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Supreme Court Decides Appeals Deadline Case

Date Published
Jun 08, 2009

The United States Supreme Court issued its decision today in United States ex rel. Eisenstein v. City of New York, a case we have been tracking in this blog.  At issue is whether a qui tam relator in a non-intervened False Claims Act case (in other words, a case in which the government declines to intervene) has 30 days or 60 days to file an appeal from an adverse judgment entered by a federal trial court.  In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court today ruled that the 30-day deadline applies.   Any qui tam relators with pending appeals who filed their appeals more than 30 days after the trial court decision are now going to be out of luck, and likely will have their appeals dismissed.  On a going-forward basis, the Supreme Court has cleared up the confusion on this issue in the lower courts, and created a simple, bright-line rule:  unless the government has formally intervened in the case, a qui tam relator needs to appeal within 30 days.

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