Judges are attorneys who are also portrayed as able to represent the law equally and fairly.
Federal Judges are appointed by Presidents for life, and are confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Lifetime
appointments ensure that Judges will not must face public displeasure with their rulings
But is that true today? Judges are of course people with varying backgrounds and hold opinions,
just like everybody else.
After the Senate reviews their experience, Judges are presented to the Senate for confirmation. All
judges are labeled by type based on previous rulings: Conservative, Liberal, Constitutionalist,
The only challenge to a Federal District Judge ruling is a request for the District Court Chief
Judge whose ruling if made “in camera” or to appeal a ruling to the Appeals Court for review.
The work of courts is reported by court dockets through a system named PACER [Public Access to
Court Electronic Records]. In False Claims Act and other cases. the initial filings are placed
under court seal and are not shown on PACER. Most cases are never made public, or placed on PACER.
Often not even the Judge ever knows the case.
As many cases can be “duplicate”, False Claims Act cases have different “rules.” For example, until
one is unsealed, nobody knows if they are the Original Source or first to file cases. The Justice
Department calls these “parasite” cases. Some are disqualified by “government knowledge” leaving a
relator to wonder if anyone in government “knew” of the fraud the case is disqualified for. If the
government had knowledge of fraud why did they let it continue?
There are “statutes of limitations”, which in cases “sealed for long periods of time are impossible
to be ascertained.” When a qui tam case is filed, it is placed “under seal” for 60 days to allow
the Justice Department to “investigate” and decide whether to intervene or decline the case. The
Justice Department and Attorney Generals of co-plaintiff states can extended “Court Seals” in six
month intervals by requesting extensions from the Judge.
This process is so routine that Judges sign off twice a year and most cases stay hidden, not
reported to the public for a decade, or ever, so the public knows nothing about them as they stay
“invisible”, which is just what the Justice Department wants. Almost all active qui tam cases are
“cold cases.” When they are unsealed, the length of time under seal is revealed.
The only taxpayer protection is when a Judge takes in qui tam cases and it must be “approved” by
the Attorney General of the United States and all co-plaintiff states. However, in my case this
was not done. I believe there were thousands more!