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The number of lawsuits brought under the False Claims Act (FCA), 31 U.S.C. § 3729 et seq., continues to increase. In 2015 alone, relators filed over 600 qui tam complaints — and courts awarded over $3.5 billion — under the FCA. In these cases, the United States government is the real party in interest, while individual relators (also known as “whistleblowers”) may bring a complaint on behalf of the government. Accompanying this growth are significant FCA decisions including, most recently, Universal Health Services, Inc., v. United States, ex rel.Escobar, 579 U.S. __ (2016), decided in June 2016. In Escobar, the U.S. Supreme Court: 1) examined the materiality requirement of the FCA; and 2) approved “implied” false certification as the basis for the FCA claim. Other important decisions continue to make their way through the courts.
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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.