Sarbanes-Oxley

News & Analysis as of

Who is a Whistleblower Now?

On March 8, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit created a new wave in the ongoing debate over the scope of Dodd-Frank’s anti-retaliation or “whistleblower” protections. In Somers v. Digital Realty...more

A Divided Ninth Circuit Extends Dodd-Frank's Anti-Retaliation Protection for Whistleblowers

Without a bright line requirement of an SEC contact to trigger whistleblower status, employers may not learn until after termination that an employee claims to be a whistleblower. Employees often raise internal questions,...more

Where Was the Whistle Blown? Split in Circuits over Retaliation Protection for Reporting Securities Violations

If you report your company for a federal securities violation, just how safe is your job? Curiously, that may depend on where you live. Recently, the Ninth Circuit weighed in, adding to a split among courts across the country...more

Circuit Split on Whistleblower Protections Widens

On March 8, 2017, a divided panel of the Ninth Circuit issued an opinion in Somers v. Digital Realty Trust Inc. that further widened a circuit split on the issue of whether the anti-retaliation provisions in the Dodd-Frank...more

Circuit Split on Whistleblower Protections Widens: Ninth Circuit Follows Second Circuit and Splits with Fifth Circuit in Holding...

On March 8, 2017, a divided panel of the Ninth Circuit issued an opinion in Somers v. Digital Realty Trust Inc. that further widened a circuit split on the issue of whether the anti-retaliation provisions in the Dodd-Frank...more

Ninth Circuit Widens the Circuit Split on Whether Dodd-Frank Protects Internal Whistleblowers

Last week, a divided panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion in Somers v. Digital Realty Trust, Inc., No. 15-17352 (9th Cir. March 8, 2017), in which it held that the anti-retaliation protections of the...more

Ninth Circuit Widens Split on Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Provisions

The Ninth Circuit joined the Second Circuit in concluding that the Dodd-Frank whistleblower provisions protect from retaliation those who report internally at the company but not to the SEC, despite the literal language of...more

Ex-General Counsel Dodged Privilege Claims Before $14.5 Million Verdict

In our last post, we detailed how Sanford Wadler, the former general counsel of Bio-Rad Laboratories, won a $14.5 million verdict against Bio-Rad. Before Wadler could get to a jury, however, he had to surmount a...more

Second Circuit Reverses In Part and Affirms In Part In Appeal From Convictions Under Sarbanes-Oxley and Accessory-After-The-Fact...

On February 23, 2017, the Second Circuit (Chief Judge Katzmann, Judge Winter, and District Judge Sidney Stein, by designation) issued a per curiam decision in United States v. Natal, et al., that led to a partial reversal and...more

Ninth Circuit Decides in Favor of Expanded Whistleblower Protections

In Somers v. Digital Realty, the Ninth Circuit joins the Second Circuit in holding that whistleblower protections apply to individuals who report securities violations internally, not just to those who report to the...more

Ninth Circuit Adds to Circuit Split on Dodd-Frank Anti-Retaliation Protection for Internal Whistleblowers

On Wednesday, March 8, 2017, a divided panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that Dodd-Frank anti-retaliation protection extends to whistleblowers who report alleged unlawful activity internally but not to the...more

Ninth Circuit — Dodd-Frank Protects Internal Whistleblowers

On March 8, 2017, a split three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a Northern District of California decision declining to dismiss a Dodd-Frank whistleblower retaliation claim because the plaintiff did...more

Southern District Of New York Dismisses Securities Fraud Claims As Time-Barred And Inadequately Pleaded

On February 27, 2017, Judge Katherine Polk Failla of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed with prejudice a putative class action brought on behalf of purchasers of Wal-Mart de...more

Maryland District Court Dismisses SOX and Dodd Frank Whistleblower Claims

On March 1, 2017, the District of Maryland dismissed a Dodd Frank whistleblower retaliation claim because the plaintiff failed to allege that he had complained directly to the SEC about a violation of securities laws, and...more

Directors, Officers and Other Responsible Persons Be Aware - Your Vicarious Liability for Your Company’s Violations of Securities...

A debtor ordinarily may discharge debts in bankruptcy, unless one of several exceptions apply. One of the preclusions to dischargeability of certain debts, found in Section 523(a)(19) of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, generally...more

Does Whistleblower Protection Extend To Disclosures To Your Mom Or The Press?

California and federal law establish ample protections for whistleblowers. These protections can be found in numerous laws, including the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the Dodd-Frank Act, and Section 1102.5 of the California Labor...more

The SEC, Financial Fraud and Restatements

Financial fraud actions have long been a staple of SEC Enforcement. Following Arthur Levitt’s famous “Numbers Game” speech in 1997 for example, the Commission brought a series of blockbuster financial fraud actions that...more

The Snap IPO: Speculation Without (Board) Representation

The just completed IPO of Snap Inc. has received enormous buzz and plenty of press coverage, mostly about its eye-popping valuation and offering proceeds, the big winners among the founders and early investors and the...more

A New Approach to Internal Controls (Part I of II)

The Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission have dedicated more time and energy to understanding a company’s internal controls and enforcing basic requirements that companies maintain effective internal...more

Chris Lazarini Analyzes Application of Twombly in Retaliatory Discharge Case

Bass, Berry & Sims attorney Chris Lazarini analyzed a case in which the plaintiff claimed he was wrongfully terminated from employment at Morgan Stanley after the company discovered he reported alleged illegal activities to...more

Compliance into the Weeds-Episode 30-SOX 404(b) [Video]

In this episode Matt Kelly and myself take a deep dive into SOX 404(b), what it requires and how companies comply with the reporting requirements set out in this statute. We consider the recent announcements from Congressman...more

SEC Whistleblower Program May Be Facing Congressional Cutback

According to a memo circulating amongst Republican-party leaders as of February 13th, Republicans in the House of Representatives are planning to propose a significant curtailment of the U.S. Securities and Exchange...more

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

General Counsel Permitted to Use Attorney-Client Privileged Information in Whistleblower Retaliation Case

In a recent case, Wadler v. Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. case number 3:15-cv-02356 (2016), the federal court in the Northern District of California ruled that the plaintiff and former general counsel of Bio-Rad Laboratories...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

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Cybersecurity

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