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Updates on The Civil False Claims Act & Whistleblower Protections

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 62 minutes
Recorded Date: October 08, 2021
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• FCA Overview
        - What is it?
        - FCA's Anti-Retaliation Provision
        - Damages, Penalties, and Recoveries
• Recent FCA Developments
        - Enforcement Trends
        - Proposed Amendments
        - Disclosure, Cooperation, and Remediation Policy
        - Dismissals
        - Fraudulent Inducement
        - Materiality Debate
        - Other Sources of Whistleblower Protection
 • Q & A

Runtime: 1 hour
Recorded: October 8, 2021

For NY - Difficulty: Experienced Attorneys Only (Non-Transitional)


The federal False Claims Act (FCA) was enacted in 1863, and now in this modern era we see it used in a range of industries. Our panel of experts in this session will examine trends in FCA enforcement, fraud cases relating to covid-19 and the economic stimulus, as well as developments with whistleblower protection.

This program was recorded as part of Corporate Counsel's Women, Influence, and Power in Law Conference held on October 8th, 2021.

Provided By

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Renee Brunett

Senior Counsel, Litigation
GE Aviation

Renee focuses her practice on litigation matters. She has experience defending civil False Claims Act (FCA) litigation, including FCA retaliation claims, and conducting internal investigations on behalf of defense contractors and corporations. Renee has prepared presentations to and participated in settlement discussions with the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) regarding civil and criminal declinations, achieving favorable outcomes for clients. Additionally, her experience includes conducting witness interviews and meetings with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI) and Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS), as well as responding to government inquiries, such as Civil Investigative Demands (CIDs) and Office of Inspector General (OIG) subpoenas.

Committed to volunteer and pro bono work, Renee served as second chair on brief and at oral argument for a federal habeas appeal before the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. She also volunteers on a monthly basis at Glenn O. Swing Elementary School as part of the Adopt-A-Class program.

Prior to joining Dinsmore & Shohl, she worked at firms in Cincinnati and Tennessee, along with serving as a judicial extern for Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor, Supreme Court of Ohio.

She also served as a courtroom clerk for Juvenile Court Judge Sheila Calloway in Nashville, Tennessee, and, prior to that, volunteered as a court-appointed special advocate (CASA) and with the Foster Care Review Board. Renee authored the “Children Entering School” chapter for a relative caregiver resource book published in collaboration with the Vanderbilt Legal Clinic.

A history buff, Renee was one of 20 students selected for a WWII history scholarship called the Normandy Scholars Program at the University of Tennessee. She also studied military history as part of Austin Peay State University’s first military history Master of Arts program, maintaining a 4.0 GPA.

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Catherine K. Connelly

Corporate Counsel - Investigations
Northrop Grumman Corporation

Kate Connelly is an Investigations attorney based in Falls Church, Virginia. She directs and conducts significant internal investigations on a broad range of issues, including potential violations of the False Claims Act and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, conflicts of interest, security clearance issues, insider threats, mischarging, and counterfeit parts. She also identifies and manages potential civil and criminal risk to the Company and handles responses to government, customer, and regulator investigations and subpoenas.

Kate joined Northrop Grumman in 2015 after spending 13 years as a federal prosecutor. As an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Columbia, Kate prosecuted cases involving money laundering, mail fraud, racketeering, weapons offenses, narcotics, crimes against children, sex offenses, and violent crimes. During her last 18 months at the USAO, Kate managed 60 attorneys as the Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division.

From 2009 to 2010, Kate was Special Counsel to FBI Director Robert S. Mueller, III. In that role she advised Director Mueller and senior FBI officials on internal and inter-agency matters and served as a liaison between the FBI, the Department of Justice, and the Office of the Vice President.

Kate is a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law and Smith College. She clerked for the Honorable Mary M. Lisi of the United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island. Kate is a former foster parent, and in 2014 she received the Spirit of Support Award from the Alexandria/Arlington Independent Living Programs. Kate received the Robert A. Shuker Memorial Award in 2018. This honor is awarded to former AUSAs of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia who demonstrate a distinguished contribution to the administration of justice. In 2018 the Alexandria City Council appointed Kate to a two year term on the Commission on Persons with Disabilities. Kate is a volunteer tutor at Graham Road Elementary School in Falls Church, Virginia, and a member of the Edward Bennett Williams Inn of Court.

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Sara McLean

Assistant Director of the Commercial Litigation Branch
U.S. Department of Justice

Sara McLean is an Assistant Director in the Commercial Litigation Branch (Fraud Section), Civil Division, Department of Justice. Before becoming an Assistant Director in March 2010, she was a Trial Attorney in the Section for over ten years. She has handled and supervised a wide variety of False Claims Act matters in the areas of procurement, healthcare, mortgage, and minerals royalty fraud. Some of her most significant matters have included General Services Administration defective pricing cases against major information technology companies, nationwide home healthcare fraud investigations, Federal Housing Administration loan guarantee cases, Department of Energy nuclear safety investigations, and natural gas royalties fraud litigation. She has received numerous honors and awards for her work at the Department.

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