Whether an attorney should be allowed to file a whistleblower lawsuit against his own client is one of the most controversial subjects arising under the False Claims Act, Dodd-Frank and other whistleblowing statutes. Finding the right answer requires balancing the laws’ desire to encourage reporting of wrongdoing with lawyer’s obligations of confidentiality and loyalty, which are designed to encourage clients to seek advice and counsel regarding potentially improper conduct. Many are rightly concerned about the prospect that allowing lawyers to turn on their clients will discourage precisely the kind of consultations and advice-seeking that the attorney-client privilege is designed to facilitate, and lead to a breach of the trust between lawyers and their clients.
Attorney As FCA Whistleblower Remains Treacherous Ground
June 24, 2015