BLOG: $4.5 Million False Claims Act Settlement Underscores DOJ’s Focus on Fraud in Small Business Programs

During the webinar on “ The False Claims Act: 2019 Takeaways and 2020 Trends ” earlier this year, Matt Feinberg and Jackie Unger noted that the SBA’s small business programs are fertile ground for False Claims Act (FCA) enforcement and predicted increased enforcement in 2020 and beyond. A recent settlement has shown this to be true and illustrates that the risk of FCA liability can extend to affiliates and business partners of purported small businesses that contract with the federal government. On May 4, 2020, the DOJ issued a press release stating that Northland Associates, . . . Read More

BLOG: New Judicial Order Offers Clarity on Maryland Statutes of Limitations Impacted by COVID-19

Early during the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of state-level court systems, including Maryland’s courts, declared judicial emergencies and issued orders automatically tolling, or postponing, the expiration of statutes of limitations [1] for claims filed within those states. These orders offered plaintiffs a reprieve from the strict filing deadlines. Now, as Maryland begins the process of reopening its court systems to the public, the state’s highest court has issued an order offering clarity as to the new filing deadlines for the expiration of . . . Read More

BLOG: 5 Steps for Preserving and Preparing Your Miller Act Claim

As the United States economy continues to grapple with the unprecedented impact of the coronavirus pandemic, many contractors are concerned about making and receiving payment for work. The Miller Act provides the process for subcontractors to ensure they are paid for their work on federal construction projects, but they must be familiar with its requirements and deadlines to seek payment. This guide outlines five steps subcontractors and material suppliers should take to ensure they preserve their right to recover payment . . . Read More

BLOG: Judgment on the Pleadings: An Underutilized and Potentially Devastating Tool in the Litigator’s Pre-Trial Arsenal

Motions for judgment on the pleadings are an often misunderstood and underutilized tool in the litigator’s arsenal. A motion made under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(c) (or a similar state rule of procedure where available) can be used to attack the sufficiency of an opponent’s pleadings and the viability of their underlying claims prior to trial. When prompted, most defense litigators will often identify pre-answer motions to dismiss or motions for summary judgment as the preferred pre-trial vehicles to . . . Read More

BLOG: “Constructive Demotion” Claim Under Title VII Gains Traction in 4th Circuit District Courts

While the viability of a claim of “constructive demotion” under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) has yet to be determined by the Fourth Circuit, a series of cases in district courts within the Circuit suggest that such might not be the case for long. In one such recent case, Judge Conrad of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia denied a defendant truck driver training company’s motion to dismiss a constructive . . . Read More

BLOG: DOJ Inside Access Highlights 4 Things to Expect from the False Claims Act in 2020

Several weeks ago, my colleague Matt Feinberg highlighted “ 4 Issues That Defined the False Claims Act (FCA) in 2019 ” and made predictions about anticipated FCA trends for 2020. At the recent 2020 Advanced Forum on False Claims and Qui Tam Enforcement, Department of Justice (DOJ) Deputy Associate Attorney General Stephen Cox (AG Cox) offered inside access to DOJ’s prospective priorities in enforcing and reforming the FCA for 2020 . Below, we review the DOJ’s resolutions, which allow us to better anticipate and understand issues government contractors may face under the FCA moving forward. Continue qui tam Enforcement Efforts In 2019, we saw . . . Read More

BLOG: Teva Pharmaceuticals to Pay $54 Million to Settle Healthcare-Based FCA Claims

A qui tam False Claims Act (FCA) action brought by two whistleblowers alleging violations of the Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS) has resulted in a $54-million settlement from Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. and two subsidiaries (Teva) in the case of United States ex rel. Arnstein and Senousy v. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. Although it was alleged that the federal government and various state and local governments suffered damages as a result of Teva’s actions, they declined to intervene in the case. Teva’s . . . Read More

BLOG: 4 Issues That Defined the False Claims Act in 2019

As I wrote two weeks ago, the Department of Justice (DOJ) recently released its annual fiscal year statistics on False Claims Act (FCA) and fraud matters. The report shows Fiscal Year 2019 was another big year for the FCA, as the number of new matters initiated and the amount of monetary recoveries obtained both increased over the previous year. 2019 also brought important FCA decisions from federal courts, including the Supreme Court; potential new avenues for FCA liability; and formal announcements from DOJ. These . . . Read More

BLOG: The FCA Continues to Pay (For the Government): Key Takeaways from DOJ’s FY 2019 Fraud Statistics

On January 9, 2020, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that it recovered more than $3 billion in settlements and judgments from civil cases involving fraud and the False Claims Act (FCA) in Fiscal Year (FY) 2019, which ended September 30, 2019. Along with the announcement, the government issued its annual fraud statistics report for the fiscal year. The government’s announcement and report confirmed trends in FCA litigation and other fraud cases that government contractors should look out for in 2020 . . . Read More

BLOG: Liquidated Damages Clauses: Important Considerations for Business Owners

When drafting or negotiating any contract, businesses should give careful consideration to avenues of recovery in the event of a breach by the other party. At times, this determination is straight-forward, such as where a party fails to pay amounts owed.  But the analysis can become complicated in situations where damages aren’t readily quantifiable, such as where a trade secret is misappropriated or a former employee solicits a company client.  To simplify such issues, businesses include liquidated damages provisions in . . . Read More