By Kevin O'Keefe

Five Questions: Brian LaBovick of LaBovick & LaBovick PA

“Five Questions” is an ongoing feature at LexBlog where each week we ask a different blogger five questions about the impacts they’re having on their industries. This week, we spoke to Florida lawyer and attorney Brian LaBovick, founder and managing partner at LaBovick & LaBovick, PA.

1. LexBlog: Why did you decide to start the Whistleblower Law Blog in the first place?

Brian LaBovick:

I think the most honest answer is that I did it because I’m mad at the present administration, and I want people who are involved in these things to blow the whistle on their companies when they’re ripping off the government. I feel like as taxpayers we’re being ripped off left and right, and the present administration is turning their head because they basically have a lot of friends that own these big corporations that are making lots of money.

2. LexBlog:

A lot of your posts have a similar tone, and you are often quite opinionated when taking a stance on a specific issue. Do you think blogs are more effective when the writer takes a strong position, as you’ve done?

Brian LaBovick:

I don’t know. I don’t know what’s effective and what’s not, quite honestly. I’m so new to it that I wasn’t actually sure what my purpose of doing it was. I just want it be two-fold; number one, I want a soapbox, and number two, I want to give information to the public about what’s going on in the world, because the public doesn’t know. We don’t get a lot of this information. I mean, you get a news article here, a news article there, but you don’t have anywhere that really puts it together and says, “This is happening all over the place – from your local hospital, who’s ripping off Medicare, to your local contractor, who is procuring thousands or millions of dollars from the government fraudulently – and it’s all coming out of your tax dollar.”

3. LexBlog:

Do you have a special process or routine you get into for writing entries to your blog? How do you come up with the material for these entries?

Brian LaBovick: There are a couple of really great whistleblower groups in the United States, and the Internet allows us all to see what each other are doing and learn what’s going on in the world. So I monitor those, pretty much daily. You know, you pop on the web, you read something that’s going on [at] one website, you look at another website. [And] I think that Juliet [Juliet Sallette, marketing director at LaBovick & LaBovick] has been very sophisticated about it, using RSS feeds and figuring out whether she wants to have information pushed to us through [services like] Yahoo or pulled from other sources. I don’t know what exactly she’s doing, but we’re always being fed information. So I kind of pop through it, and what ends up happening is that we end up picking things that we think are important, that we put onto the blog daily or maybe every other day.

But then, occasionally, I get T’d off at somebody and I just want to write about it. So then I pop in with an opinion blog piece. And we’ve actually talked about starting up possibly another blog, which is just basically “Brian’s Soapbox Blog,” where I can do more opinion writing instead of analysis. And [Juliet] also has told me that I really need to be more analytical and less opinionated and try to give people more analysis about what’s really going on, [to] give something more than just the news article and my opinion about it.

4. LexBlog: You were recently named a Florida Super Lawyer by the publishers of Law & Politics Magazine. Why do you think they chose to honor you?

Brian LaBovick:

I think it was an accumulation of things. Number one, I think [what] probably adds the most weight when people look at what you’ve done is being involved in a precedent-setting case in Florida. So whenever you’ve been involved in something where that particular case is quoted a lot, or creates some new law in Florida, then you get a lot of clout for that. So I think that helps, and about five years ago I was involved in a case – and it dragged on forever – but eventually we won it at the Supreme Court level. It was a consumer fraud case. And we set the law on the ability for consumers to bring cases against people that were creating unfair and deceptive trade practices. It’s a very important case, so I think that that helped me a lot. And then the other thing I think is just that we have been handling more significant matters that I’m getting more colleagues referring me in cases. That always helps. When you’re creating a referral network of lawyers and you’ve got lawyers sending you cases, even their cases, that’s always a good thing.

I also think the fact that I’ve got people doing it in multiple jurisdictions helps. Here I am a Jupiter lawyer, but I know that I get cases from Miami and Gainesville and Jacksonville and Tampa, and I’m sure that those people over there, when they were voting, said, “Personal injury? Qui tam? Talk to Brian.”  If I’m included [by] two people from Tampa and one person in Jacksonville and x number of people in Miami, as well as a lot of people in West Palm, that probably is what puts you over the top. I don’t know, because I don’t know how they vote or do it – I really have no clue – but I’m guessing.

5. LexBlog: What does the future hold for LaBovick & LaBovick?

Brian LaBovick:

We’re expanding pretty quickly. We’ve opened an office in Boynton [Beach], we have offices in West Palm and Jupiter, and on July 25 our office in Port St. Lucie will come online. The only thing that I see that will change for us is that we’re going to expand the scope of our employment law practice, so that we handle more employment law issues in general instead of just qui tam whistleblower issues. What ended up happening was that we got into the qui tam whistleblower issues, and although I love the qui tam case, you end up having a wrongful discharge case in [almost] every single one of those. There is a portion of the qui tam statute that permits you to bring a wrongful discharge for the whistleblower. That creates an employment law issue, and then you get into employment law, and as you get into employment law, you realize there [are] a lot of other issues out there. I mean, Sarbanes obviously has its own. Wage and overtime claims have their own. Last paycheck issues have their own. So, we’re getting more and more employment calls, and I can’t keep sending these things away just hoping to call out the qui tam…I think that I need to start to help a lot of these people, so we’re going to start to do more employment law.

That’s kind of the wave of the future here, I think. We’ll be two things – personal injury and employment law – and what bridges the gap between those two things is the qui tam, because qui tam is pretty much consumer fraud, quasi judicial. That’s the thing that floats my boat the most, is being quasi judicial, quasi governmental. Here I am, a private lawyer, but I’m working like I used to work as a government prosecutor, for the government to get money for the government, but also to make money in a private, civil way. And there’s something sexy about prosecuting fraud. It’s just cool. Its one thing to say, “Yeah, I’m a good personal injury lawyer” or “Yeah, I’m a good criminal defense lawyer.” It’s another thing to be a federal fraud prosecutor, prosecuting hundreds of millions of dollars of fraud.

LaBovick & LaBovick is active in the blogosphere, where they maintain both the Whistleblower Law Blog and the LaBovick Injury Law Blog.

Kevin O'Keefe
About the Author

Trial lawyer turned legal tech entrepreneur, I am the founder and CEO of LexBlog, a legal blog community of over 30,000 blog publishers, worldwide. LexBlog’s publishing platform is used on a subscription basis by over 18,000 legal professionals, including the largest law firm in each India, China and the United States.

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