Law Schedule of Classes

NOTE: Course offerings change. Classes offered this semester may not be offered in future semesters.

222.12 sec. 001 - Whistleblower Law: Deterring Fraud Against the Government (Fall 2021)

Instructor: Erika Kelton  
Instructor: Claire M. Sylvia  
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Units: 2
Grading Designation: Graded
Mode of Instruction: Remote Instruction


    W 08:00 AM - 09:50 AM
    Location: Law 115
    From August 18, 2021
    To November 19, 2021

Course Start: August 18, 2021
Course End: November 19, 2021
Class Number: 31920

Enrollment info:
Enrolled: 20
Waitlisted: 0
Enroll Limit: 20
As of: 10/16 06:03 PM

This course will examine federal laws that incentivize whistleblowers to provide information and assist in the enforcement of laws prohibiting fraud on the government, securities and commodity frauds, and tax fraud. This will include study of the federal False Claims Act - the Government’s primary law enforcement mechanism for prosecuting frauds against the Government and its unique “qui tam” provisions which authorize private citizens to participate in that effort and offer a reward for successfully pursuing a case on the Government’s behalf. The False Claims Act was substantially revised in 1986 to address modern problems of fraud against the Government. Since 1986, the Government has recovered over $50 billion as a result of cases initiated by private citizens.

The course will also study the SEC and CFTC whistleblower programs, established through the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010. Current trends and developing case law in these programs will be examined, and we will undertake a detailed comparison of these models to the False Claims Act’s qui tam provisions. In addition, we will look at the Internal Revenue Code’s reward system for reporting tax fraud.

The course will be taught predominantly through simulated problems, based on composites of actual cases, with occasional guest speakers from private practice and the government offering their perspectives on how they would approach the problems. By using these simulated problems, students will gain professional practice skills, including drafting, negotiating, and client representation. Students will work on a final project involving analyzing and proposing solutions to a current policy issue.

The instructors are Claire Sylvia and Erika Kelton (Berkeley Law '87), partners in the law firm of Phillips & Cohen LLP, which represents whistleblowers in False Claims Act, SEC, CFTC and IRS matters.

Attendance at the first class is mandatory for all currently enrolled and waitlisted students; any currently enrolled or waitlisted students who are not present on the first day of class (without prior permission of the instructor) will be dropped. The instructor will continue to take attendance throughout the add/drop period and anyone who moves off the waitlist into the class must continue to attend or have prior permission of the instructor in order not to be dropped.

Civil Procedure

Requirements Satisfaction:

Units from this class count towards the J.D. Experiential Requirement.

Exam Notes: (None) Class requires a series of papers, assignments, or presentations throughout the semester
Course Category: Public Law and Policy
This course is listed in the following sub-categories:
Simulation Courses
Social Justice and Public Interest

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