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Who can be a plaintiff in a case violating the False Claims Act?

Business in Texas and across the nation has become so cutthroat with the goal of profit taking precedence over anything else - including a violation of the law - that there is a significant amount of wrongdoing taking place. People who work at a job where they believe there is fraud might want to become a whistleblower, but are unaware of how to inform the authorities of what is happening and if they can even be a plaintiff in false claims/Qui Tam Claims. While these issues are always serious, that does not mean that the company is guilty. Having legal assistance for a defense is key to combating the charges.

Knowing the circumstances under which a person can be a plaintiff in such a case is the first step toward becoming a plaintiff. When there is a belief that fraud is happening but it has yet to be disclosed publicly, anyone has the right to file a qui tam claim. This is true even if the person does not have personal knowledge of the fraud. For example, if the person learns that there was fraud by an employer in any way, it is possible to move forward with qui tam.

What should I know about insider trading and its enforcement?

For Texans who work with securities and seek to make money by understanding the fluctuations and variances of the stock market or are involved in a business, it is wise to try to gather as much information as they can prior to risking their hard-earned money. For some, this might lead to violations of the federal securities law by taking part in insider trading. For others, they might have gotten caught up in a situation and not even realized that they had violated the law.

Law enforcement generally does not differentiate between whether the violations were intentional when it is pursuing an investigation, so it is important to understand what might constitute insider trading beforehand and especially after allegations of wrongdoing have been made. When a security is purchased or sold and there is a legal violation by having information that is not available to the general public, it can be considered insider trading. This can also happen when there is a "tip" given to a person who plans to buy the security and this is information that could only come from those who are involved in the inner workings of the company or with the stock.

What to know if you are thinking about filing an IPO

Filing an initial public offering (IPO) is a big step for a company. For many business owners, it is a goal they have long been working toward with their company. However, becoming publicly traded is not for every business. Below are some things to consider before you and your company start the process of filing an IPO.

What are my options with business formations in Texas?

For Texans who are planning a business start-up, one of the most important choices that must be made is the business structure. There are multiple alternatives when forming a business and knowing the benefits and potential drawbacks of each of them is critical to making the right selection. The first step is knowing the different forms available. There are generally six choices: sole proprietorship; general partnership; corporation; limited liability company; limited partnership; and limited liability partnership.

A sole proprietorship is the easiest business form. An individual will engage in the business and a formal organization will not be necessary. People might want to run the business under an assumed name. If that is the case, there must be an assumed name certificate. A general partnership is when two or more people join in a for-profit business. There will be no agreement in writing and it is not necessary to file with the state. The rules for an assumed name are the same as for a sole partnership.

Do I need a business lawyer?

Do you have a business? Are you thinking of starting one? The simple answer to the question posed in the title of this blog, then, is yes. You need an attorney.

It is admittedly common to view engaging a lawyer with apprehension. There is a cost involved and you want to avoid incurring costs unless they are necessary. However, you wouldn't drive a car without insurance. And the same argument applies when it comes to operating or expanding a business. From inspiration to fruition, every step of the process has legal implications, and one legal misstep can bring things to screeching halt.

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Important notice: Thomas C. Pritchard is a retired member of Brewer & Pritchard, P.C. Mr. Pritchard's address is 800 Bering Drive, Suite 201, Houston, Texas 77057. Brewer & Pritchard, P.C and Thomas C. Pritchard have shared the cost of this advertisement.

Referrals: Please note that as a general matter, Brewer & Pritchard, P.C. does not handle non-litigation matters. Brewer & Pritchard, P.C. refers all its non-litigation or "transactional" matters to Thomas C. Pritchard, who is a retired member of the firm. Thomas C. Pritchard does not handle any litigation cases and as a general matter, he refers all litigation cases to Brewer & Pritchard, P.C. Brewer & Pritchard, P.C. and Thomas C. Pritchard have no other relationship to each other and do not share fees if or when a case or matter is referred by one to the other.

Not board certified: None of Brewer & Pritchard, P.C., J. Mark Brewer nor Thomas C. Pritchard is certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.


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