June 16, 2008 -- The National Law Journal has selected Phillips & Cohen partner Eric R. Havian as one of the top 10 "Winning" attorneys in the nation for 2008 based on his work representing whistleblowers in qui tam lawsuits.
Mr. Havian, who is based in San Francisco, Calif., was selected for his work as lead attorney on a successful case based on a whistleblower lawsuit involving utility rates. A federal judge ruled in favor of Mr. Havian's clients and ordered the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to pay $224 million to the schools and public agencies the department had defrauded.
The National Law Journal said the "Winning" lawyers "share a knack for artfully swaying judges and juries and taking risks when they see the opportunity to seize an advantage in the courtroom.
"We chose the victors of 10 cases from scores of nominations offered from firms of all sizes from just about every state in the union. The basic criteria required that nominees have at least one significant win within the past 18 months, and a history of noteworthy wins during the past several years."
The National Law Journal said Mr. Havian has had many other notable wins in whistleblower cases: "Havian has negotiated significant settlements in a number of qui tam cases, including $111.2 million for the federal government from Northrop Grumman Corp. in 2003 to settle allegations that a company acquired by Northrop had inflated its bills."
The legal information publication also noted some other successful whistleblower cases Mr. Havian has handled. One qui tam case involving lead-contaminated water system parts has resulted in settlements totaling $20.8 million so far and the replacement of those parts. The National Law Journal also highlighted Mr. Havian's work on a case involving efforts to defraud in a federal program that provides high-speed Internet connections to schools and poor neighborhoods. Companies accused of fraud in that case have paid a total of $33 million to settle the case.