On September 14, 2016, the New York City Bar Association presented a Continuing Legal Education (CLE) program on the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program.
The Dodd-Frank Act ushered in a new era of whistleblower claims, protections, and complications for whistleblowers and companies alike. While the SEC has rejected the vast majority of whistleblower claims, it has awarded more than $85 million to 32 whistleblowers in less than five years, including one award for $30 million and another for $17 million.
This program addressed key developments in the Dodd-Frank whistleblower program, with an emphasis on the following issues:
- The SEC’s position on confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements, and its implications for internal investigations
- The impact of a whistleblower’s own involvement in the alleged wrongdoing
- Whistleblowers’ potential civil and criminal exposure for computer crimes, theft of trade secrets, and breach of non-disclosure agreements
- The unresolved split between the 2nd and 5th Circuits on reporting to the SEC as a prerequisite to a whistleblower retaliation claim
The speakers included practitioners with experience representing whistleblowers, defendants, and the government.
- Ira “Ike” Sorkin is a partner at Mintz & Gold P.C. He focuses his practice on white-collar criminal defense, SEC enforcement and other regulatory investigations and proceedings, internal investigations, corporate governance, FINRA defense, and civil litigation. Mr. Sorkin served in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New York (Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division), at the Securities & Exchange Commission (Director of the SEC’s New York office) and as the Chief Legal Officer of a member firm of the New York Stock Exchange (Nomura Holding America, Inc., and Nomura Securities International, Inc.).
- John Howley is the managing partner of The Howley Law Firm P.C., where he represents clients in whistleblower, healthcare fraud, and employment cases. He has more than 25 years of experience as a trial and appellate lawyer, including arguing in the U.S. Supreme Court.
- John Vagelatos is the Chief of Affirmative Civil Enforcement in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.
This program was intended for securities, employment and criminal defense lawyers, in-house counsel, and human resources personnel.