News & Analysis as of

Bank Whistleblower Suits Highlight Limits of Employee Confidentiality Agreements

Employers increasingly face the difficult scenario of employees who misappropriate company data in the pursuit of whistleblower claims alleging misconduct by the employer. Such cases can present a complex mix of regulatory,...more

S.D.N.Y. Dismisses Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Retaliation Claim

In one of the first cases to address the standard governing a motion for summary judgment in a Dodd-Frank whistleblower retaliation case, Judge Jed S. Rakoff ruled that two former executives of Vista Outdoor Inc. (the...more

Bio-Rad Stung by Nearly $8 Million Verdict in Whistleblower Lawsuit Brought by Former General Counsel

A jury recently found Bio-Rad Laboratories liable under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the Dodd-Frank Act for nearly $8 million in damages after the company’s alleged retaliatory firing of its former general counsel, Sanford...more

Whistleblower Conference Agenda Sizzles with Hot Topics

2016 was more than simply the most robust year in Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) enforcement. It was also a record year in Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) whistleblower awards and additionally the year the SEC...more

E.D. Pennsylvania Limits Protected Activity Under SOX

In Westawski v. Merck & Co., No. 14-cv-3239 (E.D. Pa. Oct. 18, 2016), the Eastern District of Pennsylvania granted Defendant Merck & Co. (Company) summary judgment on Plaintiff Joni Westawski’s (Plaintiff) SOX whistleblower...more

SDNY Refuses to Dismiss Executive’s Dodd-Frank Retaliation Claim

On August 24, 2016, the Southern District of New York denied Defendants’ motion to dismiss a Dodd-Frank whistleblower retaliation claim brought by its former co-CEO and Executive Chairman of its Board of Directors, finding...more

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

S.D.N.Y. Dismisses SOX and Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Claims For Lack Of Protected Activity

On June 22, 2016, Judge Daniels of the Southern District of New York dismissed SOX and Dodd-Frank whistleblower claims, ruling that Plaintiff’s alleged internal complaints did not constitute protected activity, as they did...more

Eighth Circuit Deals Significant Blow To SOX And Dodd-Frank Whistleblowers

On June 6, 2016, the Eighth Circuit affirmed the Minnesota District Court’s grant of summary judgment on SOX and Dodd-Frank whistleblower retaliation claims based on the plaintiff’s failure to establish a reasonable belief...more

8th Circuit Dismisses Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank Retaliation Claims

In Beacom v. Oracle America, Inc., the United States Court of Appeals for the Eight Circuit considered retaliation claims under Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank. The essence of the matter was a business unit of Oracle...more

A Review of Recent Whistleblower Developments

SEC Awards Bounty to Whistleblower, But Offsets Award for a Judgment Against the Whistleblower - The extent to which the SEC would reward whistleblowers, who themselves engaged in wrongdoing, has been the subject of...more

S.D.N.Y Dismisses Former Employee’s SOX and Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Claims

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York recently granted a motion for summary judgment dismissing a plaintiff’s SOX and Dodd-Frank whistleblower claims. The court ruled that the plaintiff failed to...more

Court Tosses Dodd-Frank Retaliation Claim – No Proof of Whistleblowing or Retaliation

In Yang v. Navigators Group, Inc., the Southern District of New York granted summary judgment for the defendant on a dual pronged complaint claiming unlawful retaliation under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the Dodd-Frank Act. ...more

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

Whistleblower Standing Split in Circuits & TN Federal Courts

There’s a developing circuit split over whistleblower standing for retaliation claims. A decision this week extended that split to U.S. district courts within Tennessee, too. In Verble v. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, LLC, No....more

Business Litigation Alert: "Court Ruling Allows Whistleblower to Sue Board Members"

A recent ruling in California federal court (here) broadens legal protections for whistleblowers and expands who can be held liable in retaliation cases. In the case, Wadler v. Bio-Rad Labs., Inc., a federal judge ruled that...more

N.D. Cal.: Internal Whistleblowers Are Protected and May Sue Individual Directors

On October 23, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California largely denied a motion to dismiss a whistleblower retaliation claim brought by a company’s former general counsel, ruling that: (I) the SOX...more

Internal Whistleblowing Protected Against Retaliation Under Dodd-Frank Says Second Circuit

While the Dodd-Frank Act provides various protections to whistleblowers, federal courts have inconsistently interpreted who precisely qualifies as a whistleblower. In a much-anticipated opinion, the Second Circuit Court of...more

Second Circuit Decision May Have Significant Implications for Whistleblowers and Their Employers

On September 10, 2015, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued a decision with significant implications for purported whistleblowers and their employers—Berman v. Neo@Ogilvy LLC, WPP Group USA, Inc., No. 14-4626...more

Employment Law - September 2015

From the California Legislature: New Employment Laws, Bills Set for Signature: Why it matters - The California Legislature has been busy with employment-related bills, passing measures to provide additional...more

Second Circuit Allows Whistleblower Retaliation Protection Without Reporting to SEC

September 10, 2015, in a 2-1 decision in Berman v. Neo@Ogilvy LLC, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that whistleblowers who report securities law violations internally but not to the US Securities and...more

Second Circuit Expands Scope of Dodd-Frank Anti-Retaliation Provisions, Sets up Chance for Supreme Court Review

Once upon a time, Daniel Berman was the finance director of Neo@Ogilvy LLC, a subsidiary of the publicly-traded WPP Group USA, Inc. He did not find a handsome prince or princess there. According to the allegations of a...more

The SEC, Second Circuit, and Whistleblowers: Searching For Ambiguity

The SEC’s interpretation of the Dodd-Frank whistleblower provisions prevailed in a recent Second Circuit decision, creating a circuit split that could be heading for the Supreme Court. Specifically, the Circuit Court deferred...more

Second Circuit Splits With Fifth Circuit Setting Up Possible Supreme Court Review: Are Internal Whistleblowers Protected Under...

On September 10, 2015, a divided panel of the Second Circuit issued an opinion in Berman v. Neo@Ogilvy LLC, No. 14-4626 (2nd Cir. Sept. 10, 2015), creating a split with the Fifth Circuit on an issue that has also divided...more

Second Circuit Defers To SEC Interpretation Of “Whistleblower” For Purposes Of Retaliation Suit Under Dodd-Frank

In Berman v. Neo@Ogilvy LLC, a three-judge panel of the Second Circuit reversed and remanded a decision of the SDNY, which had dismissed a claim for retaliation by a former employee on the basis that Dodd-Frank’s...more

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