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Conflicted Counselors: Retaliation Protections For Attorney-Whistleblowers In An Inconsistent Regulatory Regime, Jennifer M. Pacella Aug 2015

Conflicted Counselors: Retaliation Protections For Attorney-Whistleblowers In An Inconsistent Regulatory Regime, Jennifer M. Pacella

Jennifer M. Pacella, Esq.

Attorneys, especially in-house counsel, are subject to retaliation by employers in much the same way as traditional whistleblowers, often experiencing retaliation and loss of livelihood for reporting instances of wrongdoing about their clients. Although attorney-whistleblowing undoubtedly invokes ethical concerns, attorneys who “appear and practice” before the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) are required by federal law to act as internal whistleblowers under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (“SOX”) and report evidence of material violations of the law within the organizations that they represent. An attorney’s failure to comply with these obligations will result in SEC-imposed civil penalties and disciplinary action. Recent ...


Bounties For Bad Behavior: Rewarding Culpable Whistleblowers Under The Dodd-Frank Act And Internal Revenue Code, Jennifer M. Pacella Feb 2014

Bounties For Bad Behavior: Rewarding Culpable Whistleblowers Under The Dodd-Frank Act And Internal Revenue Code, Jennifer M. Pacella

Jennifer M. Pacella, Esq.

In 2012, Bradley Birkenfeld received a $104 million reward or “bounty” from the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) for blowing the whistle on his employer, UBS, which facilitated a major offshore tax fraud scheme by assisting thousands of U.S. taxpayers to hide their assets in Switzerland. Birkenfeld does not fit the mold of the public’s common perception of a whistleblower. He was himself complicit in this crime and even served time in prison for his involvement. Despite his conviction, Birkenfeld was still eligible for a sizable whistleblower bounty under the IRS Whistleblower Program, which allows rewards for whistleblowers who ...