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Are qui tam suits like any other lawsuit?


No.  The most notable difference between a common civil or criminal lawsuit is that qui tam suits are required to be filed under seal.  Also, after being filed, the Complaint is served on the United States Department of Justice, Civil Division, but not the defendant(s).  In fact, the defendant(s) are not served until ordered by the court.  In addition, in qui tam suits, the Complaint must be accompanied by what is known as a “disclosure statement” or “relator statement”.  The relator statement is much like a prosecution memorandum in which counsel details at great length the specific allegations, evidence in support thereof, and identification of witnesses.  Unlike other lawsuits, so long as the qui tam case remains under seal, the relator is prohibited from discussing the case with anyone (other than his or her attorney) including co-workers, friends, family and other loved ones.



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