You can certainly try to file a Qui Tam False Claims Act Case without a lawyer, but your case will eventually be dismissed. There is an old saying that says that “the person who represents himself has a fool for a client.” In most, if not all, areas of American Jurisprudence the law will allow you to represent yourself. It is normally your guaranteed right, perhaps by the United States Constitution. The saying says “you are a fool”, however, because while you may think you know as much about the law and your case as any lawyer, you do not. You are emotionally involved and lack perspective on the law and your case. Legal training is stressful and law schools train their students to view cases and circumstances from an objective angle that non-lawyers do not view their own circumstances in nor do they view the law or facts in the broader sense of the law being an imperfect tool for society to govern itself peacefully, orderly and with a degree of fairness that gives society as a whole the best chance at justice. The law, American Jurisprudence and the English Common Law that it is based on, has developed over hundreds, if not thousands, of years. When you represent yourself, you not only do not have the training, skills and experience to represent yourself, but you lack that necessary perspective that history and legal training as well as experience offers. The law trains its students during law school and for years of legal practice as practicing lawyers representing all types of clients. The law is not learned because you have the time to read a book or two, or because you have observed it in newspapers or even because you attended a law school for three or four years after a four-year college education. It is learned with hard work and study over years of practice, through success and failure.
Qui Tam laws have also developed over hundreds of years from middle ages in England to the earliest laws passed by the first American Congress. Qui Tam lawyers also take years to develop their skills and knowledge of both Qui Tam laws and the government attorneys in both the State and National Governments. Qui Tam laws allow an individual to go to court on behalf of the government, whether it be the United States Federal National Government or the various states and cities that have passed their own False Claims Acts – most of which, but not all, are modeled after the Federal False Claims Act, which was initially written and passed in 1863 by Abraham Lincoln and the United States Congress.
If you are willing to represent yourself and have a “fool for a client” for the reasons stated above, why can’t you? Is it not your right to represent yourself if you want to? While the answer is yes, as to your rights to represent yourself, it is not your right to represent the United States or its political subdivisions, state governments or city governments like Philadelphia, New York or Chicago. Since only an attorney who is licensed to practice law can represent clients or third parties other than oneself in a law suit, you as a Pro-Se, or unrepresented party, to a lawsuit cannot represent the United States or any other government with a Qui Tam False Claims Act. Only a lawyer can do that, therefore you cannot bring a Qui Tam case and represent yourself. The answer is NO.
So, what happens if you do? If the court lets you file it, you may of course damage or destroy your own attempt at being a Qui Tam False Claims Act Relator by improperly or prematurely filing the Qui Tam law suit. Did you serve a disclosure statement properly if at all on the Government? Did you file your complaint under seal? Did you file the appropriate sealing motion? Do you have enough information to impress the government and pass motion practice if the case is declined by the government attorneys? Have you so diminished the cases attractiveness and value that no experienced Qui Tam Attorney will ever have any interest in joining your Qui Tam case and representing you and the government? Have you based your case on “public disclosures” or other roadblocks to a successful outcome? Do you even know the legal, as opposed to the common, definition of “public disclosure”? We could go on and on, but to do so we would be giving a seminar on the False Claims Act meant for lawyers who have had many years of education in the law and legal experience.
Again, what will happen? If you file your case correctly the court will order you to obtain an attorney which you will find difficult to obtain because true Qui Tam attorneys, not just those that advertise that they are employment or whistleblower, are very rare to obtain because Qui Tam law is highly specialized, and finding lawyers with experience in Qui Tam law is difficult. There are only perhaps five hundred cases filed a year in the United States. Even if the court does not order you , as it should, to obtain a lawyer because in representing the Government, whether it be the Unites States Federal Government or the States or Cities that have False Claims Acts, you are in fact practicing law without a license, the National Government Attorneys, called Assistant United States Attorneys or the trial attorneys at the Department of Justice, will probably not take you seriously and if they do take your allegations seriously will probably not talk to you if you are unrepresented. If they do take you seriously and talk to you, that does not mean that they will pay you a reward or share any part of their deliberation or investigation with you. If you are bringing a Qui Tam Case self represented and you have no right to do so, it is highly questionable whether you are entitled to any Relators Share or award. If the case is declined by the Government the court will probably not unseal until you get an attorney. You will not be able to publicly talk about the case or you risk a court sanction. The court will eventually dismiss your case under seal or out of seal after giving you an opportunity you to obtain an attorney. The Nation is full of Qui Tam Relators looking for lawyers and those that file Pro Se are like nomads lost in the desert or ships lost at sea tying to find a home port, a lawyer to represent them. Most fail, as does their Qui Tam cases and allegations and the bad greedy guys, the corrupt corporations, hospitals, nursing homes, pharmaceutical companies, pharmacy, drug distributors, health care providers, rehab centers, hospices, military and other government contractors get away with fraud against the government all because you as a witness to fraud did not hire an experienced whistleblower Qui Tam Attorney. The kickbacks keep getting paid and the programs designed to help the American people who benefit from these government functions and programs get ripped off, as does the taxpayers who pay for these programs.
Again, when retaining an attorney, you need not just an employment attorney or even a whistleblower attorney, but an experienced nationally respected Qui Tam Whistleblower Attorney.