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Ninth Circuit Lowers the Bar for Original Source Status


In an unanimous en banc ruling, the Ninth Circuit, in U.S. ex rel. Hartpence v. Kinetic Concepts (Jul. 7, 2015), overturned its 1992 decision in Wang, which required relators to have played a role in publicly disclosing the allegations and information on which their suits are based to qualify as an "original source" under the pre-2010 version of the public disclosure bar. This decision makes it easier for whistleblowers, in actions to which the pre-2010 version of the public disclosure bar is applicable, to qualify as an original source by narrowing the requirements to (1) the whistleblower must voluntarily inform the government before they file suit, and (2) the whistleblower must have direct and independent knowledge of the allegations.

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

Gail D. Zirkelbach
Partner – Los Angeles
Phone: +1 213.443.5549

Mark R. Troy
Senior Counsel – Los Angeles
Phone: +1 213.443.5576

Crowell & Moring LLP is an international law firm with more than 500 lawyers representing clients in litigation and arbitration, regulatory, 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. The firm has offices in Washington, DC, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Orange County, London, and Brussels.

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