Neil V. Getnick, managing partner of Getnick & Getnick LLP, presented at the HB Litigation Conferences Mass Torts Judicial Forum on April 15, 2015 in New York City on the topic of Whistleblowers: Responding, Investigating, and Adjudicating. Getnick provided background on how our firm investigates our cases, as well as the patterns we see in the whistleblowers who walk through our door.
While other panelists encouraged attendees to “know the law” and “disseminate clear communications,” Getnick reminded the audience that that may not be enough when fraud is part of the company DNA: the company may be knowingly breaking the law, while those “clear communications” only serve to paper the compliance department’s files. Getnick emphasized the importance of taking whistleblowers seriously when they report internally, in particular ensuring that they are not marginalized, fired, or worse, blacklisted when they come forward.
Getnick suggested that whether a company has a business-driven compliance program that is embraced by as part of its culture, or a law-driven compliance program that seeks to check-off the minimum requirements, may be the determining factor in whether a whistleblower decides to report internally, and whether the company finds itself the subject of a False Claims Act action.