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Document Type

Comments

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.

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