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YLG Files Employee Class Action Suit Against Best Buy

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PHILADELPHIA – Oct. 17, 2007 – Eric L. Young, Esq., filed a lawsuit in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas on behalf of a class of current and former Best Buy employees alleging violations of Pennsylvania state labor laws. The lawsuit contends, among other things, that Pennsylvania employees at 25 Pennsylvania Bets Buy stores are subjected to off-the-clock security checks at the end of each shift which can take up to 15 minutes. It also accuses the Richfield, Minnesota-based company of forcing employees to work through meal and rest breaks without compensation.

The suit filed by Eric L. Young, Esq. and its co-counsel, Lowey, Dannenberg, Bemporad, Selinger & Cohen, alleges that after clocking out, employees are required to wait in line at a security checkpoint along with customers and submit to a search. Employees who work the closing shift are subjected to the longest waits since store policy dictates that all employees gather at the front of the store before beginning security checks.

“Workers are not being paid for mandatory searches which frequently add up to a half hour or more a week per employee,” said Eric L. Young.

The suit also maintains that employees are routinely required to work during paid meal and/or rest breaks.

For more information about the lawsuit contact Eric L. Young at 215-367-5151.

YLG Files 2nd Employee Class Action Against Best Buy

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New York Employees Subjected to Off-the-Clock Security Searches & Missed Breaks

NEW YORK – Jan. 24, 2008 – Eric L. Young, Esq. has filed a 2nd Class Action Complaint against Best Buy in the Supreme Court of New York on behalf of a class of current and former Best Buy employees alleging violations of New York state labor laws. The lawsuit contends that employees at 33 New York Best Buy stores are subjected to off-the-clock security checks at the end of each shift which can take up to 15 minutes. It also accuses the Richfield, Minnesota-based company of forcing employees to work through meal and rest breaks without compensation.

The suit alleges that after clocking out, employees are required to wait in line at a security checkpoint along with customers and submit to a search. Employees who work the closing shift are subjected to the longest waits since store policy dictates that all employees gather at the front of the store before beginning security checks.

“Workers are not being paid for mandatory searches which frequently add up to a half hour or more a week per employee,” said Eric L. Young, Esquire.

The suit also maintains that employees are routinely required to work during paid meal and/or rest breaks.

EY files Class Action Complaint

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PHILADELPHIA – Feb. 26, 2010 – EGAN YOUNG filed a class action lawsuit in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas on behalf of current and former Sunoco employees alleging violations of the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act of 1968.The case alleges that Sunoco, Inc., a Philadelphia-based company, has failed to pay all wages and overtime owed for approximately 600 of its hourly operations and maintenance employees at the company’s Philadelphia refinery.

Specifically, the complaint alleges that Sunoco fails to compensate hourly refinery employees for work-related activities performed prior to clocking in, and after clocking out.In order to perform the essential duties of their jobs, Plaintiffs are required to; don and doff personal protection equipment; obtain and/or store tools; travel to and from assigned work sites; prepare and clean work equipment; and, engage in required shift change briefings between co-workers.

Plaintiffs’ attorney, Eric L. Young, stated that, “After a thorough investigation, it was evident that Sunoco’s workers were not and presently are not paid for all required pre-operations and post-operations activities that are necessary and integral to their overall employment responsibilities.Through this suit, we intend to make right Sunoco’s wrong.”

For more information about the lawsuit contact Eric L. Young or Brandon J. Lauria at (215) 367-5151.

Fresenius Medical Holdings, Inc. Ordered To Pay $19.4 Million

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Whistleblower lawsuit results in a ruling that Renal Care Group, a dialysis company formerly headquartered in Nashville, must pay $19.4 million plus interest to the United States government after it allegedly set up a shell company in order to inflate its Medicare billing.

Philadelphia, PA (PRWEB) March 24, 2010 — United States District Court Judge William J. Haynes, Jr. issued an order on March 22, 2010 awarding the United States $19,366,705.00 plus prejudgment interest on unjust enrichment claims against Renal Care Group (“RCG”), RCG Supply Company (“RCGSC”) and Fresenius Medical Care Holdings, Inc. as the successor-in-interest to RCG and RCGSC. This award to the United States arises from claims made in a whistleblower complaint alleging fraudulent Medicare and Medicaid billing practices by RCG and RCGSC that violated the False Claims Act.

RCG engaged in a multi-state scheme whereby it created a sham supply company, RCGSC, solely to take advantage of higher reimbursement rates paid for home dialysis supplies under the now defunct Medicare Method II billing program, according to the qui tam Complaint filed on behalf of former RCG employees, Julie Williams and John Martinez, M.D.

This ruling serves as a significant reminder that fraudulent Medicare billing practices are not going to be tolerated. RCG was aware, as evidenced by their own internal communications and documents, that they were attempting to operate ‘above the law.’ Through the persistence and dedication of the government and our clients, the Court has rendered justice RCG’s operations not only took advantage of taxpayers through fraudulent Medicare billing, they also took advantage of the sick and vulnerable nature of their patients using their Medicare beneficiary status to line corporate pockets.

Between January 1999 and December 2005, RCGSC submitted claims for reimbursement to the Medicare program for home dialysis equipment and supplies provided to End-Stage Renal Disease (“ESRD”) patients. All of these claims, as well as related claims for support services rendered by RCG dialysis clinics were ineligible for reimbursement because RCGSC was not qualified to bill Medicare for these home dialysis patients.

According to Eric Young, “RCG’s operation of a bogus supply company in order to artificially increase its Medicare reimbursements came at a great cost to taxpayers. Due to the courageousness of people like Ms. Williams and Dr. Martinez, in addition to the hard work and tenacity of counsel, including federal prosecutors, Andrew Lay and Laurie Oberembt, Fresenius is being held accountable for RCG’s misconduct. It is our hope that this decision will encourage more people who become aware of fraud on the government to step forward, particularly when waste and abuse of our tax dollars is at an all time high.”

In granting judgment for the United States, Judge Haynes found that RCG and RCGSC were unjustly enriched by their receipt of Method II payments for dialysis supplies that RCGSC procured unlawfully. Additionally, the Court found that the supply company itself was not a legitimate supplier of home dialysis supplies. The federal investigation into RCG’s fraudulent billing practices was conducted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Missouri under the direction of acting U.S. Attorney Michael W. Reap, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Lay with the assistance of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Tennessee, under the direction of U.S. Attorney Edward Yarborough, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Lisa Rivera, and Laurie Oberembt from the Department of Justice.

United States ex rel. Williams, et al. v. Renal Care Group, et al. Middle District of Tennessee CA No.: 3:09-00738

Breaking Legal News: First IRS Award

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BLUE BELL, Pa – The IRS Whistleblower Office has paid its first whistleblower reward, more than $4.5 million in the first U.S. tax whistleblower case settled since rewards were mandated by Congress four-and-a-half years ago, whistleblower attorney Eric. L. Young, of Egan Young Attorneys At Law, announced today.

A CPA in-house accountant and auditor who discovered a $20 million-plus tax liability at a large national financial services firm, which the Fortune 500 company then declined to report, was given the third highest category of IRS whistleblower reward under the new law, 22 percent, Young said.

“This groundbreaking IRS $4.5 million reward originated like many of our government fraud whistleblower cases in healthcare, defense contracting, pharmaceutical sales and marketing, and other sectors,” Young explained.

“Our client discovered that the financial services firm was failing to pay taxes but after speaking up was simply ignored. As such, the right thing was done in deciding to report this employer’s tax misconduct to the IRS,” Young said.

For tax and qui tam whistleblowers this case clearly underscores the importance of working with an experienced whistleblower lawyer, Young explained.

Why? Young revealed that his client originally had filed an IRS “Form 211” with the new Whistleblower Office without counsel, known legally as “pro se”.  When more than two years had expired since the original filing and no IRS response had been received after numerous client inquiries, the client reached out to Young, an experienced whistleblower attorney in state and federal courts.

After assessing the client’s case and concluding that it indeed appeared to be in limbo, Young immediately contacted the IRS Whistleblower Office.  He determined that his client had never received a “Claims Number” after the original Form 211 filing.  Assigning this number is only the first step in IRS whistleblower procedure, Young explained.

“In our subsequent contacts with the Whistleblower Office we provided the original case documents and information that fully exposed the financial services firm’s tax misconduct.  We also clearly and convincingly demonstrated to the IRS Whistleblower office how effective our client’s efforts were in advancing this case,” Young said.

“As a result, we believe our efforts enabled our client to earn this enhanced, 22 percent reward in America’s first IRS Whistleblower case under the new program,” Young said.

In Fiscal Years 2007 through 2009, when rewards under Section 7623 were mandated, the IRS Whistleblower Office reported receiving more than 12,000 new cases.  Earlier this year the Whistleblower Office modified its award criteria to allow whistleblower rewards based not just on taxes and penalties received but when improper refunds or credits have helped to offset taxpayer liability.

“It may last only for a short time but it’s nice to know that at this moment Egan Young is the only law firm in the U.S. to help a client win a mandatory IRS Whistleblower reward,” joked Young, who for years has represented whistleblowers in qui tam cases under Federal and State False Claims Acts.

“Since Egan Young will always be the first law firm to help a client win a substantial reward under the IRS Whistleblower progra m we’ve developed a reference microsite for this historic case.  Potential whistleblowers and their attorneys can now visit http://www.First-Tax-Fraud-Reward.com to learn more about this first-ever case,” Young said.

The Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006 required the IRS to set up a Whistleblower Office by December 2006 and then pay rewards to tax whistleblowers.  Prior to this legislation, now Section 7623 of the Internal Revenue Code, the IRS had the option to pay rewards to individuals it previously referred to as “informants.”

“The IRS and its Whistleblower Office have restrictive confidentiality standards,” said Brandon J. Lauria, an Egan Young attorney who also represented the whistleblower, “and our client welcomes this cloak of anonymity.”  Young and Lauria explained that the client continues work as an in-house CPA and never wants to be known as the source of detailed information that cost the employer more than $20 million, nor will the law firm disclose the taxpayer’s identity.

Throughout the years-long investigation of the whistleblower’s allegations, IRS Large Case Examination never officially revealed to the taxpayer that a whistleblower had provided tax liability information, nor did the company officially learn the client’s name, Young explained.

Somewhere today in the U.S. an anonymous CPA who helped the IRS Whistleblower Office return millions to taxpayers can rest easier knowing that the first-ever mandatory IRS Whistleblower reward was paid because an employer failed to pay its fair share of taxes.

Young thanked Stephen Whitlock, Director of the IRS Whistleblower Office, office analysts, and other professional staff for their outstanding help in working with him and Lauria to bring this first-ever IRS tax whistleblower case under the new program to settlement.

“I don’t envy the daunting challenges Mr. Whitlock faced in starting the IRS Whistleblower Office from scratch, then being inundated with 12,000 Forms 211 filings,” Young said.  “The IRS whistleblower floodgates have opened a tiny bit with our groundbreaking case.  Egan Young looks forward to more tax whistleblower rewards for our clients, as are whistleblower attorneys across the U.S.”

Eric L. Young, Esq. at 215-367-5151; eyoung@young-lawgroup.com

Richard Lavinthal at PRforLAW, LLC 202-596-1176; PRexpert@PRforLAW.com

Additional Information May Be Posted / Linked At

www.First-Tax-Fraud-Reward.com;

www.young-lawgroup.com; or

www.PRforLAW.com

We Represents Fresenius Whistleblower: Judge Orders

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Philadelphia, PA, May 26, 2011 – Egan Young, Attorneys-at-Law, has announced that United States District Judge William J. Haynes, Jr., awarded over $82 million to the United States government as the result of a qui tam case filed by Egan Young clients Julie Williams and Dr. John Martinez.(United States ex rel. Williams, et al. v. Renal Care Group, et al. Middle District of Tennessee CA No.: 3:09-00738). Egan Young Managing Partner, Eric L. Young, Esquire, stated that today’s decision resulted from the Court’s imposition of treble damages and statutory penalties pursuant to the False Claim Act in the wake of an earlier judgment against the defendants which totaled more than $19 million.

The case involved fraudulent Method II billing for dialysis patients by Renal Care Group (“RCG”), RCG Supply Company (“RCGSC”) and Fresenius Medical Care Holdings, Inc. as the successor-in-interest to RCG and RCGSC. As previously reported, the qui tam Complaint originally filed by Egan Young’s clients in 2005 alleged that RCG engaged in a multi-state scheme whereby it created a sham supply company, RCGSC, solely to take advantage of higher reimbursement rates paid for home dialysis supplies under the now defunct Medicare Method II billing program.

In upholding his earlier decision, Judge Haynes held that the defendants violated the False Claims Act by creating and operating a sham supplier of home dialysis supplies which resulted in substantial overpayments by Medicare to Renal Care Group, Inc.In doing so, Judge Haynes not only trebled the damages, but imposed statutory penalties at the maximum amount of $11,000 for each false claim submitted.The federal investigation into RCG’s fraudulent billing practices resulted from a qui tam complaint filed by Eric L. Young, Esquire, on behalf of former RCG administrator, Julie Williams, and nephrologist, Dr. John Martinez.

The prosecution of the case was conducted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Missouri under the direction of Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Lay with the assistance of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Tennessee, under the direction of Assistant U.S. Attorney Lisa Rivera, and Laurie Oberembt and John Henebery from the Department of Justice.

Press Releases

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Press Releases

We Represents Fresenius Whistleblower: Judge Orders Defendant to Pay $82 million

Thursday, 26 May 2011 23:47

Philadelphia, PA, May 26, 2011 – Egan Young, Attorneys-at-Law, has announced that United States District Judge William J. Haynes, Jr., awarded over $82 million to the United States government as the result of a qui tam case filed by Egan Young clients Julie Williams and Dr. John Martinez.(United States ex rel. Williams, et al. v. Renal Care Group, et al. Middle District of Tennessee CA No.: 3:09-00738). Egan Young Managing Partner, Eric L. Young, Esquire, stated that today’s decision resulted from the Court’s imposition of treble damages and statutory penalties pursuant to the False Claim Act in the wake of an earlier judgment against the defendants which totaled more than $19 million.

The case involved fraudulent Method II billing for dialysis patients by Renal Care Group (“RCG”), RCG Supply Company (“RCGSC”) and Fresenius Medical Care Holdings, Inc. as the successor-in-interest to RCG and RCGSC. As previously reported, the qui tam Complaint originally filed by Egan Young’s clients in 2005 alleged that RCG engaged in a multi-state scheme whereby it created a sham supply company, RCGSC, solely to take advantage of higher reimbursement rates paid for home dialysis supplies under the now defunct Medicare Method II billing program.

In upholding his earlier decision, Judge Haynes held that the defendants violated the False Claims Act by creating and operating a sham supplier of home dialysis supplies which resulted in substantial overpayments by Medicare to Renal Care Group, Inc.In doing so, Judge Haynes not only trebled the damages, but imposed statutory penalties at the maximum amount of $11,000 for each false claim submitted.The federal investigation into RCG’s fraudulent billing practices resulted from a qui tam complaint filed by Eric L. Young, Esquire, on behalf of former RCG administrator, Julie Williams, and nephrologist, Dr. John Martinez.

The prosecution of the case was conducted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Missouri under the direction of Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Lay with the assistance of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Tennessee, under the direction of Assistant U.S. Attorney Lisa Rivera, and Laurie Oberembt and John Henebery from the Department of Justice.

U.S. Joins Whistleblower Lawsuit

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The United States has intervened in a whistleblower suit accusing Renal Care Group (“RCG”) and Renal Care Group Supply Company (“RCGSC”), wholly owned subsidiaries of Fresenius, of fraudulently billing Medicare for supplies and equipment provided to End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) patients who received dialysis treatments at home. Notice of the United States’ intervention was announced in court documents that were unsealed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri on Tuesday.

“RCG’s fraudulent billing practices are yet another example of abuse in the healthcare industry that contributes to skyrocketing medical costs”, said Eric L. Young, a Pennsylvania attorney who is representing the whistleblowers, Julie Williams and John Martinez, M.D. “

Under federal law, the Medicare program pays companies that provide dialysis supplies to ESRD patients only if the companies that provide the supplies are truly independent from dialysis facilities and the ESRD patient chooses to receive supplies from the independent supply company. As detailed in the unsealed complaint, the companies set up a sham supply company, RCGSC, that was not independent from RCG, and that did little more than submit bills to Medicare. It’s further alleged that RCG interfered with ESRD patients’ choice of supply options, requiring patients to “move” to RCGSC. Even after RCG employees raised concerns and industry competitors closed their supply companies, RCG kept RCGSC open because of the illicit revenue it created.

After retaining Eric L. Young, the whistleblowers filed the qui tam lawsuit in federal district court in St. Louis, Missouri, in June 2005. The qui tam case was kept under seal, meaning that it was not known to the public, while the government investigated their allegations.

Eric L. Young, Esq. represents whistleblowers (“relators”) in qui tam lawsuits brought under the False Claims Act. The False Claims Act allows private individuals to sue companies that are defrauding the federal government and to recover funds on the government’s behalf. Whistleblowers are entitled to 15 percent to 25 percent of the recoveries that result from the qui tam lawsuit.

Case citation: U.S. ex rel. Julie Williams and John Martinez, M.D. v. Renal Care Group, et al., E.D.Miss. 05-CV-00985-DJS.

 

First IRS Whistleblower Office Reward

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The “Whistleblower”, who wishes to remain anonymous (hereinafter referred to as “Mr. Doe”), worked as a CPA in the accounting department of a Fortune 500 financial services firm. While carrying out his basic job responsibilities, Mr. Doe discovered that his employer failed to properly disclose the extent of its tax liability and also claimed tax credits in excess of permissible amounts. Mr. Doe initially reported these accounting errors to company management. However, to his dismay, the Company decided not to correct the accounting errors discovered and, to make matters worse, the company made a conscious decision not to inform the IRS who was in the midst of performing a large case examination. By withholding this information from the IRS, Mr. Doe determined that the Company had committed tax fraud in the form of an underpayment totaling in excess of $20 million.

Mr. Doe originally filed his tax fraud whistleblower case pro se in April 2007, after the newly formed IRS Whistleblower Office opened. After having been contacted and interviewed early on, years went by during which time Mr. Doe received no information of feedback from the IRS. Mr. Doe became concerned that if the IRS conducted an investigation and recovered back taxes as a result, that his claim to a reward under the new whistleblower program may not be assured. It was then that Mr. Doe retained Eric L. Young, Esquire, an Egan Young founding partner, to represent him.

Mr. Young, an experienced whistleblower attorney, assessed the case and determined not only that Mr. Doe’s allegations should be of significant interest to the IRS, but that the case appeared to not have been properly docketed by the IRS Whistleblower Office. Mr. Young proceeded to work with the IRS’ Whistleblower Office by resubmitting Mr. Doe’s claim and assuring that a “Claims Number” was assigned by the Whistleblower Office — something that did not occur before Mr. Young assumed representation in this case.

After securing a Claims Number for Mr. Doe’s claim, Mr. Young proceeded to provide all of the original case documents and information to the IRS Whistleblower Office, further exposing the Company’s substantial fraud. At the same time, Mr. Young determined that an investigation had ensued and over the course of his representation, both he and his associate, Brandon J. Lauria, Esquire, maintained close contact with the IRS Whistleblower Office in order to assure that Mr. Doe’s allegations were investigated and that his right to a reward would be protected in the event of a recovery by the IRS.

Mr. Doe’s decision to retain Mr. Young and his law firm paid off. On April 7th, 2011, Mr. Doe received the first-ever mandatory whistleblower reward (as confirmed by the IRS Whistleblower Office) in the amount of $4.5 Million. Although the IRS code provides that rewards may range from 15 to 30 percent of the IRS recovery, Mr. Young’s representation and the Whistleblower’s cooperation directly led to an enhanced reward of 22 percent!

The Forefront of Whistleblower Representation

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SPURRED BY DODD-FRANK, PLAINTIFFS’ BAR DIGS FOR WHISTLEBLOWERS
November 09, 2010 | Westlaw News & Insight
A newly expanded whistleblower program in the Dodd-Frank law has opened a fertile business opportunity for plaintiffs’ lawyers –and sparked a feverish multimedia marketing effort aimed at people in a position to report financial skullduggery to the Securities and Exchange Commission. The new government program, which provides for lucrative payouts to financial whistleblowers and their lawyers, has attracted a wide variety of practitioners — from employment and personal-injury lawyers to class-action specialists — to what traditionally has been a niche practice, known as qui tam, or false claims, law. But clients in this area are hard to find: The new law is still little known, and potential whistleblowers are typically skittish about ratting out bosses and colleagues. So some lawyers are taking client-development to a new level, combining traditional approaches such as emailing newsletters with aggressive use of social media. Dozens of law firms in recent months have established web sites and Facebook pages aimed at publicizing the whistleblower provisions. Others have taken to Twittering or blogging about the new law. Phillips & Cohen, a Washington, DC, law firm that specializes in bringing whistleblower complaints, is one of several firms that have placed ads on Google so the firm’s name shows up among the top results for anyone who does a search for “SEC whistle-blower” and related terms. “The marketing is becoming more competitive and aggressive,” said Phillips & Cohen partner Erika Kelton. In the last couple of months, she said, her firm has received tips about accounting irregularities and companies overcharging for securities, and has filed several claims with the SEC.
“The Qui Tam Team, a new joint venture formed by Pennsylvania law firms Egan Young and L.E. Feldman & Associates, has created a Facebook page that includes links to news articles about whistleblowers and to its own website. The page notes that the Qui Tam Team’s favorite movies are “Michael Clayton” and “The Informant!” both of which, of course, involve whistleblowers.”

FEBRUARY 22
Online marketing can be especially fruitful in this field, lawyers say, because prospective whistle-blowers often begin their research about filing claims online. Also, financial whistle-blowing is a relatively arcane subject; lawyers say their first challenge is to educate the public about it, and social media is a good way to share information and interact with potential clients. The new program extends an SEC enforcement scheme that previously covered only alleged insider trading to all manner of financial improprieties, from accounting fraud to misleading investors. Whistleblowers can be awarded up to 30 percent of damages collected over $1m, and their lawyers can collect up to 40 percent of their clients’ take.

‘Opening the door’

The Qui Tam Team, which formed in anticipation of the beefed-up whistleblower program, hasn’t just turned to cyberspace to make connections with potential whistleblower clients. The firm recently assembled a round-table discussion about the Dodd-Frank whistleblower provisions, bringing together an employee benefits administrator, an investment manager, and a consultant to institutional investors. For more than an hour, the lawyers offered tips on how to spot fraud, file claims with the SEC, and perhaps earn big rewards for their effort. “You may be looking at a spreadsheet of a public company and scratching your heads,” said managing partner Eric Young. “You can pick up the phone and call us, and maybe we can make something happen.” The participants, whom Reuters Legal agreed not to identify, seemed intrigued. The investment manager remarked that with Enron’s massive accounting fraud and the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme, company insiders may not have had the right incentives to come forward, or a clear means for doing so. “This sounds like a carrot,” he said of the new whistleblower program. “This is opening the door.”

As plaintiffs’ lawyers seek to help would-be whistle-blowers grab those carrots, though, some ethics experts believe the aggressive outreach could be problematic. Rule 7.3(a) of the American Bar Association’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct bars, with some exceptions, “in-person, live telephone or real-time electronic “communication with a prospective client when the goal is “the lawyer’s pecuniary gain.” Nora Freeman Engstrom, who teaches ethics at Stanford Law School, said some of the marketing that’s emerged in the wake of the new whistle-blower program “is conduct that falls close to the line.” (The SEC last week released 181 pages of proposed rules to implement the whistleblower provisions; the rules do not directly address marketing by plaintiffs’ lawyers, though they note that the agency can discipline or ban lawyers who engage in “unethical or improper professional conduct.”)The Qui Tam Team’s Young said the three participants in the whistleblower roundtable had some prior relationship with the firm, which is one of the exceptions to the no-solicitation rule. Besides, he said, “I don’t think it’s solicitation because we are doing nothing more than educating people that we think might want to come forward with a claim. “Some corporate defense lawyers, meanwhile, have raised concerns that the aggressive marketing by the plaintiffs’ bar could lead to dubious claims by disaffected employees. “Law firms realize that if there is a big pie and somebody gets a 10 to 30 percent share, they share in the bounty,” said Allen Roberts, who co-chairs the corporate compliance practice at Epstein, Becker and Green.

‘High quality’ cases

But the SEC itself does not seem to share that worry. Dozens of new whistleblower claims have reportedly been filed in the last few months, and in an interview with Reuters Legal, Stephen Cohen, senior advisor to SEC Chairwoman Mary Schapiro, said most of them are “high quality.” While declining to discuss specific law-firm marketing efforts, Cohen said “the communication of the program’s existence is helpful because there may be potential whistleblowers who are not aware of these Dodd-Frank provisions.” Plaintiffs’ lawyers say they are determined to raise public awareness. Manhattan plaintiffs’ lawyer Stuart D. Meissner recently began a Twitter feed about his whistleblower practice, and he’s readying a local billboard campaign. In late September, he launched an in theater advertising campaign during the premier of the film “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” to promote his website www.secsnitch.com. He figured the return of Gordon Gekko would attract a lot of Wall Street-types, any number of whom could be potential whistle-blowers. So far, he said, he has received more than a dozen promising leads. “In this case, the saying ‘greed is good’ has a certain positive twist,” Meissner said. “You can help yourself as well as help society by stopping the next Madoff.”

The Westlaw article was written by and reported on entirely by Brian Grow of Reuters Legal. (Reporting by Brian Grow of Reuters Legal)

 

© Reprinted with permission from the publisher, Thomson Reuters-GRC, http://accelus.thomsonreuters.com

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