If you are considering filing a whistleblower case in California, you are probably wondering what the process looks like and how long it will take. Unfortunately there is not a clear-cut answer to how long a whistleblower case can take, as there are so many factors that can influence the length of the case. While the steps below are a general outline of the life of a whistleblower case, the only way to get a clear picture of what your case will look like and how long it will take is to consult with an experienced whistleblower attorney in your area.
Step 1: File the whistleblower complaint.
The first step is to file your whistleblower complaint. In order to file a successful whistleblower complaint, you want to have gathered as much evidence as possible. Once you gather all the evidence you can gather, it typically will take your attorney several months to pull together all the information and formulate a convincing whistleblower complaint. However, the length of time it takes for your attorney to draft your complaint depends on the following factors:
- How complex the case is
- How many defendants you believe there are (how many people are guilty of the fraud)
- How much evidence you are able to gather
- How cooperative the defendant or defendants are during the investigation
Step 2: Government investigates.
Once your whistleblower complaint is filed, the government will begin to investigate the case. The government’s investigation may look similar to the investigation conducted by yourself and your attorney, but it is important for the government to gather its own set of evidence. Rest assured that the government will keep your identity secret during its investigation and interviews with potential defendants. The government’s investigation typically takes one to two years but can take up to 10 years depending on the complexity of the case.
Step 3: Government decides whether to intervene.
After completing its investigation, the government will make a decision as to whether or not to intervene in your whistleblower case. It is always advantageous to have the government intervene in your whistleblower case because the government has a lot more resources and clout than you do that will help push your case forward and ultimately help you succeed.
Step 4: The complaint is unsealed and the defendant is served with the complaint.
If the government decides to intervene in your case, your case will be released from seal, and the defendant or defendants will be served with your complaint. As with all other types of litigation, the length of time it takes to resolve the case varies drastically depending on the specific factors applicable to your case. Below is a list of factors that will determine how long this step of the process will take:
- How complex your case is
- How many defendants are named in your complaint
- How cooperative the defendant is in the investigation
Contact a Whistleblower Attorney Today
The best way to learn about the specifics of your case is to consult with an experienced whistleblower attorney in your area. The attorneys at Willoughby Brod have helped countless whistleblowers file successful whistleblower cases and are here to do the same for you. Contact us online or at (800) 427-7020 to schedule your confidential consultation and find out how we can help.
(image courtesy of Hannah Olinger)