Litigation & Dispute Resolution

Recent Changes to Whistleblower Protections under Dodd-Frank

Recent cases have triggered a growing discussion about the whistleblower protections under the Dodd-Frank Act. Most believe that the regulations under Dodd-Frank are here to stay (at least another four years) now that President Obama has been reelected. With new regulations comes new judicial interpretations of the regulations. These judicial interpretations often broaden or narrow the scope of the regulation and can have profound impacts depending on the nature of the interpretation. In today’s post, we’ve highlighted the general characteristics of the two major whistleblower protections under Dodd-Frank and how recent cases have expanded these protections.

The Bounty Program Under Dodd-Frank, whistleblower’s can receive cash for sharing information with the SEC or Commodity Futures Trading Commission concerning any misconduct that falls under...

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Litigation & Dispute Resolution

Federal Class-Action Securities Lawsuits Slow Down in 2012

The stock market improved in 2012 and the demand for federal shareholder lawsuits slowed down. Coincidence? I think not. The better the market is performing, the happier shareholders will be.

A new study by Cornerstone Research reports that 152 federal class-action securities lawsuits were filed in 2012. This number of cases is well below the average of 193 suits in the prior 15 years, and significantly less than the 188 cases in 2011. According to the study, the drop in lawsuits was consistent across a broad spectrum of legal areas. For example, merger-related lawsuits fell by nearly 33 percent in 2012 from 2011.

Another interesting fact is that filings against Chinese companies that pursued stock listings in the U.S. fell to 10...

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Business Startup

iVLG News Roundup Week 43: Whistleblower Wins, Google Venture, Dodd Frank, etc.

Regional News

Whistleblower Receives Multi-Million Dollar Settlement The former CFO of Seattle-based biopharmaceutical company Omeros Corp., Richard Klein, received nearly $4 million in settlement to resolve a wrongful termination and whistleblower lawsuit. According to Klein’s attorney, the former CFO alleged that Omeros falsified timekeeping records on a National Institute of Health research grant. Klein alerted Omeros’ audit committee and was subsequently fired from Omeros.

Omeros denies any wrongdoing, and stated its reason for settling as, “given a ruling by the court that deprived Omeros of evidence that Omeros would have offered at trial, the inherent uncertainty in a jury trial that could have resulted in an award to Mr. Klein that significantly exceeded the limits of Omeros’ insurance policy…the overall costs of a...

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Corporate Finance & Securities

SEC Hands Out Hefty Reward to Whistle-Blower

The Securities and Exchange Commission reported Tuesday that it handed out the first reward to a whistle-blower who helped federal securities regulators shut down an investment fraud. Under the SEC’s new whistle-blower reward program, the commission cannot disclose any information about the firm involved, including the information that the whistle-blower provided, but it did disclose that the case has led to more than $1 million in sanctions.

The new reward program was created as a part of the Dodd-Frank overhaul of the financial industry. The $50,000 payout—which is roughly 30 percent of the amount collected in the enforcement action—to the whistle-blower is the maximum reward under the new program. However, as the sanctions increase and more money is collected, the payout...

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