Back on 8/22/08, we posted an entry about the Second Circuit’s decision in U.S. ex rel. Eisenstein v. City of New Yorkin which that court held that a relator must appeal within 30 days of an adverse decision in a qui tam False Claims Act case, a decision we thought was unfortunate, particularly given that three other courts (the Fifth, Seventh and Ninth Circuits) had previously ruled that a longer, 60-day period applies. Now, the Third Circuit has entered the fray in a case titled U.S. ex rel. Rodriguez v. Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center. The Third Circuit has joined its odd-numbered brethren in the Fifth, Seven and Ninth in concluding that the 60-day period applies. So, if you are a losing qui tam relator, you get 60 days to appeal on the west bank of the Hudson River (where the Third Circuit reigns), but only 30 days on the east bank (where the Second Circuit holds sway). Go figure.
If you are unfamiliar with what the various Circuit Court numbers mean, here is a handy explanation and map.