Qui Tam/False Claims Act Practice Group Attends National Conference
October 23rd, 2018
Halunen Law attorneys, Susan Coler, Gerald Robinson, and Nathaniel Smith attended the national conference of Taxpayers Against Fraud (TAF), an organization of attorneys who represent whistleblowers in False Claims Act cases across the United States.
During the conference, Halunen Law’s Nathaniel Smith moderated a panel titled “Overcoming Lack of Agency Concern or Action.” Along with Nathaniel, the panel included other experienced qui tam attorneys Lesley Skillen of Getnick & Getnick, Joseph Trautwein, of Joseph Trautwein & Associates, and Colin Huntley, Assistant Director with the Department of Justice. This panel generated vigorous discussion of challenges faced by False Claims Act practitioners in achieving agency support in cases, whether there is deference to agencies in deciding whether to move forward with cases, and ways to maximize the likelihood of agency support in False Claims Act cases. For Nathaniel, one of the key takeaways is that the reasoning in Escobar, a recent Supreme Court case, makes clear that the standard to apply in determining whether a false claim is material to payment continues to be an objective one.
The TAF Conference brings together attorneys who represent whistleblowers, Assistant United States Attorneys from various states, attorneys from the Department of Justice, and representatives of government agencies including VA, HHS, and DoD. The sessions tend to be practical and oriented to sharing strategies for success in cases, government priorities, and analysis of new case law.
Says attorney Susan Coler, “this organization is unusual in the camaraderie and sharing that occurs; we are all focused on helping each of us get good results for our clients and the United States. We look forward to the conference every year as a re-energizing force in our professional lives. ”
As an attorney at Halunen Law, Nathaniel Smith focuses on cases involving fraud against the government through the False Claims Act and retaliation litigation. He represents whistleblowers across the United States in areas including healthcare, pharmaceuticals, small business programs, procurement, and defense contracting. Learn more about Nathaniel Smith. https://www.halunenlaw.com/our-team/nathaniel-f-smith