United States: Practical Strategies For Handling Government Investigations & FCA Litigation
Last Updated: May 29 2014
This program has been accredited for one hour of general CLE by the Tennessee Commission on Continuing Legal Education and Specialization.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

5:00 PM Registration and Cocktails
5:30 PM Program
6:30 PM Close


General counsel, in-house attorneys, compliance officers and other executives in healthcare organizations will benefit from attending this program.


Government investigations, particularly those alleging violations of the False Claims Act, are an unfortunate fact of life in the healthcare industry. However, there are effective measures that healthcare providers can take both before those investigations begin and during their existence which can increase substantially the likelihood of a favorable outcome. At this informative briefing, panelists will share their real-world experiences in defending healthcare providers in government investigations and False Claims Act litigation and offer tips and takeaways for avoiding common pitfalls which can trigger such inquiries, as well as successfully navigating those government enforcement actions that cannot be avoided. The briefing will cover success strategies for enhancing existing compliance initiatives, responding to the initial government requests for information and documents, challenging the government's theories during the sealed phase of a False Claims Act investigation and litigating against the government in unsealed False Claims Act cases.

  • Successful strategies for responding to initial government requests for information and documents
  • Challenging the government's theories during the sealed phase of a False Claims Act investigation
  • Litigating against the government in unsealed False Claims Act cases

William C. Athanas
Partner, Waller

A former federal prosecutor, Bill Athanas draws on almost twenty years' experience spent prosecuting and defending government enforcement actions, including white collar criminal matters and False Claims Act cases in the healthcare and financial services industries. In addition to providing advice and counsel to clients engaged in disputes with enforcement agencies, Bill assists clients in implementing and enhancing compliance measures designed to protect companies against the risk of government sanctions. He also conducts internal investigations and counsels clients doing business internationally on most effective means to insure compliance with Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Denise D. Burke
Partner, Waller

As a former Compliance Officer and a key member of a Deferred Prosecution Federal Monitor Team for a medical device company, Denise Burke has unique experience on development of effective compliance programs that sustain government scrutiny. Denise is an effective advocate for clients facing complex compliance challenges. She has extensive experience developing and implementing compliance programs and conducting internal corporate investigations, compliance reviews and audits. Hospitals, health systems, physicians, medical device companies and other healthcare clients trust Denise Burke for practical and innovative solutions to a wide range of compliance and operations issues.

Ken Marlow (Moderator)
Partner, Waller

As chair of Waller's Healthcare Department, Ken Marlow leads a multidisciplinary team of more than 80 attorneys assisting healthcare providers with mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, physician alignment, reimbursement issues, Stark and anti-kickback compliance, patient privacy regulations, government investigations, commercial finance and securities, real estate transactions and employment issues. Ken's practice focuses on assisting healthcare companies grow strategically through acquisitions and joint ventures.

Sheila W. Sawyer
Partner, Waller

Sheila Sawyer is respected in both courtrooms and corporate offices for her insight and ability to help clients defend and resolve federal and state healthcare fraud investigations effectively and efficiently. Drawing on her experience as a former federal prosecutor, defense lawyer and former General Counsel of a healthcare company operating under a Corporate Integrity Agreement, Sheila brings a unique perspective to the matters she handles. Over the course of her 25-year legal career, she has successfully represented acute care hospitals, behavioral health hospitals, hospice providers, home health providers, physician practice management companies and pharmaceutical companies in government investigations. She has also conducted internal investigations on behalf of healthcare companies, assisted clients with voluntary self-disclosures, and advised clients about how to mitigate the risk of government investigations through improvements to their existing compliance programs.

Jennifer Weaver
Partner, Waller

Jennifer Weaver is the head of Waller's Government Investigations/White Collar Defense Practice Group. She focuses her practice on healthcare litigation, primarily False Claims Act/qui tam litigation, government and internal investigations and corporate compliance issues. She has extensive experience representing healthcare providers in both federal and state False Claims Act litigation across the country, and has secured numerous legal victories for her clients in these cases. Jennifer has defended pharmacy benefits managers, retail pharmacies, hospitals, behavioral healthcare companies, home health providers, long term care facilities, ambulance providers, and medical device manufacturers in False Claims Act investigations and litigation.

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