Building a Whistleblower Case

The elements of a strong whistleblower case start with how much and what you know. This may seem easy. They are easy questions to ask, but they can be very difficult to answer. Figuring out what information a whistleblower has that is relevant to a case is often complicated by the personal experience of the whistleblower.

Such information can get caught up in the difficult emotional issues whistleblowers have to process when learning someone or some company they trusted is engaged in wrongdoing.

If the whistleblower suffered retaliation, that can be a case on its own. It can also be the most important event to the person, but it can interfere with the ability to analyze other information. It is important to hire a whistleblower lawyer as soon as possible when building a whistleblower case, so they can help streamline the process and prioritize their steps moving forward.

Relevant Factors Needed To File

It can take time to build a whistleblower case. Time to remember the relevant facts. Time to go over any relevant documents a whistleblower may have. Time to remember where such documents may be found so that government investigators could find them, and time to remember who else should be contacted by an investigation. It can even take time to determine what kind of whistleblower action makes sense to pursue.

Whistleblowers live the facts of such a case. Generally, the closer to the case, the stronger the information. That is fine in theory. The reality though, is that learning about and living with practices that involve fraud or endanger the public and blowing the whistle on such actions also involves becoming angered by anyone a whistleblower used to trust.

Role of a Whistleblower Attorney

A good relationship with counsel is very important when building a whistleblower case. These cases can take the ability to analyze long fact patterns and apply not just whistleblower law but also more than likely a regulatory and legal scheme specific to a particular industry.

More importantly, they require the ability of a client and lawyer to be able to work together to build that case. The lawyer may know the whistleblower law and procedure. It is highly likely though that lawyer will have to rely on the expertise of the whistleblower to learn about the industry in which the whistleblower is an expert.

It is an axiom of whistleblower practice that a person cannot blow the whistle unless that person is an expert about something. That expertise from the whistleblower can be used to build the whistleblower case by asking particular questions.

  • What regulations were violated?
  • What standard practices were ignored?
  • What practices were changed to hide the facts from the government?
  • What misrepresentations were made?

These issues involve facts and law but they also necessarily involve an entire industry about which the whistleblower is particularly well versed. That whistleblower’s expertise is necessary.

Working with a Lawyer

Working with the lawyer building the case really involves an opportunity to tell the whistleblower’s story, and apply it to specific whistleblower laws.

Time, facts, and expertise – those elements along with a strong relationship between the whistleblower and the lawyer are essential to building any successful case under these laws.