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SFMS Law Blog

College admissions scandal brings federal class action lawsuit

Erica Olsen was seemingly a highly qualified candidate when she applied for admission to Yale University a couple years. Ditto that for Kalea Woods and her application materials submitted to the University of Southern California.

Neither Olsen nor Woods got into their first-choice schools, although they were subsequently admitted to prestigious Stanford University, where they are still students.

Government fraud-linked legislation has serious staying power

Many happy returns.

Kudos to the federal False Claims Act, which just celebrated its 156th birthday. The FCA was enacted as law during the Civil War in 1863 to address fraud committed by military contractors and other parties doing business with the federal government.

A few noteworthy points re new DOJ chief and whistleblowing law

It’s not just an open book. It’s more like a broken record marked by constant echoes.

Those would be utterances from William Barr’s past, which are now getting a big revisit in the whistleblowing universe commensurate with Barr’s recent rise to the helm as the U.S. Department of Justice Attorney General.

Forced arbitration centrally spotlighted in Google developments

“Today, justice won.”

That was the expressed view of one national legislator last week following flatly notable news concerning global technology giant Google relevant to employee relations.

Whistleblower cases yield huge fraud recovery against pharmacy chain

Federal regulators and law enforcers understandably don’t like being defrauded by companies that take taxpayers’ money and do business with government agencies. When possible, they strike back hard with financial clawbacks and penalties assessed under a plethora of laws that spotlight fraud and attack it aggressively.

One such law is the federal statutory False Claims Act, which we have referenced occasionally in our blogs at Shepherd, Finkelman, Miller & Shah. From offices in Connecticut and across the country, our deep legal team has represented many whistleblowers who have come forward to report fraud against both the federal government and state agencies. We have protected whistleblowers and spurred qui tam recoveries under the FCA and other laws in many significant matters.

Ending not yet in sight: unparalleled air bag recall continues

One name looms largest when it comes to vehicle air bag recalls.

That is Takata, the Japanese bag manufacturer that once was an industry powerhouse, making and selling air bags to passenger vehicle makers across the globe in units totaling scores of millions.

Perceived conservative justice pens liberal outcome in SCOTUS case

Commentators remarking on U.S. Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch have widely perceived during that jurist’s short tenure thus far that he is a solidly conservative voice on the court. Gorsuch is believed to favor big business and entrenched commercial interests pursuant to a so-called “textualist” philosophy. That mindset espouses statutory interpretation without regard to underlying legal purposes or legislative history.

It is thus with surprise that many court watchers are touting a recently Gorsuch-authored case opinion as a solid victory for American workers over established business interests. One national report terms it a “remarkable win” for labor.

How key is whistleblower participation in government fraud matters?

Commentators on the U.S. False Claims Act (FCA) often spotlight the year 1986 as being clearly relevant for money recoveries against wrongdoers seeking to defraud the federal government.

A recent article on FCA clawbacks against government fraud duly notes that year, as do we on a website page at Shepherd, Finkelman, Miller & Shah (SFMS) addressing false claims, whistleblower and qui tam matters. That media report points to 1986 as the year “when Congress increased the incentives for whistleblowers.”

The slippery slope of workplace harassment begins with defining it

A vendor that regularly visits your company can’t seem to ever leave the premises without first telling a few off-color jokes. A handful of office regulars generally seem to find his puns humorous and a welcome respite to workplace routine. Others are often offended.

An office manager at your business firm routinely schedules performance checkups in his office. Workers dutifully sit before him to discuss work matters, clearly noting each time pinned-up images behind his desk of a sexual nature.