Whistleblower 101

It takes a special kind of person to be a whistleblower.

You are more likely to be injured by a lightning strike than blow the whistle. But even though they are rare, whistleblowers make a difference.

Whistleblowers have helped shut down dishonest pharmaceutical companies, expose physicians giving unnecessary chemotherapy to healthy patients, and recovered billions of stolen taxpayer dollars in the process.

Part of the reason whistleblowers are so rare is because it is not easy. If you think you have a case, here are some tips to make the whistleblowing process easier.

1. Research the Whistleblower Laws

From the False Claims Act to the SEC Whistleblower Program to the various state programs, there are several laws on the books to reward whistleblowers for exposing fraud. You can find summaries of those laws here.

2. Organize Your Story

Before you contact a whistleblower attorney, you should figure out how to explain your case as simply and thoroughly as possible. You can read what information to include here.

3. Reach Out to a Whistleblower Lawyer

The government has limited resources dedicated to whistleblower cases, and from filing your case to helping you through the years-long process, to negotiating your share, an experienced whistleblower attorney  is the best ally in your fight.

The directory managed by Taxpayers Against Fraud includes over 400 attorneys and is a great place to find an attorney who is an expert in whistleblower laws.

Here are some considerations you should make when reaching out:

It Costs Nothing to Reach Out

Most whistleblower attorneys work under a contingency arrangement. This means they are paid out of any future recovery, and you do not have to pay up front.

That means you can get a candid assessment of your case’s potential for no charge. The attorney may refer you to another attorney or even recommend you not move forward if they do not think success is reasonably likely.

In addition, your conversations with these attorneys are confidential and subject to attorney-client privilege, even if they do not decide to take your case. Feel free to ask for reassurance on this point!

You Can Interview Multiple Lawyers

Some whistleblowers interview multiple law firms, and this is normal. You want to make sure the attorneys have expertise in the relevant subject matter. Also, are they successful in working with the government? These are fair questions to ask.

More importantly, you should also evaluate how you get along with the whistleblower attorney. This may seem a bit odd, but they will be your partner through this years-long journey—sometimes they will be the only person you can talk to about your case if the case is under seal.

*** Please note: Taxpayers Against Fraud and its staff do not represent clients in litigation ***