George Breen Quoted in “5 Takeaways as DOJ Investigative Powers Get Challenged”Law360 May 1, 2018
George B. Breen, Member of the Firm in the Health Care and Life Sciences and Litigation practices and Chair of the firm’s National Health Care and Life Sciences Practice Steering Committee, in the firm’s Washington, DC, office, was quoted in Law360, in “5 Takeaways as DOJ Investigative Powers Get Challenged,” by Jeff Overley. (Read the full version – subscription required.)
Following is an excerpt:
The U.S. Department of Justice’s swift move to curtail a False Claims Act investigation after being accused of overstepping its authority is raising questions about other investigative overreaches by the DOJ and may shake up the agency’s future approach to fraud inquiries. Here, Law360 explores five takeaways from a challenge to DOJ powers. …
Allowing CIDs to continue would also result in companies having to deal with one set of FCA allegations in two different places, which would be atypical and arguably create an unwarranted burden.
“Were the court to allow those CIDs to continue, then the defendant would basically be litigating in two different forums,” Epstein Becker Green member George Breen said.
Furthermore, if the DOJ could keep firing off CIDs after declining to intervene, it would effectively have carte blanche in perpetuity to keep demanding documents and testimony from a company. Defense attorneys say that would run counter to the FCA, which sets a 60-day window for the DOJ to investigate and only allows extensions when there is “good cause.”
“The 60-day [provision] would effectively be rendered meaningless,” Breen said. “[The DOJ] could investigate and investigate and investigate without any kind of check or limitation on that power.”