Alexis Ronickher and Matthew LaGarde Author Article on SCOTUS Review of Dodd-Frank Protections

June 28, 2017

Katz Banks Kumin partner Alexis Ronickher and associate Matthew LaGarde wrote an article for Law360’s “Expert Analysis” section titled “The Stakes in High Court’s Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Case.” The article provides background and analysis on the case of Digital Realty Trust Inc. v. Somers, for which the Supreme Court granted certiorari on June 26, 2017, to resolve whether the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (Dodd-Frank) protects whistleblowers who have not reported alleged misconduct to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The High Court’s decision in the matter will resolve an ongoing split among the circuit courts. This split first arose when the Second Circuit held that Dodd-Frank’s anti-retaliation protections covered whistleblowers who only reported internally, while, prior to that, the Fifth Circuit had held that Dodd-Frank did not protect such whistleblowers.

In addition to providing direct commentary and background information on Digital Realty Trust Inc. v. Somers, the article provides a thorough history of the issue in question regarding the application of Dodd-Frank’s whistleblower protections. It also warns that although a “win” for employers appears likely in this case, it may be a Pyrrhic victory: “While Dodd-Frank coverage may increase liability with regard to employment claims, publicly traded companies face far more significant exposure if their employees feel compelled to report all misconduct directly to the SEC without first alerting the companies, precluding the companies’ ability to independently stop any misconduct immediately and self-report if necessary.”

To read the full article, click here (subscription required).

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