• CIVIL FALSE CLAIMS ACT: Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument on Whether a FOIA Response is a "Public Disclosure"
  • March 7, 2011 | Authors: Douglas W. Baruch; John T. Boese
  • Law Firm: Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP - Washington Office
  • Today, in a debate notable more for its liveliness than its import, the Supreme Court heard oral argument on the latest False Claims Act “public disclosure” bar question to have reached the Court’s doorstep due to conflicting circuit court decisions. This is now the third time in four years that the Court has focused on FCA Section 3730(e)(4), which bars qui tam suits if the allegations were “publicly disclosed” in enumerated sources unless the relator is an “original source” of the information underlying the allegations. This section of the FCA, which serves to encourage whistleblowers to bring information about fraud to the government’s attention while preventing parasitic qui tam suits that are essentially based on publicly disclosed information, provides: