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Must DOJ Intervene In Qui Tam Cases Within 60 Days After The Case Is Filed?


On its own motion, a federal district court in the recently reported case of U.S. ex rel. Law v. Spurlock, 582 F. Supp. 2d 1350 (N.D. Ala., Sept. 8, 2008), has found that the clear and unambiguous language of the False Claims Act requires the United States to make a decision about intervention in qui tam cases within 60 days after the case is filed under seal and permits the United States to request extension of the seal beyond that 60-day period, but does not permit the United States to request extension of the period to intervene beyond 60 days. If widely followed, the decision could have a significant procedural impact on qui tam cases, but, as the decision notes, the issue has never arisen before because defendants in such cases are unaware that the cases even exist, so they have no opportunity to oppose requests for extension, which are routinely granted by the courts.

For more information, please contact the professional(s) listed below, or your regular Crowell & Moring contact.

Brian C. Elmer
Retired Partner – Washington, D.C.

Crowell & Moring LLP is an international law firm with approximately 550 lawyers representing clients in litigation and arbitration, regulatory and policy, and transactional matters. The firm is internationally recognized for its representation of Fortune 500 companies in high-stakes litigation, as well as its ongoing commitment to pro bono service and diversity, equity and inclusion. The firm has offices in Brussels, Doha, London, Los Angeles, New York, Orange County, San Francisco, Shanghai, and Washington, D.C.

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