Yesterday the online National Law Review published an article reporting on the Third Circuit’s recent qui tam reversal in U.S. ex. rel. Customs Fraud v. Victaulic. The headline calls the decision “an important case of first impression” and “a landmark legal precedent.” The article is written like a news story, which is a little odd since the author is the lawyer who won the case. Odder still, he quotes himself in the story.
“Quoting yourself in a news story you wrote about your own case is something you probably shouldn’t do,” commented Matthew Stiegler, author of the landmark blog CA3blog.
For what it’s worth, here’s his take on why the case is a big deal:
The opinion issued yesterday addresses an issue that had not previously been addressed by any appellate court in the country, namely, whether a company that violates the country-of-origin marking requirement, and fails to pay marking duties, may be sued under the current version of the False Claims Act. The lower court had dismissed the complaint, reasoning, in part, that even if Victaulic had engaged in the alleged wrongdoing, it could not be held liable under the False Claims Act. In yesterday’s decision, the Court of Appeals reversed, holding that False Claims Act liability “may attach as a result of avoiding marking duties.”