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With the passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in 2002 and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in 2010, the legal landscape has shifted dramatically to encourage and protect employees who come forward to “blow the whistle” on fraud and related corporate wrongdoing. Not only do both statutes contain protection for employees against retaliation, but Dodd-Frank also authorized the SEC to provide monetary awards of between 10% and 30% to eligible individuals who voluntarily come forward with original information that leads to an enforcement action in which over one million dollars in sanctions is recovered. These whistleblower programs have created substantial financial incentives for potential whistleblowers and significant compliance challenges for covered employers.
Join Jason Pickholz, Founder of The Pickholz Law Offices LLC and one of the very few lawyers to have successfully won an SEC Whistleblower Award for a client, and John F. Fullerton III, a member of the firm at Epstein Becker & Green, P.C., who advises financial institutions and other corporate employers on employment and whistleblower related matters, as they offer their unique perspectives on the pros and cons of these whistleblower programs and the key issues faced by employees and employers in this new and growing area of whistleblower law.
I. Understand the federal securities whistleblower programs and retaliation protections
II. Recognize the benefits and pitfalls that both employers and employees face under these statutes
III. Evaluate the “best practices” for utilizing and complying with these rights and obligations
IV. Identify practical considerations for representing an SEC whistleblower client before the Commission, and for representing a company in responding to a whistleblower complaint
Jason Pickholz was one of the first attorneys to win an SEC whistleblower award for a client, and the first lawyer ever to win an award for a client on appeal to the Commission. This was the first time that the Commission overruled an adverse Preliminary Determination by its Claims Review Staff. Inside Counsel Magazine named this as one of the “Five milestones in the Dodd-Frank whistleblower reward program”. It is still one of only two times that the Commission has overruled an award denial by its Claims Review Staff in the eight-year history of the SEC whistleblower program.
Mr. Pickholz is a co-author of the two-volume book Securities Crimes, published by Thomson Reuters, and is the sole author of the book’s 115-page chapter on the SEC whistleblower program. He is also the creator of www.secwhistleblowerinformation.com, a free on-line encyclopedia for SEC whistleblowers and SEC whistleblower lawyers.
Mr. Pickholz has appeared on Fox Business News, BBC News, and Bloomberg Radio. He has been quoted by the print media numerous times, spoken on many panels and programs, and written several articles for the New York Law Journal, Securities Regulation Law Journal, Journal of Financial Crime (Cambridge University, England), Law 360, and various other publications.
In recognition of Mr. Pickholz’s achievements, he was elected by his peers to be a Fellow of The New York Bar Foundation, an honor that is granted to just 1% of the 74,000 lawyers in the New York State Bar Association.
Mr. Pickholz’s SEC whistleblower clients have included employees, officers, directors, and others in cases involving broker-dealers, investment advisors, financial institutions, and public companies listed in the Fortune Top 10, Top 20, Top 50, Top 100, Top 500, and the Forbes Global 2000.
In addition to SEC whistleblowers, Mr. Pickholz has represented clients in investigations conducted by the SEC, U.S. Attorney’s offices, the U.S. Department of Justice, state authorities including the Manhattan District Attorney’s office and the New York Attorney General’s office, FINRA and other self-regulatory organizations, FinCen (the U.S. Treasury Department), the Internal Revenue Service, the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Among his other notable cases, Mr. Pickholz was counsel in the first anti-money laundering case brought by FinCen and the NYSE together against an NYSE member firm, was counsel in the first disciplinary case brought by FINRA, and was counsel in two cases that Crain’s New York Business referred to as among the largest stock fraud cases of the early 21st century involving New York-based companies.
JOHN F. FULLERTON III is a Member of the Firm in the Labor and Employment practice, in the New York office of Epstein Becker Green. He has substantial experience serving clients in the financial, health care, sports, real estate, and building service industries.
Since 2004, Mr. Fullerton has been an adjunct professor of law at Pace University School of Law, where he has taught classes in labor law and advanced appellate advocacy and served for nine years as the faculty advisor to the law school's National Moot Court team. A frequent lecturer, Mr. Fullerton has authored numerous articles on labor and employment topics for various publications, including The National Law Journal, The New York Law Journal, The Labor Lawyer, Employment Law360, Real Estate Weekly, Corporate Counsel, and Dispute Resolution Journal. He has also authored the book Employment Separation Agreements Line by Line: A Detailed Look at Employment Separation Agreements and How to Change Them to Meet Your Clients' Needs, published by Thomson West in 2011. He edits and contributes to the Financial Services Employment Law Blog and serves as coeditor of the firm's Act Now Advisories.
Mr. Fullerton is a graduate of Brown University and New York University School of Law, where he was editor-in-chief of the Moot Court Casebook and a recipient of the New York Council of Defense Lawyers' Norman Ostrow Scholarship. Following graduation, he clerked for the Hon. Allyne R. Ross of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.
Mr. Fullerton has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America (2007 to 2014) and New York Super Lawyers - Metro Edition (2007 to 2013). He is described as an "expert in labor union law" in the 2006 edition of Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business.
Supreme Court of the United States
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
J.D., New York University School of Law, 1994
B.A., Brown University, magna cum laude, 1988
presenters were excellent
really interesting topic!
anexcellent learning program for me.
Eye-opening and insightful.
The presentation was overall very good.
Fun and informative. Great rapport between the two speakers made this program easier to follow and pay attention to.
Very well done..
Good to have two points of view and it kept the program more lively
Very timely topic for me.