There are a number of tips for relators who are considering bringing a False Claims Act lawsuit.
1. Obtain competent legal counsel to assist you. It is extremely difficult for you to successfully sue under the False Claims Act without having the assistance of an attorney.
2. Act quickly to file your lawsuit. If you wait too long, someone else may bring a complaint on the same fraudulent activity, and you will then be precluded from bringing your own complaint.
3. Keep information about the fraudulent activity secret. Discuss it only with your attorney. If someone else obtains information about the fraudulent activity from you, they may file a lawsuit and make it impossible for you to successfully sue. If the media finds out about the fraudulent activity from you, it will complicate your ability to bring a lawsuit. In the event of public disclosure, you must demonstrate that you were the original source of the knowledge. You are an original source of knowledge if either you voluntarily disclose the information to the government prior the public disclosure, or if you have knowledge that is independent of and materially adds to the publicly disclosed allegation or transaction and you voluntarily disclose the information to the government before filing a False Claim Ac action.
4. Obtain as much documentary information about the fraudulent activity as possible. For example, if a false statement or certification was made to the government, obtain the document in which the false statement was made.
5. Be prepared to wait a substantial period of time after filing the complaint before reaching a settlement or judgment.
6. Be prepared to cooperate completely with the government investigation.