Arent Fox has a team of veteran lawyers with deep experience in handling False Claims Act (FCA) cases. Many of our lawyers have prior government service, combined with significant knowledge and understanding of the underlying regulatory and substantive law at issue. Our litigators have handled FCA cases prosecuted by the U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Attorney’s Offices nationwide, state prosecutors, and whistleblowers. The group includes former federal prosecutors, a former district attorney, an attorney who once worked in the Office of the Inspector General at Health and Human Services, and civil litigators. These litigators work hand-in-hand with the firm’s regulatory attorneys who have decades of experience in the substantive areas in which federal and state false claims act cases often arise. Arent Fox’s extensive experience in handling parallel civil and criminal FCA cases distinguishes our team from other law firms as we are able to litigate and counsel clients on all fronts. Our practice involves crafting solutions with a keen eye towards the impact these cases have on the companies as well as the individuals who are the subject of the inquiry.
Our team is skilled at navigating and litigating both federal and state false claims acts, including qui tam or whistleblower provisions contained in those statutes. We handle all phases of FCA litigation, including pre-litigation efforts aimed at having an impact on the government’s intervention decision, motions practice to dismiss non-intervened whistleblower actions, and, when necessary, discovery and trial work.
Many false claims and qui tam cases involve extensive pre-litigation discovery pursuant to an administrative subpoena or Civil Investigative Demand (CID). In a parallel civil and criminal false claims investigation, the government may serve grand jury subpoenas for the production of documents and records. Our team includes e-discovery attorneys and other professionals who are experts at dealing with government demands for voluminous business records and Electronically Stored Information (ESI). We work with government investigators to reduce the scope of the production required by these requests, and employ technically advanced approaches to data—including conventional search terms, iterative search methods, early case assessment tools, and intelligent or “machine” review technologies—to reduce the costs and burdens that such requests impose on our clients.
Our experience includes representing pharmaceutical companies, vaccine manufacturers, hospitals, hospices, medical device companies, academic medical centers, and a broad range of health care and life sciences companies, as well as individual clinical researchers and health care practitioners who have faced false claims allegations. We also have represented companies in false claims actions involving the payment of customs duties, including anti-dumping duties.
In the health care arena, we have experience defending FCA allegations of:
Billing and coding fraud
Failure to comply with conditions of Medicare or Medicaid payments
Anti-Kickback Act violations
Physician self-referral (Stark Law) violations
False certification of medical necessity
Clinical research fraud
Our practice also includes counseling and advising clients in the development and implementation of strategies to minimize FCA exposure. Arent Fox attorneys work proactively with clients to develop training, compliance, and ethics programs tailored to the unique regulatory environment in which the client operates. We audit and evaluate existing compliance programs to identify and correct potential weak points, collaborate with clients in the development of corrective action plans, and guide clients through government program audits to ensure that the regulations are properly interpreted and applied, and to preempt unnecessary disputes and litigation.
We also collaborate with our colleagues who focus on employment law to help clients address the disruptive effect of whistleblowers within their organizations, without running afoul of the anti-retaliation provisions of the FCA and similar laws. When necessary, we assist our clients with voluntary disclosures, settlement negotiations, and negotiations surrounding the implementation of corporate integrity agreements or corporate monitoring programs. Our attorneys understand the collateral consequences which can result from FCA litigation, and we help clients avoid or defend against exclusion, suspension or debarment proceedings.