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Learn about Richard Arnholt's diverse government contracts practice and why he chose to pursue a career in the legal field. Read more>

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In June 2017, Pinnacle Financial Partners, Inc. (NASDAQ: PNFP) closed a $1.9 billion merger with BNC Bancorp (NASDAQ: BNCN) pursuant to which BNC merged with and into Pinnacle. With the completion of the transaction, Pinnacle becomes a Top 50 U.S. Bank. The merger will create a four state footprint concentrated in 12 of the largest urban markets in the Southeast. 

Bass, Berry & Sims has served Pinnacle as primary corporate and securities counsel for more than 15 years and served as counsel on the transaction. Our attorneys were involved in all aspects related to the agreement, including tax, employee benefits and litigation. 

Read more details about the transaction here.

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Regulation A+

It seems that lately there has been a noticeable uptick in Regulation A+ activity, including several recent Reg A+ securities offerings where the stock now successfully trades on national exchanges. In light of this activity, we have published a set of FAQs about Regulation A+ securities offerings to help companies better understand this "mini-IPO" offering process, as well as pros and cons compared to a traditional underwritten IPO.

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FCA Deeper Dive: When Public Disclosures Bar FCA Claims

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January 13, 2016

The FCA continues to be the federal government's primary civil enforcement tool for investigating allegations that healthcare providers or government contractors defrauded the federal government. In the coming weeks, we will take a closer look at recent legal developments involving the FCA. This week, we examine the FCA's public disclosure bar and recent cases considering whether disclosures are sufficient to bar FCA claims.

The FCA's public disclosure bar prevents a relator from filing a qui tam complaint based on information previously disclosed to the public, thereby dissuading parasitic lawsuits based on publicly available information. In cases considering the scope of the public disclosure bar, courts have continued to examine the issue of how or to whom information must be disseminated in order to constitute a "public disclosure," which often has resulted in a narrowing of the public disclosure bar's scope in a given case. Such cases marked a shift away from decisions favorable to FCA defendants toward a more nuanced and specific application of the public disclosure bar.

Determining what disclosures are sufficient to bar FCA allegations most often has arisen in the context of analyzing disclosures made to government or regulatory entities. U.S. ex rel. Wilson v. Graham County Soil & Water Conservation Dist., 777 F.3d 691 (4th Cir. 2015), involved allegations of fraud against the government with respect to an Emergency Watershed Protection Program. The district court found that the relator's allegations were previously publicly disclosed in an audit report prepared by county auditors and in an investigation report prepared by the USDA and dismissed the relator's complaint. The Fourth Circuit reversed the district court on the grounds that the reports at issue were not "publicly" disclosed because they were disclosed only to governmental agencies. The Fourth Circuit held that "a 'public disclosure' requires that there be some act of disclosure outside the government." The Fourth Circuit noted that "the Government is not the equivalent of the public domain" and that "nothing in the record suggests that either report actually reached the public domain. Notably, the Fourth Circuit clarified that the fact that the reports were accessible to the public through public information laws did not affect its analysis because the reports were never actually requested by or disclosed to the public.

Inside the FCA blog

 

To continue reading the content in this article on the firm's Inside the FCA blog, please click here to view the post.

Bass, Berry & Sims' Inside the FCA blog features news, commentary and thought leadership covering FCA, healthcare fraud and procurement fraud.

 

 


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