Category Archives: Dodd Frank

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S.D.N.Y. Dismisses SOX and Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Claims For Lack Of Protected Activity

On June 22, 2016, Judge Daniels of the Southern District of New York dismissed SOX and Dodd-Frank whistleblower claims, ruling that Plaintiff’s alleged internal complaints did not constitute protected activity, as they did not implicate securities laws, mail fraud, or wire fraud.  Diaz v. Transatlantic Reinsurance Co., No. 16-cv-1355.… Continue Reading

No Bounty For Purported Whistleblower Tipster

On May 31, 2016, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) issued an order upholding the SEC Claims Review Staff’s (“CRS”) Preliminary Determination denying a claim for a whistleblower award in connection with the enforcement action SEC v. CVS Caremark Corp.  Notice of Covered Action 2014-48 (“Covered Action”).  This order provides insight into a whistleblower … Continue Reading

CFTC Issues Record-High Whistleblower Bounty Award

On April 4, 2016, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) issued its third and largest award, of more than $10 million, as part of its Dodd-Frank whistleblower program.  As was the case with the CFTC’s two previous awards of $240,000 and $290,000—announced in May 2014 and September 2015, respectively—the Agency did not provide details … Continue Reading

E.D. Kentucky Dismisses SOX and Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Counter-Claims

On March 17, 2016, the Eastern District of Kentucky dismissed whistleblower counter-claims against Allstate Insurance Company (“Company”), ruling that Defendant Kevin Keefe’s (“Plaintiff”) SOX claim was untimely and that his Dodd-Frank claim failed to allege a causal connection between the alleged whistleblowing and any alleged adverse employment action.  Allstate Ins. Co. v. Zeefe, No. 15-159.… Continue Reading

SEC Awards Nearly $2M in Whistleblower Bounties

On March 8, 2016, the SEC announced payment of nearly $2,000,000 in whistleblower bounty awards to three tipsters.  (The order granting the award can be accessed here.)  The largest of the three awards, approximately $1,800,000, went to a whistleblower who provided original information that prompted the SEC to open an investigation.  The other two whistleblowers … Continue Reading

SEC Awards Whistleblower More Than $700,000

On January 15, 2016, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of the Whistleblower (“OWB”) announced the award of more than $700,000 to a “company outsider who conducted a detailed analysis that led to a successful SEC enforcement action.”  This award is significant because the whistleblower provided independent analysis to the SEC, rather than inside information … Continue Reading

S.D.N.Y Dismisses Former Employee’s SOX and Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Claims

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York recently granted a motion for summary judgment dismissing a plaintiff’s SOX and Dodd-Frank whistleblower claims. The court ruled that the plaintiff failed to establish retaliation because:  (1) almost all of the plaintiff’s alleged protected activity did not allege shareholder fraud and therefore failed; and (2) the … Continue Reading

Tennessee District Court Limits Scope of Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Claim

The Eastern District of Tennessee recently dismissed whistleblower claims, finding that the Plaintiff was not entitled to protection under Sarbanes-Oxley, Dodd-Frank, or the False Claims Act (“FCA”).  Verble v. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC et al., 3:15-cv-00074 (E.D. Tenn. Dec. 8, 2015).  The court’s decision illustrates the sharp divide amongst courts regarding the scope of … Continue Reading

N.D. Cal.: Internal Whistleblowers Are Protected and May Sue Individual Directors

On October 23, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California largely denied a motion to dismiss a whistleblower retaliation claim brought by a company’s former general counsel, ruling that:  (I) the SOX and Dodd-Frank anti-retaliation provisions provide for individual liability against board members; and (ii) the Dodd-Frank anti-retaliation provision protects internal … Continue Reading

CFTC Issues Second Whistleblower Award To The Tune Of $290,000

On September 29, 2015, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced that it will make its second award as part of its whistleblower program, which was created by Dodd-Frank.  The tipster will receive a bounty of approximately $290,000.  Notably absent from  the CFTC’s press release regarding the award were any details about the whistleblower … Continue Reading

California District Court Follows Asadi, Dismisses Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Claim

On September 8, 2015, the United States District Court for the Central District of California dismissed a whistleblower retaliation claim, ruling that Dodd-Frank’s anti-retaliation provision only protects whistleblowers who provide information to the SEC.  The court’s decision (which was issued two days before the Second Circuit’s decision in Berman v. Neo@Ogilvy) demonstrates that courts continue … Continue Reading

Second Circuit: Dodd-Frank Protects Internal Whistleblowers

Today, the Second Circuit issued its highly anticipated decision in Berman v. Neo@Ogilvy, ruling (in a 2-1 decision) that Dodd-Frank’s whistleblower protection provision applies to internal complaints (i.e., complaints that are made by employees within the company and not to the SEC).  This creates a circuit split; it is directly at odds with the Fifth … Continue Reading

New Jersey District Court: Dodd-Frank Protects Internal Whistleblower

Further reflecting the divide amongst courts regarding the definition of “whistleblower” under the Dodd-Frank Act, the District Court of New Jersey recently held that an employee who internally reports an alleged securities law violation is subject to the statute’s anti-retaliation protections.  Dressler v. Lime Energy, No. 3:14-cv-07060, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 106532 (D.N.J. Aug. 13, … Continue Reading

Cal. Court Limits Protected Activity Under Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Provision

In Nazif v. Computer Sciences Corporation, No. 13-cv-5498 (N.D. Cal. June 17, 2015), the Northern District of California granted Defendant Computer Sciences Corp. (Company) summary judgment on Plaintiff Nazif’s Dodd-Frank whistleblower retaliation claim, concluding there was no evidence that his purported belief that the Company violated securities laws was objectively reasonable under Section 806 of … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Entertains Argument on Scope of Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Provision

The Second Circuit recently entertained oral argument in Berman v. Neo@Ogilvy, focusing on whether the Dodd-Frank whistleblower protection provision covers individuals who only complain internally about alleged securities law violations rather than reaching out to the SEC.  We previously posted on the Southern District of New York’s December 5, 2014 ruling in this matter that … Continue Reading

CFTC Whistleblower Awards On The Horizon

In a recent interview with Law360 (subscription required), Chris Ehrman, the Director of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Whistleblower Office, predicted that the number and size of the CFTC’s whistleblower awards will increase in the near future.   Ehrman also said that the agency will conduct “straight marketing” to ensure that potential whistleblowers are aware … Continue Reading

Proskauer Participates With Head of SEC Whistleblower Program in 4/22/15 Webinar

Proskauer Partner Connie N. Bertram, co-head of the Whistleblowing & Retaliation Practice, participated in a webinar last week with Sean McKessy, Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower. The webinar, sponsored by the American Bar Association, was entitled “New Developments in Whistleblower Claims and the SEC.” The participants discussed the Supreme Court’s recent decision … Continue Reading

SEC’s Limit on Retroactivity of Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Bounty Awards Is Reasonable, Second Circuit Holds

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals recently deferred to the SEC’s determination that a tipster who provided information to the Commission before July 21, 2010, the effective date of the Dodd-Frank Act, is not eligible to receive a whistleblower bounty payment.   Stryker v. SEC, Case No. 13-4404-ag (2d Cir. Mar. 11, 2015).… Continue Reading

Another SEC Whistleblower Amicus Brief On Whether Dodd-Frank Covers Internal Complaints

On February 6, the SEC filed its third amicus brief defending its interpretive rule on Dodd-Frank’s anti-retaliation provision, 15 U.S.C. §78u-6(h)(1).  The impetus is a ruling out of the Southern District of New York in Berman v. Neo@Ogilvy, No. 14-cv-523, which follows the Fifth Circuit Asadi decision concluding that the Dodd-Frank anti-retaliation provision does not … Continue Reading
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