Whistleblower 101: The Rise of the Whistleblower (Online Seminar)

MCLE Credits: 1.0
Ethics Credits Included: 0.0

MCLE Credit: 1.0 (Ethics: 0.0)
Live-Interactive Credit: 0.0
Price: $79 (Includes a downloadable audio version.)
Viewable Through: 01/31/2022


Course Purpose

The term “whistleblower” has been all over the news lately. But what exactly is a whistleblower? What are the relevant statutes and laws at play? What is the concern with retaliation?

In this 1-hour seminar, Zach Kitts and John Thomas will provide the “101” on whistleblower provisions.

Topics to be covered include:

  • What is a whistleblower?
      o Where does the term come from and what does the term imply today?
      o Origins under the Federal False Claims Act
      o Qui tam provisions
  • Statutes that have whistleblower protections
      o Federal False Claims Act
      o Sarbanes Oxley Act
      o Virginia Fraud Against Taxpayers Act
  • Retaliation
      o Title VII protections
      o Employment at Will doctrine
  • Anonymity of whistleblowers
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Zachary A. Kitts
, K&G Law Group / Fairfax

Zachary Kitts is a partner at K&G Law Group, PLLC, where he concentrates his practice in the areas of qui tam litigation and other complex civil litigation matters.

Mr. Kitts has been involved in a number of precedent-setting VFATA cases, including Commonwealth of Virginia ex rel. Siddiqui v. Navy Federal, Commonwealth ex rel. FX Analytics v. Bank of New York Mellon, and Lewis v. City of Alexandria. These cases, among others, led him to become widely recognized as an expert on state FCA legislation, and he has testified before numerous state legislatures about Virginia’s experience with the VFATA. He was also the primary architect of the comprehensive 2011 amendments to the VFATA.

On the federal side, Mr. Kitts’ cases include numerous matters of first impression, including United States ex rel. Decesare v. Americare, et al., 757 F. Supp. 2d 573 (E.D.Va. 2010), and American Civil Liberties Union v. Holder, 673 F.3d 245 (4th. Cir. 2011), among others.

Mr. Kitts has prosecuted a wide variety of qui tam claims in state and federal courts across the country against health care providers, defense contractors, financial institutions, and others. To date, his cases have returned more than $104 million to the public fisc.

Mr. Kitts has been included in Virginia Super Lawyers magazine every year since 2011, and has been included in Best Lawyers in America every year since 2015. He received his B.A. from George Mason University in 1998 and his J.D. from American University’s Washington College of Law in 2001.

John R. Thomas, Jr.
, Healy Hafemann Magee / Roanoke

John Thomas, Jr., has significant experience representing individuals and businesses in a variety of civil and criminal litigation, as well as providing strategic advice in science policy and research administration matters.

Mr. Thomas is a national leader in False Claims Act litigation, where whistleblowers uncover and report fraud against the government. He litigates cases throughout the country involving procurement fraud, health care fraud, medical device fraud, and grant fraud. He is the founder and chair of the Federal Bar Association Qui Tam Section and a frequent writer and speaker on the False Claims Act. Mr. Thomas is also an experienced litigator in the criminal arena. He has served as both a prosecutor and defense counsel in a variety of federal and state actions, including contested trials involving financial crimes, government fraud, attempted murder, war crimes, complex classified litigation matters, crimes against children, drug offenses, firearms offenses, and theft of government property.

Mr. Thomas is a Major in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve and serves as a law of war instructor/advisor. In his previous billets, he prosecuted and defended Marines in courts-martial, served as a deputy staff judge advocate, and deployed to Afghanistan as a battalion judge advocate, where he advised the battalion commander on the law of war and other operational law matters.

Mr. Thomas is a member of the bars of Virginia and the District of Columbia.

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