Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblowers

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

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

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 — 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

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

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

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

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

Whistleblower General Counsel Prevails Through Use Of Attorney-Client Privileged Information

In a seminal trial court decision, the federal court in the Northern District of California ruled in a whistleblower retaliation case that a fired general counsel of Bio-Rad Laboratories could use as evidence otherwise...more

Will In-House Attorneys Reach for their Whistles?

The news is full of stories about whistleblowers collecting millions from their former employers. Surely at least a few in-house lawyers fantasize about that kind of payday. After all, who knows better than an in-house...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

Federal Whistleblower Laws Collide With The Attorney-Client Privilege: The Bio-Rad Case Study

Seyfarth Synopsis: Federal whistleblower laws collide with the in-house attorney-client privilege. The trial round goes to the whistleblower. The expected appellate round has still not been fought. In a February 7,...more

Ex-GC Awarded $8 Million For Retaliatory Firing

A California federal jury awarded Sanford Wadler, former General Counsel of Bio-Rad Laboratories, $8 million for his claims against his former employer under the whistleblower provisions of Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) and the...more

Proskauer To Present On Whistleblower Developments At ABA Midwinter Meeting

On February 24, 2017 at 10:30 am, Proskauer Partner Connie Bertram will speak on “Whistleblower Provisions of Sarbanes Oxley” at the American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law’s Federal Labor Standards...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

Despite Privilege, GC May Pursue Whistleblower Retaliation Suit under SOX and Dodd–Frank

California’s USDC–ND ruled that Bio-Rad Laboratories’ former General Counsel may use privileged communications to prove his retaliatory-discharge case prosecuted under Sarbanes–Oxley and Dodd–Frank’s whistleblower...more

Former CFO Awarded $1.9 Million In SOX Case

An ALJ at the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently ruled that a former CFO was entitled to approximately $1.9 million in back pay, front pay, and compensatory damages, concluding that he was retaliated against in violation...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

Emerging Trends Newsletter - Q3

We are thrilled to bring you the third installment of Stinson Leonard Street's Emerging Trends newsletter. We are proud of the depth and breadth of experience and knowledge across our firm's 13 offices nationwide and are...more

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