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Whistleblower Watch: Big Issues in the Latest Whistleblower Cases Under Dodd-Frank, Sarbanes-Oxley, and the Internal Revenue Code

Whistleblower Watch: Big Issues in the Latest Whistleblower Cases Under Dodd-Frank, Sarbanes-Oxley, and the Internal Revenue Code
Product Code - LGA217
Speaker(s): Jason M. Knott, Zuckerman Spaeder LLP; Ellen D. Marcus, Zuckerman Spaeder LLP
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The Dodd-Frank and Sarbanes-Oxley Acts protect from retaliation whistleblowers who report violations of those laws to the government and other authorities. Other federal laws, including provisions in the Internal Revenue Code, offer bounties to whistleblowers but do not have express anti-retaliation provisions. The faculty presenting this program will address the key elements of these whistleblower laws and anti-retaliation provisions, including the types of businesses and conduct that can be targeted by whistleblowers, who qualifies as a whistleblower, the procedures that a whistleblower must follow to pursue and preserve a claim, how a whistleblower can prove that his or her whistleblowing caused some retaliatory act and the bounties available to successful whistleblowers. The faculty will also describe the issues that most commonly arise in cases where whistleblowers prevail and in cases where they do not.

Discover the most pressing issues under these laws that are being debated in the courts and that have produced conflicting court precedent—including the conflicting decisions about whether Sarbanes-Oxley’s whistleblower provision covers employees of privately-held companies, such as investment advisers—an issue that is currently before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Educational Objectives

• Gain a basic understanding of the whistleblower protections set forth by the Dodd-Frank and Sarbanes-Oxley Acts and the bounty provisions in Dodd-Frank and the Internal Revenue Code.
• Learn about the preeminent Dodd-Frank and Sarbanes-Oxley issues that are at this moment being hotly debated in the courts.
• Find out about the impact that an upcoming Supreme Court ruling could have on Sarbanes-Oxley claims when paired with other recent rulings that have expanded the statute.

Who would benefit most from attending this program?

Financial professionals, in-house counsel, labor and employment attorneys, human resource professionals.

Program Level: Intermediate

Credit Available: CLE. For additional information, please see the “CLE Credit” tab.

Jason M. Knott, Zuckerman Spaeder LLP; Ellen D. Marcus, Zuckerman Spaeder LLP

Jason M. Knott, Zuckerman Spaeder LLP
Jason Knott is a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Zuckerman Spaeder LLP. He focuses his practice on civil litigation, white-collar criminal matters, and Congressional investigations.

Mr. Knott has represented companies and individuals in a broad range of civil disputes involving contracts, shareholder rights, employment, insurance, patents, and judgment collections. In two recent trials, his clients, high-level executives, obtained million-dollar jury verdicts for breach of contract against their employers. Mr. Knott also was part of the Zuckerman Spaeder team that obtained a settlement in excess of $40 million in a class action alleging fraud by a limited-benefits health insurer, after the Arkansas Supreme Court affirmed class certification.

Mr. Knott is a co-founder and contributing editor of the firm’s blog, Suits by Suits, which discusses legal issues that arise between companies and their executives, including whistleblower claims, noncompete agreements, and contract disputes.

Mr. Knott earned a J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School and a B.A. with distinction from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was a Morehead Scholar. He is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia; the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit; the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit; the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia; and the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado.

Ellen D. Marcus, Zuckerman Spaeder LLP
Ellen Marcus represents both plaintiffs and defendants in complex civil litigation, including in the fast-paced U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia and in federal and state courts throughout Virginia. Ms. Marcus has a track record of bringing cases to successful and cost-effective resolution for clients, often in matters where clients face better-funded adversaries. This includes CEOs and CFOs disputing the amount of severance paid them by their former employers, small business owners accused by larger competitors of tortiously interfering with contracts, lawyers defending against disciplinary charges, and consumers who were the victims of fraud.

Ms. Marcus also maintains an active pro bono practice representing hourly-wage workers. For her work on behalf of day laborers, Ms. Marcus was awarded the 2008 Pro Bono Service Award from the Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland.

Ms. Marcus co-founded and is a contributing editor of Suits by Suits, a blog examining disputes between companies and high-level employees, including recent court cases involving employment contracts, severance and non-compete agreements, trade secrets, stock plans, the fiduciary duties of directors and officers, and federal and state labor and nondiscrimination laws.

Before joining Zuckerman Spaeder LLP, Ms. Marcus was an associate with Debevoise & Plimpton in Washington, D.C. Before that, she clerked for the Hon. Leonie M. Brinkema of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.
Ms. Marcus earned a J.D. from the Columbia School of Law, where she was a senior editor for the Columbia Law Review and a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar, and a B.A. in political science, magna cum laude, from Amherst College.

This program’s CLE-credit eligibility varies by state. Bloomberg BNA is an accredited provider in the states of New York*, California, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia, and most other jurisdictions grant CLE credit on a per-program basis. At this time, Bloomberg BNA does not apply directly to the states of Florida, Rhode Island, Montana and Hawaii although credit is usually available for attorneys who wish to apply individually. Additionally, the following states currently do not grant credit for Bloomberg BNA OnDemand programming: Arkansas, Ohio, Nebraska, and Delaware. All requests are subject to approval once the live webinar has taken place or the customer has viewed the OnDemand version. Please contact the Bloomberg BNA accreditations desk if you have specific questions that have not been addressed.

If you have further questions regarding a specific state or how to file for CLE credit, please contact Bloomberg BNA customer service at 800-372-1033 and ask to speak to the CLE Accreditation Coordinator.

Hardship Policy
For information regarding Bloomberg BNA’s Hardship Policy, please visit the Continuing Education Information page.

For more information about Mandatory or Minimum Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) requirements, visit the American Bar Association website at

*Bloomberg BNA is an accredited provider in New York for experienced attorneys only.