Harris M. Mufson

Harris M. Mufson

Proskauer Rose LLP

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Highlights of SEC’s 2014 Annual Report

On November 17, 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of the Whistleblower (“OWB”) released its fourth Annual Report on the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program to Congress, which details information on OWB’s...more

11/20/2014 - Annual Reports Dodd-Frank SEC Whistleblower Awards Whistleblower Protection Policies

Court Follows 5th Circuit Asadi Decision, Dismisses Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Claim

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin in Verfuerth v. Orion Energy Systems, Inc., No. 14-cv-352 (E.D. Wis. Nov. 4, 2014) recently ruled that the Dodd-Frank whistleblower protection provision does not...more

11/12/2014 - Dodd-Frank Federal Rule 12(b)(6) Federal Rules of Civil Procedure SEC Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers

Administrative Review Board Clarifies Causation Burdens in SOX Whistleblower Cases

The ARB recently clarified the competing burdens of proof on issues of causation for whistleblower retaliation cases arising under SOX Section 806 and other whistleblower protection statutes. In particular, in Fordham v....more

10/31/2014 - Burden of Proof Causation Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers

FINRA Again Cautions Against Confidentiality Provisions Silencing Whistleblowers

As reported this week by Law360 (subscription required), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) recently issued a reminder (Regulatory Notice 14-40) warning firms against the use of confidentiality provisions in...more

10/20/2014 - Compliance Confidentiality Agreements Employer Liability Issues FINRA SEC Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers

Watchdogs Petition SEC to Strengthen Prohibitions Against Impeding Complaints to SEC

On July 18, 2014, a coalition of plaintiff-side lawyers and government watchdog groups proposed ways to strengthen the SEC whistleblower program in two petitions filed with the SEC. The groups urged the SEC to update Rule...more

7/25/2014 - Confidentiality Agreements Corporate Counsel Employment Contract Non-Disclosure Agreement Petitions for Review SEC Severance Agreements Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers

S.D.N.Y. Takes Broad Approach To SOX and Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Claims

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York recently denied a motion to dismiss a plaintiff’s SOX and Dodd-Frank whistleblower claims, ruling that (i) the plaintiff engaged in SOX protected activity even...more

5/28/2014 - Dodd-Frank Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers

4th Circuit: SOX Whistleblower Failed To Establish A Prima Facie Case Regarding Causation

On May 12, 2014, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment on a SOX whistleblower claim, concluding that the whistleblowers’ alleged protected activity was not a “contributing factor” in the challenged...more

5/16/2014 - Adverse Employment Action Causation Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers

OSHA Releases Interim Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Regulations

OSHA recently released the interim final text of regulations implementing the whistleblower protection provision (Section 1057) in Dodd-Frank. The interim final regulations establish the timing and processes for handling...more

4/14/2014 - Administrative Review Board ALJ Dodd-Frank DOL OSHA Retaliation Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblower Protection Policies

First-Ever SEC Bounty Winner Receives Additional Payout

The SEC Office of the Whistleblower recently announced that the first-ever whistleblower award under the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program will be increased by $150,000 based on additional assets the SEC collected from one the...more

4/9/2014 - Dodd-Frank SEC Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers

SEC Scrutinizing Contractual Impediments to Whistleblower Complaints

Sean McKessy (“McKessy”), the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (“SEC”) whistleblower chief, cautioned in-house attorneys who draft contracts incentivizing employees to report securities fraud complaints in-house rather...more

3/17/2014 - Corporate Counsel Retaliation SEC Securities Fraud Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers

U.S. Supreme Court Extends SOX's Whistleblower Protection To Employees of Publicly Traded Company's Contractors

On March 4, 2014, the United States Supreme Court decided Lawson v. FMR LLC, holding that SOX's whistleblower protection extends to employees of a publicly traded company's contractors and subcontractors. Lawson v. FMR LLC,...more

3/7/2014 - Contractors Fidelity Investments FMR LLC Lawson v FMR Sarbanes-Oxley SCOTUS Subcontractors Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers

Georgia Federal Court Rules That Dodd-Frank Whistleblowers Are Not Entitled To A Jury Trial

On November 12, 2013, a Georgia district court ruled that Dodd-Frank whistleblowers are not entitled to a jury trial or punitive damages. Pruett v. BlueLinx Holdings, Inc., No. 13-cv-02607 (N.D. Ga., Nov. 12, 2013). This is a...more

11/14/2013 - Dodd-Frank Jury Trial Punitive Damages Retaliation Trials Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers

U.S. Supreme Court Considers the Scope of SOX’s Whistleblower Provision

On November 12, 2013, the United States Supreme Court heard oral argument in Lawson v. FMR LLC to decide whether Sarbanes-Oxley’s whistleblower protection extends to employees of a publicly traded company’s contractors. ...more

11/13/2013 - Sarbanes-Oxley SCOTUS Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers

SEC Announces Additional Whistleblower Award Based on Assets Seized by Justice Department

After awarding the second-ever whistleblower bounty award pursuant to Section 922 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank) in connection with SEC v. Andrey C. Hicks and Locust Offshore...more

9/11/2013 - Dodd-Frank DOJ Enforcement Actions Search & Seizure SEC Whistleblower Awards Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers

Recent Multi-Million Dollar Whistleblower Jury Awards — A Wake-Up Call For Employers

In what might be an unsettling trend for employers, juries in Philadelphia and Anchorage have recently issued multi-million dollar jury awards in favor of whistleblowers. Specifically, on March 22, 2013, a Philadelphia Common...more

4/16/2013 - Damages False Claims Act Jury Awards Protected Activity Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers

$28 Million Verdict Against Illinois Nursing Home Liable Under False Claims Act & Illinois Whistleblower Reward And Protection Act

On February 11, 2013, a jury in federal district court in Illinois found a nursing home operator (Company) liable under the False Claims Act and the Illinois Whistleblower Reward and Protection Act for fraudulent billing and...more

2/26/2013 - False Claims Act Nursing Homes Retaliation Whistleblower Protection Policies Worthless Services Claims

Top 10 Ways To Minimize Whistleblower Risks

Here are the TOP 10 STEPS public and private employers should consider taking to minimize the risk of whistleblower retaliation claims and build defenses where litigation is unavoidable....more

12/13/2012 - Compliance Retaliation Training Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers

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