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Attorney Discipline, False Claims Act and Insurance Law Matters

By FindLaw Staff on April 06, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

In In re: Roman, No. 08-9002, the Second Circuit publicly reprimanded an attorney, reciprocally suspended him for a six-month period based on a prior suspension imposed by the Ninth Circuit, and suspended him for an additional one-month period based on his misconduct in the Second Circuit, on the grounds that 1) the mitigating factors in this case, considered together, did not amount to a grave reason justifying a suspension different than that imposed by the Ninth Circuit; and 2) the court did not see complete overlap between the conduct addressed by the Ninth Circuit and that addressed in the present order.

US ex rel. Kirk v. Schindler Elevator Corp., No. 09-1678, concerned a False Claims Act (FCA) action alleging that plaintiff's former employer obtained government contracts while representing that it had filed certain required Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) reports, when in fact it either had failed to file a report or had filed a false report for the relevant years.  The court of appeals vacated the dismissal of the complaint, holding that 1) a document obtained in response to a request made under the Freedom of Information Act qualified as an enumerated source triggering the jurisdictional bar of the FCA only when the document itself was a "congressional, administrative, or Government Accounting Office report, hearing, audit, or investigation," and the documents obtained by plaintiff through FOIA did not fall within any of these categories; and 2) plaintiff's complaint stated valid claims under the FCA when it alleged that defendant had entered into contracts with the federal government while not in compliance with the VEVRAA.

Fabozzi v. Lexington Ins. Co., No. 09-0727, concerned an action to recover proceeds under a homeowners' insurance policy based on structural damage to plaintiffs' home.  The Second Circuit vacated summary judgment for defendant, holding that, under longstanding New York law, the limitations period did not begin to run until plaintiffs' claim against defendant accrued, rather the date of the accident.

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