Qui Tam Action

There are no statistics reported on the length of time the average qui tam case remains under seal. In this District, most intervened or settled cases are under seal for at least two years (with, of course, periodic reports to the supervising judge concerning the progress of the case, and the justification of the need for additional time). Intervention by the Department of Justice in a qui tam case is not undertaken lightly. Intervention usually requires approval by the Department in Washington. As part of the decision process, the views of the investigative agency are solicited and considered, and a detailed memorandum discussing the relevant facts and law is prepared. This memorandum usually includes a discussion of efforts to advise the named defendant of the nature of the potential claims against it, any response provided by the defendant, and settlement efforts undertaken prior to intervention. This memorandum is considered to be attorney work product exempt from disclosure. Upon intervention approval, the Department of Justice files 1) a notice of intervention, setting forth the specific claims as to which the United States is intervening; 2) a motion to unseal the qui tam complaint filed by the relator and the notice of intervention. All other documents filed by the Department of Justice up to that point remain under seal.

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