They say success is largely about preparation, and for a whistleblower case this could not be more true. This type of legal action can be complicated and onerous and often relies on the quality of work put in to yield favorable results. Fortunately, the U.S. government has been educating the public on the subject matter but unfortunately, the nitty-gritty can still be tough to figure out. Researching the law and knowing how to apply the law are two different things. However, there are a few essential questions to be considered that can be of great assistance in firming up a whistleblower lawsuit.
Here are the components of a successful case:
Who can help?
It is imperative for any person who spots fraud to contact a lawyer at once. Internal reporting directly to the organization committing the wrongdoing is one option but is not the only option, and sometimes not even be the best possible choice. A legal professional will explore all the available avenues, deliver sound advice from the get-go as well as provide a general sense of confidence for the road ahead, which can definitely be a long and winding journey.
What are the specifics?
This is where details and collaborating documents play a fundamental role. Accurate information gathering as it relates to both a verbal account of events and tangible paperwork will really clarify and shape the direction of a case. In this regard, an attorney can offer guidance on lawfully obtaining and preserving evidence to increase the chances of success and avoid accusations of theft by the company.
Additionally, going through the facts is important for properly identifying all the parties involved in the illicit scheme and for confirming that the company’s misconduct will actually result in a whistleblower suit. Thinking a company has handled a situation unethically does not always equate to fraud, it can have different repercussions for violations of workplace rights but may not necessarily be fraudulent. However, for example, realizing that the company is lying on their tax returns is a whole other story.
How much is at stake?
The various government whistleblower programs have particular requirements that must be met in order to qualify as a whistleblower and the corresponding rewards. For example, the IRS via the Internal Revenue Code explains that if a person provides evidence resulting in a recovery exceeding $2 million, a payment representative of 15% to 30% of the money collected will be awarded. In comparison, if the recovery falls below that $2-million threshold a lower percentage is used to calculate any potential rewards. An attorney’s expertise will be beneficial in setting expectations and advising an individual on what to anticipate.
There are many influencing factors for effective litigation. As stated, preparation is key but does not simply end with documentation. A person must also be prepared for the period after filing when little or no feedback may be given and waiting for a resolution becomes difficult. Having the help of a lawyer, especially one who is credible and experienced, is paramount not only for building a strong whistleblower case but for eliminating major mistakes that can undo a whistleblower’s contributions.
If you are aware of fraud and want to begin building a strong case, contact Newman & Shapiro today!