HB Ad Slot
HB Mobile Ad Slot
Need a Whistleblower Lawyer in New York City? Here are 8 Factors to Keep in Mind
Thursday, January 11, 2024

If you have uncovered incriminating information about a corporation or government entity in New York City and want to release it to the public or federal law enforcement agents for further investigation, you need a whistleblower lawyer.

Here are eight things to know to find the right one for your case.

1. Whistleblower Claims Can Be Intense: A Big Law Firm’s Resources are Often Necessary

If your case does not persuade a federal law enforcement agency to intervene and take over the investigation, then it will be up to you to pursue it in court. To investigate as extensive as the one that the federal government and the Securities and Exchange Commission would have performed, you need a law firm that boasts numerous skilled attorneys and whistleblower investigators knowledgeable of the New York False Claims Act. Otherwise, the odds are high that your firm will not be able to build a case that is strong enough to win in court.

Additionally, the costs of pursuing a whistleblower case are not small. Large law firms are often much more financially secure than small, boutique firms that represent whistleblowers.

If you choose a whistleblower law firm that does not have the personnel or the finances to see your case through to the end, you may end up stuck in the middle of litigation with no other way forward other than to switch legal teams.

2. A Local Law Office is Convenient, But One in D.C. is Also Important

Whistleblowers will meet with their legal team numerous times throughout their preliminary investigation, and many more times if the federal agency chooses not to intervene.

This makes it extremely convenient to hire a law firm that has an office in the Big Apple. Even if your firm covers your travel costs, the convenience of being a subway ride away from your New York whistleblower attorney rather than a plane flight away cannot be understated.

Typically, though, whistleblower cases will be presented to a federal law enforcement agency in Washington, D.C. While New York City is not that far away, the legal communities in these two major cities are completely different. It can be extremely helpful to have a law firm with access to the one in the nation’s capital, in addition to the one in New York.

3. Employment Lawyers Should Be on Standby

Even though New York labor law protects whistleblowers from workplace retaliation, many corporations are undeterred by the legal penalties of terminating you for blowing the whistle on reporting violations or misconduct. Your whistleblower law firm should either have employment lawyers in-house or on-call to handle your case if you get wrongfully terminated for these protected activities.

4. You Should Expect a Contingency Fee Arrangement

Generally, New York whistleblower attorneys and law firms will charge their clients on a contingency fee basis. This means you pay them a percentage of the whistleblower reward from the Securities and Exchange Commission or, if your case does not recover anything, you would pay them nothing.

If you negotiate with a law firm that you are thinking about hiring and demand payment upfront, that is a strong indication that they either do not have the financial security to handle your case for very long or do not think that your case will recover anything. You may want to look elsewhere.

5. Your Law Firm Should Cover the Costs of Litigation

Whistleblower cases can be expensive. Despite that – or, perhaps, because of that – it is normal for whistleblowing firms to cover the costs of litigation. This can include everything from expert witnesses to additional investigators. If a law firm tries to pass these costs on to you, as the whistleblower, it should raise serious concerns about the representation that you are receiving.

6. Subject Matter Expertise

Whistleblower cases are only similar in how the case moves forward – the factual circumstances that they deal with can vary widely based on the New York False Claims Act. There are cases involving investment fraud, environmental violations, healthcare fraud, defense contractor fraud, securities fraud, and other forms of false claims.

You would do best to work with a lawyer who has experience handling whistleblower cases that share factual similarities to your own and is an expert in state whistleblower laws. A few things to pay attention to are the lawyer’s prior case results and their prior education, work history, and knowledge of the Federal False Claims Act. If they have a degree in your field and used to work in it, that is a good indication that they will understand the context and the importance of your case. If they have handled similar cases in the past, they will have a better idea about how to move your case forward.

7. Your Law Firm Should Take Efforts to Keep Your Identity a Secret

In the initial phases of your investigation, you need to avoid detection from the target of your investigation. If they find out that you are gathering evidence to blow the whistle on their illegal behavior under the New York labor laws, you can count on losing your access to that information, at the very least.

One of the most important things New York whistleblower lawyers do at this stage is to instruct you on how to gather evidence without letting it on that you are a whistleblower. This can ensure that your investigation can continue, and can also protect your professional future.

8. You Need to Be Able to Trust Your Whistleblower Lawyer

No matter what legal issue you are going through, you need to be able to trust your lawyer. However, nowhere is this truer than for whistleblowers.

HB Ad Slot
HB Mobile Ad Slot
HB Ad Slot
HB Mobile Ad Slot
HB Ad Slot
HB Mobile Ad Slot

NLR Logo

We collaborate with the world's leading lawyers to deliver news tailored for you. Sign Up to receive our free e-Newsbulletins


Sign Up for e-NewsBulletins