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During the nomination hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on January 15th, then United States Attorney General nominee William Barr backpedaled on earlier statements he had made about the False Claims Act being “an abomination.” Instead he testified that, with Barr at its helm, the Department of Justice would continue to vigorously enforce the statute. But recent actions by the DOJ suggest that although the DOJ may continue to prosecute certain relators’ FCA cases, other relators may find themselves on the other side of a government motion to dismiss. For corporations facing not only treble damages but millions of dollars in attorneys’ fees spent on defending against FCA cases, this may be viewed as welcome relief. In FY 2018 alone the DOJ collected over $2 billion from qui tams. Indeed, many companies find themselves embroiled in multiple FCA cases at a time. Most of the qui tams over the last few years have been in the healthcare industry. Now that military spending is ramping up, the expectation is qui tams in the defense industry will also increase.
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By Jacqueline C. Wolff, Scott T. Lashway, and Matthew M.K. Stein
In times of crisis, criminal activity — particularly crimes involving theft and fraud — tend to spike. There is no reason to believe that the Covid-19 pandemic and the unrest in the financial markets will be any different. An important difference for company counsel, however, will be in how the malfeasance, negligence or wrongdoing can be investigated.
By John Kelly
The COVID-19 pandemic is resulting in landlords and tenants closely reviewing a clause in their lease that was long considered unimportant boilerplate. Yes, we are referring to the “force majeure” provision.
By C. Ryan Barber
In a practice that prizes in-person meetings, virtual communication has become commonplace.
By Elkan Abramowitz and Jonathan Sack
This article discusses the standard for ordering a bill of particulars in the Second Circuit, drawing a comparison with the standard for civil fraud claims, and then describes a recent decision ordering a bill of particulars in the high-profile prosecution growing out of the Theranos blood-testing scandal. The decision in that case highlights the importance of seeking bills of particulars in fraud cases.