News & Analysis as of

U.S. Supreme Court Passes On Opportunity To Address Scope of Dodd-Frank “Whistleblower” Provision

On Monday, March 20, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a Petition for Writ of Certiorari in Verble v. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, LLC. (No. 16-946), thereby declining an opportunity to resolve a conflict amongst circuit...more

SEC Charges More Public Companies for Confidentiality Agreements That Might Deter Whistleblowers

In the past two years, the SEC has charged six public companies with violating SEC Rule 21F-17, which prohibits confidentiality agreements that could impede employees from making whistleblower claims directly to the SEC....more

"Key Takeaways: Lessons Learned From Tax-Related Whistleblower Litigation and Shareholder Actions"

On March 8, 2017, Skadden hosted a webinar titled “Lessons Learned From Tax-Related Whistleblower Litigation and Shareholder Actions.” The Skadden panelists were tax partners Nathaniel Carden and Armando Gomez, and litigation...more

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

Circuit Split Over Protection Afforded By Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Provision Widens

In Somers v. Digital Realty Trust, 15-17352 (9th Cir. March 8, 2017), a split Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals widened an existing circuit court split by ruling that Section 21F of the Dodd-Frank Act (“DFA”) protects...more

Ninth Circuit Joins Second Circuit in Adopting Broad Definition of “Whistleblower” Under The Dodd-Frank Act

A divided panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently ruled in Somers v. Digital Realty Trust Inc. that the Dodd-Frank Act’s definition of “whistleblower” includes not only those who disclose information...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

SEC Claws Back Award for Dawdling Whistleblower, as Feds Signal Changes in Award Eligibility

Seyfarth Synopsis: Last week, the Securities and Exchange Commission released an Order Determining Whistleblower Award Claim holding that the whistleblower’s award should be reduced to 20% of the monetary sanctions collected...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

Why You Shouldn’t Relax on Pretaliation—Even if Policymakers Do

About two years ago, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) made history when it brought the first “pretaliation” whistleblower enforcement action against KBR Inc., a technology and engineering firm in Houston. The...more

Your Daily Dose of Financial News

The SEC is set to decide this week whether to okay a new ETF that could provide investors easier access to bitcoin, a potentially transformative move for the virtual currency....more

Private Equity and the New Trump Administration: Your Top Ten Questions Answered

The election of President Trump contained more than a few positive signs for Private Equity (PE) firms. Promises of a lower corporate tax environment, a ten-percent tax holiday for funds parked overseas, large infrastructure...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

Your Daily Dose of Financial News

It may lack some of the flourish of a BBG missive, but you can be sure that plenty of insiders are paying close attention to Mr. Buffet’s annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders....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

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

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Cybersecurity

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