees only if your case is successful and you receive a qui tam or whistleblower award from the Government, or you achieve a recovery on a wrongful termination claim from the Defendant. In those circumstances, we are paid a percentage of our client’s recovery. That percentage is set forth in a written retainer agreement between you and our firm.
Does VS&G represent clients outside Washington, D.C.?
We represent clients throughout the country. Our whistleblower lawyers have handled lawsuits under the federal False Claims Act in 25 states to date. We also have pursued qui tam cases on behalf of whistleblowers under 29 of the 31 state and municipal False Claims Act statutes that include qui tam provisions.
Does the firm collaborate with other law firms?
We often collaborate with law firms located in the client’s hometown, in the judicial district in which we file suit or elsewhere. We do so when they bring us on board for our qui tam expertise, when we retain them for their experience in the local courts, and/or when we arrange for them to serve as local counsel filing materials on our behalf in the local courts. In other circumstances, if the case is heading into particularly complex litigation, we may collaborate with other law firms to augment our resources. Our clients ordinarily do not pay a greater fee when multiple firms are involved; rather, the law firms agree to divide the work and the contingent fee between them. Where appropriate, VS&G also retains experts and consultants, at no additional cost to the client, to assist in the litigation.
Who at the firm would work on my case?
Each of our firm’s partners has spent several decades involved in qui tam and other anti-fraud work. To give our clients the full benefit of our background, one or two of the firm’s partners will personally handle your case. We pride ourselves on our willingness and ability to immerse ourselves in each client’s case, without delegation to associates. We also understand your need to communicate directly with a firm partner on all aspects of your case.
How does the prior government experience of the firm’s partners benefit its qui tam and whistleblower clients?
Collectively, our firm’s partners spent 22 years with the U.S. Department of Justice handling fraud and False Claims Act matters. Mr. Vogel and Ms. Slade worked in the Civil Frauds Unit of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. for twelve years collectively, where they prosecuted False Claims Act cases on behalf of the United States. For the final two years of her tenure with the Department of Justice, Ms. Slade also served as Senior Counsel for Health Care Fraud for the Civil Division, coordinating policy and legislative matters for the Civil Division and collaborating with other federal agencies with oversight and enforcement responsibilities for health care matters. Ms. Goldstein served as a criminal prosecutor for the U.S. Attorney in Los Angeles for ten years, where she specialized in prosecuting corporations and individuals who committed fraud against the government.
In our work as whistleblower lawyers, our governmental experience informs all of our key decisions on qui tam cases. This background gives us an in-depth understanding of the Department of Justice’s policies, procedures and decision-making process in qui tam and other fraud matters. It also gives us strong insight into the views of the key decision-makers, offices, and agencies involved in False Claims Act work.
What happens if the Government decides not to go forward with my case? Do VS&G qui tam attorneys litigate cases declined by the Government?
We are experienced qui tam lawyers who have successfully litigated a number of declined qui tam cases. Upon a declination, we consider the current state of the case law and what we have learned from the Government regarding the position of the affected program agency and the evidence that the Government uncovered during its investigation. We then assess whether the potential benefits of litigating the case outweigh the potential risks, and we discuss our assessment with our client. In the event we decide against proceeding, we try to facilitate the ability of our client to retain new counsel should he or she wish to take the case forward nonetheless.
If I have been fired or discriminated against for blowing the whistle, can VS&G help me?
Yes. Many of our whistleblower clients have suffered retaliation because they have refused to go along with a fraud scheme or have taken steps to stop or report the fraudulent activity. As described below, the False Claims Act contains a whistleblower anti-retaliation provision. Whistleblowers also may have rights and remedies under state law. VS&G whistleblower attorneys have pursued whistleblower retaliation claims under federal and state law on behalf of officers, managers and employees of hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, pharmaceutical companies, defense and other government contractors, and universities.
CLICK HERE for FAQs on the False Claims Act and Qui Tam Actions
If you have information about fraud against the government, and you would like to speak with a VS&G whistleblower lawyer about a potential False Claims Act qui tam case, please feel free to contact us directly or click on the “Contact Us” link. VS&G will conduct an initial, confidential consultation about potential legal representation without any obligation or fee.