The False Claims Act imposes liability on persons and companies who defraud the government of monies, whether it is by receiving monies based on false statements or material omissions, or avoiding the payment of monies through false statements or omissions. The statute permits both private parties (whistleblowers) and the government to bring actions against the perpetrators of such fraud in order for the government to collect damages, a portion of which will be paid to the whistleblower, if one is involved.
David R. Hamill
Dave represents U.S. and foreign companies, including manufacturers, importers, exporters, distributors, customs brokers, freight forwarders, and trade associations on customs/import and export matters. His client work covers the wide range of laws and policies administered and enforced by the Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and foreign customs authorities, which include the following: duty preference programs such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and Generalized System of Preferences (GSP); tariff classification; customs valuation and transfer pricing; entry procedures; customs brokerage; country of origin marking; intellectual property rights enforcement, drawback; customs bonds, foreign trade zones, and border security (e.g., the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT)). Dave also has represented importers in defending against customs civil and criminal penalties, including seizures and forfeitures, conducting and managed internal investigations, and preparing customs prior disclosures.
Dave’s specialties include assisting companies with customs audits (known as focused assessments) and importer self-assessments. He has developed tailored customs risk management strategies, import compliance procedures and special duty and free trade qualification programs for clients. Dave has represented U.S., Canadian and Mexican importers, manufacturers and exporters during NAFTA verifications conducted by United States, Canadian and Mexican Customs officials, including companies in the automotive, food and beverage, agricultural, chemical, pharmaceutical, electronics, specialty metals, oilfield equipment, and petroleum sectors.
Dave also advises companies on export controls and economic sanctions issues. His work in this area has included performing internal investigations, drafting voluntary disclosures, responding to administrative subpoenas, developing and implementing export compliance programs, and providing ongoing export compliance advice.
Dave’s practice also includes representation of clients in other international trade areas, such as market access, World Trade Organization-related matters, bilateral, multilateral and regional trade agreements, anti-corruption, foreign corrupt practices, anti-boycott, Section 201, Section 301, and other import relief actions.
Before joining Arent Fox, Dave served from 1991-2000 as senior counsel and attorney-advisor at the US Department of the Treasury. During his tenure at the Treasury Department, he served as the chief legal advisor to the US chair of the NAFTA Rules of Origin Working Group, where he represented the United States at the trilateral NAFTA Working Group meetings convened to monitor the implementation and administration of the NAFTA concerning rules of origin, country of origin marking, and customs administration. In addition, he served as a legal advisor to Treasury’s Commercial Operations Advisory Committee of the Customs Service (COAC), where he worked to resolve various issues between the private sector representatives and the government. Dave also represented the Treasury Department at the Negotiating Group on Market Access meetings convened under the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA).
Publications, Presentations and Recognitions
Dave has spoken at various industry and client conferences on customs and trade matters. Dave is a frequent speaker at events sponsored by the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters Association. Dave also has presented at Customs Lawyers Association conferences. Dave’s speaking engagements in 2012 include the International Trade Association of Greater Chicago and Global Pharma Sourcing conferences.
Dave has been recognized by The Best Lawyers in America in the area of International Trade and Finance Law.
Life Beyond the Law
Among his outside interests, Dave is a proficient SCUBA diver.
Blog Posts by David R. Hamill
Recent Developments in US Import Requirements
In September 2014, Arent Fox reported about a US court case with which every corporate officer of a company doing business in the United States should become familiar. The decision involves responsibility for compliance with US import regulations which, heretofore, has typically been relegated to a company’s customs and logistics divisions. The Trek Leather decision rendered by the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit found that a corporate officer of an importer of record could be personally liable for gross negligence penalties where the importer understated the value of the goods.
ABOUT ARENT FOX LLP
Arent Fox LLP, founded in 1942, is internationally recognized in core practice areas where business and government intersect. With more than 350 lawyers, the firm provides strategic legal counsel and multidisciplinary solutions to clients that range from Fortune 500 corporations to trade associations. The firm has offices in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, DC.