Compliance with many consumer rights protected by federal law can be a condition of receiving federal funding. When funding recipients systematically violate such conditions and take federal funds anyway, not only do they hurt consumers, but sometimes they also defraud the government. In light of this rampant fraud, False Claims Act lawsuits have become increasingly tempting for consumer lawyers, particularly against companies (such as for-profit schools) that receive enormous amount of federal funding in return for compliance with clear rules meant to protect both consumers and the government. However, False Claims Act litigation contains some traps for the unwary attorney and some unusual processes, including required interaction with the federal government.
This webinar will provide the basics of False Claims Act rules and litigation, including discussion of some of the practical advantages and disadvantages of proceeding under such a theory. It is primarily intended for those consumer advocates deciding whether to occasionally pursue such cases (and when), though it may also be helpful for those currently litigating such cases.
What You Will Learn
• What the elements of, and defenses against, a False Claims Act suit are
• What practical benefits and risks should be weighed in considering whether to pursue False Claims Act litigation
• How to evaluate whether such litigation is for you with help from case studies of how such litigation has played out with respect to for-profit schools and mortgage lending cases
Sasha Samberg-Champion is counsel at Relman, Dane & Colfax PLLC. He previously worked at the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice and the New York Attorney General’s Office. His practice includes a variety of civil rights and consumer protection lawsuits, as well as occasional forays into False Claims Act litigation. Mr. Samberg-Champion has particular expertise in appellate practice, having briefed and argued dozens of appeals in state and federal court.