E. Supp.

Last Call: According First-Filed Qui Tam Complaints Greater Preclusive Effect Under Batiste’s Narrow Interpretation of the First-to-File Rule

Abstract:  On November 4, 2011, in United States ex rel. Batiste v. SLM Corp., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit held that the False Claims Act’s “first-to-file” bar does not require that a first-filed complaint plead allegations of fraud with particularity to bar subsequent complaints alleging the same material elements of fraud. In so doing, the D.C. Circuit created a circuit split with the Sixth Circuit regarding the pleading standards required by the first-to-file rule. This Comment argues that the D.C. Circuit’s interpretation better comports with the first-to-file rule’s twin policies of encouraging parties to promptly alert the government of fraud and of discouraging parasitic complaints that merely allege the same material elements of fraud as earlier-filed complaints. This Comment further argues that future courts should follow the D.C. Circuit’s interpretation of the pleading standards required by the first-to-file rule.

:: View PDF