Corporate Whistleblowing

Corporate Whistleblowing

The Law Offices of Kevin J. Dolley represents clients in connection with allegations or reporting of corporate fraud and wrongdoing. Such matters may have serious implications for companies, employees and shareholders, especially if not handled appropriately. Our Firm has successfully navigated and resolved cases involving claims of substantial fraud or misconduct in securities transactions and other financial reporting. A variety of different laws and procedural rules apply to these types of cases, so it is critical to have knowledgeable counsel to protect your rights and interests.

Sarbanes-Oxley Act and Dodd-Frank Act

Several federal laws—such as the Securities Act of 1933 (“Securities Act”), the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Exchange Act”), Sarbanes-Oxley Act (“SOX”) and Dodd-Frank Act—impose a variety of requirements related to corporate affairs, accounting practices, and the handling of securities. While all these laws generally address corporate affairs and practices, they are distinct in their origins and focus. The Securities Act and Exchange Act were landmark legislation that established the laws and rules applicable to issuers and traders of securities in the United States. Congress passed SOX in 2002 in the aftermath of the Enron scandal in order to strengthen rules regarding the accuracy of corporate financial reports. Eight years later, Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Act in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis in order to strengthen regulations on banks in relation to risk taking and lending practices.

In addition to the protections against fraud created by the Securities Act and Exchange Act, both SOX and the Dodd-Frank Act contain whistleblowing and anti-relation protections for individuals reporting corporate fraud in many forms, including but not limited to bank fraud, wire fraud, mail fraud, and securities violations. But these two statutes differ in many material ways in terms of the nature and extent of protections they provide for whistleblowers, from the scope of their coverage, to their statute of limitations, to their pre-requisites for filing a lawsuit, to the remedies available, among other things.

Other federal laws have had significant impact on cases involving allegations of corporate fraud. For example, in 1995, Congress passed the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act (“PSLRA”), which effectuated substantive changes to cases brought under federal securities laws at all stages of the legal process, from pleading, to discovery, to liability, to available remedies. And, in 1998, Congress passed the Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act (“SLUSA”) to prevent plaintiffs from bringing their corporate fraud claims in state courts to avoid the heightened requirements of the PSLRA. While these two laws primarily focus on securities actions, as opposed to whistleblowing claims, some have argued the spirit of the laws—like the heightened standard for specifically identifying and alleging fraud—should be weighed and considered in whistleblower actions, especially where the alleged whistleblowing is vague or general in nature. Given the wide variety of federal laws and rules potentially applicable to cases involving allegations of corporate fraud, hiring legal counsel is the first step to take to understand what laws, rights, obligations, and liabilities your situation may entail or implicate.

Contact Us

If you have a situation involving concerns, complaints, reporting, or allegations of any type of corporate fraud, contact attorney Kevin J. Dolley at (314) 645-4100 or by email at kevin@dolleylaw.com. All legal consultations are held strictly confidential.

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