Harris M. Mufson

Harris M. Mufson

Proskauer Rose LLP

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NY Law Journal Report: Trump And The Future Of The SEC Whistleblower Program

As reported by Ryan Barber of the National Law Journal, the Trump administration could change the trajectory of the SEC whistleblower office, potentially halting the SEC’s recent strict scrutiny of potential impediments for...more

11/22/2016 - Pre-Employment Agreements SEC Severance Agreements Trump Administration Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers

SEC Issues Another Multi-Million Dollar Whistleblower Award

Less than one month after issuing a $22 million award, the SEC issued another multi-million dollar whistleblower award on September 20, 2016. The SEC’s most recent award exceeded $4 million. The SEC issued its typical...more

9/23/2016 - Dodd-Frank Enforcement Actions SEC Securities Violations Whistleblower Awards Whistleblowers

OSHA Issues New Guidance Regarding Whistleblower Settlements

OSHA has issued new guidance on approving settlement agreements in whistleblower cases, revising portions of its Whistleblower Investigations Manual. The guidance, dated August 23 but not released until September 15, states...more

9/20/2016 - OSHA Sarbanes-Oxley SEC Settlement Agreements Whistleblower Awards Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers Workplace Hazards Workplace Safety

CFTC Proposes New Amendments to its Whistleblower Rules

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC” or the “Commission”) has proposed numerous amendments to the Whistleblower Rules found in Part 165 of the CFTC’s Regulations. The Commission seeks to enhance the process...more

9/6/2016 - Arbitration Arbitration Agreements CFTC Commodities Commodities Exchange Act Dodd-Frank Financial Markets SEC Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers

SEC Continues To Scrutinize Separation Agreements

On August 16, 2016, the SEC announced that Health Net Inc. (Company) agreed to pay a $340,000 penalty to settle charges that it violated Rule 21F-17 by using severance agreements that allegedly prohibited its employees from...more

8/19/2016 - Cease and Desist Confidentiality Agreements Dodd-Frank Enforcement Actions Fines Health Net SEC Securities Exchange Act Severance Agreements Whistleblower Awards Whistleblowers

Wisconsin District Court Follows 5th Circuit: Internal Tipsters Are Not Considered “Whistleblowers” Under Dodd-Frank

On August 12, 2016, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin in Lamb v. Rockwell Automation Inc., No. 15-CV-1415-JPS (E.D. Wis. Aug. 12, 2016) held that the Dodd-Frank whistleblower protection provision...more

8/17/2016 - Agency Deference Dodd-Frank Internal Reporting Motion to Dismiss Retaliation Sarbanes-Oxley SEC Securities Violations Split of Authority Whistleblower Protection Policies Wrongful Termination

SEC Affirms Denial of Bounties to Three Purported Whistleblowers

On July 19, 2016, the SEC issued an order upholding the SEC Claims Review Staff’s (“CRS”) Preliminary Determination denying three claims for whistleblower awards. The SEC’s order explains how the claimants’ bounty requests...more

7/21/2016 - Enforcement Actions Government Investigations SEC Whistleblower Awards Whistleblowers

SEC Whistleblower Chief Sean McKessy to Leave, Agency Announces

On July 8, 2016, the SEC announced the departure of Sean X. McKessy, Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower. Mr. McKessy was the first to hold that role and started his post in February 2011. Mr. McKessy is credited...more

7/11/2016 - Dodd-Frank SEC Whistleblower Awards Whistleblowers

SEC Issues Two Multi-Million Dollar Whistleblower Awards

Over the past week, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced two multi-million dollar awards to whistleblowers who provided the SEC with information in ongoing investigations. On May 13, 2016, the...more

5/18/2016 - Corporate Counsel Dodd-Frank Enforcement Actions Government Investigations SEC Securities Exchange Act Whistleblower Awards Whistleblowers

SEC Intervenes In Former In-House Attorney’s Whistleblower Lawsuit

On March 28, 2016, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) filed an amicus brief in a whistleblower lawsuit brought by a former in-house attorney against Vanguard Group (the “Company”).  The case is Danon v....more

4/4/2016 - Amicus Briefs Corporate Counsel Dodd-Frank Internal Reporting Protected Activity Retaliation SEC Termination Vanguard Whistleblowers Young Lawyers

Critic of High-Frequency Trading Receives SEC Whistleblower Bounty Award

According to a MarketWatch report, Eric Hunsader of Nanex LLC has identified himself as is the recipient of a more than $700,000 Dodd-Frank whistleblower bounty award.  According to Hunsader, the information he provided to...more

3/9/2016 - Dodd-Frank NYSE SEC Securities Violations Third-Party Whistleblower Awards Whistleblowers

SEC Awards Whistleblower More Than $700,000

On January 15, 2016, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of the Whistleblower (“OWB”) announced the award of more than $700,000 to a “company outsider who conducted a detailed analysis that led to a successful SEC...more

1/27/2016 - Enforcement Actions SEC Securities Violations Whistleblower Awards Whistleblowers

Tennessee District Court Limits Scope of Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Claim

The Eastern District of Tennessee recently dismissed whistleblower claims, finding that the Plaintiff was not entitled to protection under Sarbanes-Oxley, Dodd-Frank, or the False Claims Act (“FCA”). Verble v. Morgan Stanley...more

12/18/2015 - Dodd-Frank False Claims Act (FCA) Morgan Stanley Popular Retaliation Sarbanes-Oxley SEC Whistleblowers

Highlights of SEC’s 2015 Annual Whistleblower Report

On November 16, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of the Whistleblower (“OWB”) released its fifth Annual Report on the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program to Congress, which details information on OWB’s...more

11/19/2015 - Confidentiality Agreements Dodd-Frank Enforcement Actions SEC Whistleblower Awards Whistleblowers

SEC Pays Whistleblower Bounty Award Exceeding $325,000

On November 4, 2015, the SEC announced that it would pay a former investment firm employee a whistleblower bounty award totaling more than $325,000. Notably, the SEC’s Order indicated that the award was decreased “because...more

11/10/2015 - Delays Enforcement Actions Popular SEC Whistleblower Awards Whistleblowers

California District Court Follows Asadi, Dismisses Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Claim

On September 8, 2015, the United States District Court for the Central District of California dismissed a whistleblower retaliation claim, ruling that Dodd-Frank’s anti-retaliation provision only protects whistleblowers who...more

9/24/2015 - Anti-Retaliation Provisions Dodd-Frank Internal Reporting SEC Split of Authority Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers Wrongful Termination

Second Circuit: Dodd-Frank Protects Internal Whistleblowers

On September 10, 2015, the Second Circuit issued its highly anticipated decision in Berman v. Neo@Ogilvy, ruling (in a 2-1 decision) that Dodd-Frank’s whistleblower protection provision applies to internal complaints (i.e.,...more

9/11/2015 - Accounting Fraud Ambiguous Anti-Retaliation Provisions Chevron Deference Dodd-Frank DOL Internal Reporting Retaliation Sarbanes-Oxley SEC Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers Wrongful Termination

New Jersey District Court: Dodd-Frank Protects Internal Whistleblower

Further reflecting the divide amongst courts regarding the definition of “whistleblower” under the Dodd-Frank Act, the District Court of New Jersey recently held that an employee who internally reports an alleged securities...more

8/27/2015 - Anti-Retaliation Provisions Dodd-Frank Internal Reporting SEC Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers Wrongful Termination

SEC Issues Interpretive Rule Regarding Definition of Dodd-Frank “Whistleblower”

In response to the disagreement amongst courts regarding the scope of Dodd-Frank’s employment retaliation protections, on August 4, 2015, the SEC issued an “interpretive rule” clarifying that individuals who have not reported...more

8/6/2015 - Anti-Retaliation Provisions Dodd-Frank Internal Reporting Interpretive Rule Investor Protection Sarbanes-Oxley SEC Whistleblower Awards Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers

SEC Pays More Than $3 Million Whistleblower Award

On July 17, 2015, the SEC announced a whistleblower award of more than $3 million to a “company insider” whose information assisted the SEC in unveiling a “complex fraud.” This payout (which is the SEC’s third largest)...more

7/24/2015 - Dodd-Frank SEC Securities Fraud Whistleblower Awards Whistleblowers

SEC Awards Compliance Officer Whistleblower Bounty of Approximately $1.5 Million

Wednesday, the SEC announced that it would pay an unidentified compliance officer a whistleblower bounty award of between $1.4 and $1.6 million. This is the second award that the SEC has made to a whistleblower with internal...more

4/23/2015 - Chief Compliance Officers Corporate Counsel Enforcement Actions Internal Audit Functions SEC Whistleblower Awards Whistleblowers

Petition Urges DOL To Target Contractual Clauses Discouraging Whistleblowing

The Government Accountability Project (GAP) and Zuckerman Law recently petitioned the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) to issue rules and guidance prohibiting “de facto” gag clauses in settlement and severance agreements that...more

4/13/2015 - DOL FINRA Protected Activity SEC Settlement Agreements Severance Agreements Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers

SEC Announces Enforcement Action Regarding Employee Confidentiality Agreement

On April 1, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced its first settlement of an enforcement action under the SEC’s Rule 21F-17, which prohibits any person from taking “any action to impede an individual from...more

4/7/2015 - Confidentiality Agreements Enforcement Actions Internal Investigations KBR (formerly Kellogg Brown & Root) Rule 21F SEC Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers

SEC’s Limit on Retroactivity of Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Bounty Awards Is Reasonable, Second Circuit Holds

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals recently deferred to the SEC’s determination that a tipster who provided information to the Commission before July 21, 2010, the effective date of the Dodd-Frank Act, is not eligible to...more

3/24/2015 - Dodd-Frank SEC Whistleblower Awards Whistleblowers

SEC Continues to Investigate Contractual Impediments to Whistleblower Complaints

As Rachel Louise Ensign reported earlier this week in the Wall Street Journal (subscription required), the Securities Exchange Commission (“SEC”) continues to probe obstacles to corporate employees blowing the whistle. This...more

3/2/2015 - Audits Confidentiality Agreements Dodd-Frank Non-Compete Agreements SEC Settlement Agreements Strategic Enforcement Plan Whistleblowers

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