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Erica B. Hitchings

Erica Blachman Hitchings became a member of the Whistleblower Law Collaborative, LLC after nearly nine years in the U.S. Department...

The Federal False Claims Act

The False Claims Act is the U.S. Government’s primary weapon for combatting fraud. It allows whistleblowers to sue persons or...

Erica Blachman Hitchings Shares Insights on the False Claims Act in Practising Law Institute Webinars

Whistleblower Law Collaborative LLC Member Erica Blachman Hitchings (former Department of Justice Trial Attorney and AUSA) recently sat down with four other recent alumni from the Department of Justice for an informative, behind-the-scenes look at how the federal government approaches False Claims Act (FCA) investigations and litigation.  The conversation was captured in a series of studio briefings titled “Discussing DOJ Civil Enforcement and False Claims Act Strategies,” produced by Practising Law Institute.

Erica Hitchings enjoyed this opportunity to re-connect with former colleagues Derek Adams, Renée Brooker, Kimberly Friday, and Jennifer Short and discuss the False Claims Act.  Each DOJ alum had a unique perspective to share given their diverse roles both within the DOJ and in their current practices. The three-part series thus has something for practitioners across the spectrum of FCA practice – whether in-house, relator, or outside defense counsel – as it provides practical and straightforward tips and observations of trends and best practices from start to finish, all from multiple perspectives.  Click on any of the Parts below to access the videos and materials:

Part I: Initiation Through Intervention

  • Assessment and Intake of FCA Cases
  • Putting together the government team
  • Investigating False Claims Act cases
  • Parallel civil and criminal investigations
  • Conclusion of investigation

Part II: Intervention Through Trial

  • Intervention Recommendation and Decision Process
  • Motions to Dismiss Declined Cases
  • Features Unique to FCA Litigation
  • Challenges of Presenting FCA Claims to a Jury
  • Collateral Consequences of Litigating

Part III: Settlement and Damages

  • Calculation of Single Damages
  • Application of Cooperation Credit
  • The Roles of Relators and Affected Agencies
  • Parallel Cases and Cases Involving States and Other Federal Regulators
  • Negotiating the Settlement Agreement Language and Scope of Release

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