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Corporate Whistleblowing in 2018


Speaker(s): Arian M. June, Christopher Ehrman, Eugene Scalia, Jane A. Norberg, Jason Zuckerman, Jordan A. Thomas, Matthew S. Stiff, Michael Delikat, Sarah E. Bouchard, Sean X. McKessy, Steven J. Pearlman, Teri M. Wigger
Recorded on: Jun. 26, 2018
PLI Program #: 221201

Arian M. June is a litigation counsel based in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office and is a member of the White Collar & Regulatory Defense Group. Ms. June’s practice focuses on securities enforcement defense, internal investigations, state attorneys general inquiries and white collar criminal defense. She has represented financial institutions, publicly traded companies, investment advisers and senior executives in complex regulatory matters, including allegations of securities fraud, insider trading, accounting and corporate disclosure issues, violations of the Bank Secrecy Act, cyber-intrusions and mortgage fraud. Ms. June also advises clients on various facets of the Dodd-Frank Act, with particular emphasis in designing corporate policies and procedures to comply with the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower regulations, investigating corporate whistleblower reports and mitigating whistleblower-related risks.  

Ms. June speaks and writes frequently on topics of importance to her practice area. She has authored or co-authored articles for publications such as Bloomberg BNA Securities Regulation & Law Report, Bloomberg BNA World Securities Law Report, Law360, Journal of Investment Compliance and The Hill. Ms. June is Co-Editor-In-Chief of the firm’s Accounting & Financial Reporting Enforcement Round-Up.

Ms. June is currently serving in a variety of professional leadership roles, including as a Board Member of the District of Columbia Bar Board of Governors, a member of the Board of Trustees for the Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs and Vice Chair for the Federal Regulation of Securities Committee of the American Bar Association Business Law Section.

Ms. June joined Debevoise in 2017. She was previously a counsel at an international Washington, D.C.-based firm. She received her J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she served as a Senior Editor of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review. She earned a B.A. cum laude at the University of Maryland. Between 2007 and 2008, Ms. June served as a law clerk to Chief Judge Royce C. Lamberth, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.


Christopher Ehrman is the Director of the Whistleblower Office at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.  Section 748 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act established a whistleblower program under which the CFTC will pay awards, based on collected monetary sanctions, to eligible whistleblowers who voluntarily provide original information about violations of the Commodity Exchange Act that lead either to a “covered judicial or administrative action” or a “related action.”

Mr. Ehrman formerly served as an Assistant Director in the Office of Market Intelligence at the Securities and Exchange Commission. In that role, he oversaw the processing, review and assignment of all tips, complaints and referrals received by the SEC.  Mr. Ehrman also formerly served as the Co-National Coordinator for the Microcap Fraud Working Group, a cross-divisional specialized group charged with creating novel ways to detect, disrupt and prosecute fraud relating to securities quoted on the OTC Market.  Prior to joining OMI, Mr. Ehrman worked in a variety of other roles within the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, including Branch Chief, Senior Counsel, and Staff Attorney.

Mr. Ehrman is a graduate of Miami University and the University of Kentucky College of Law.


Eugene Scalia is a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Gibson Dunn.  He is Co-Chair of the Firm’s Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice Group and a member of its Labor and Employment Practice Group, which he co-chaired for twelve years. 

Mr. Scalia has a national practice handling a broad range of labor, employment, appellate, and regulatory matters.  He previously served as Solicitor of the U.S. Department of Labor, the Department’s principal legal officer with responsibility for all Labor Department litigation and legal advice on rulemakings.  His success bringing legal challenges to federal agency actions has been widely reported in the legal and popular press. 

In private practice, representative employment matters include:

  • Chamber of Commerce of the U.S.A. v. Dep’t of Labor, 885 F.3d 360 (5th Cir. 2018) – Vacated U.S. Department of Labor’s “fiduciary” rule, among the most controversial regulations ever adopted in the financial services industry.
  • EEOC v. Ford Motor Co., 782 F.3d 753 (6th Cir. 2015) (en banc) – Sixth Circuit decision rejecting EEOC’s position regarding telecommuting as a reasonable accommodation.
  • Hendricks v. UBS Fin. Servs., Inc., 2013 WL 5969888 (5th Cir. 2013) – Favorable Fifth Circuit decisions reversing district court orders that had denied arbitration and had certified ERISA class actions seeking $200 million.
  • NLRB v. The Boeing Company, Case 19-CA-32431 – Represented company in closely-watched case regarding new South Carolina facility.

Mr. Scalia has regularly handled Sarbanes-Oxley “whistleblower” matters since the law’s enactment in 2002, when he played a central role as Labor Solicitor in implementing the Act’s whistleblower provision.  In private practice, his clients have included public companies, audit committees, and officers and directors, including in internal investigations and proceedings before the Department of Labor, administrative law judges, the federal courts, and in arbitration. 

Mr. Scalia’s success challenging federal regulations has been profiled in a Wall Street Journal article titled “Another Scalia Vexes Regulators,” and a BloombergBusinessweek article titled “Suing the Government? Call Scalia.”  He has successfully challenged four different regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission.  The National Law Journal recognized Mr. Scalia as a “Visionary” for his litigation against financial regulatory agencies, and the Nation magazine has called him a “fearsome litigator.”

Mr. Scalia graduated cum laude from the University of Chicago Law School, where he was editor-in-chief of the Law Review.  From 1992-93 he served as Special Assistant to U.S. Attorney General William P. Barr, receiving the Department’s Edmund J. Randolph Award.  He graduated With Distinction from the University of Virginia in 1985 and was a speechwriter for Education Secretary William J. Bennett before attending law school.  He has been a Lecturer in labor and employment law at the University of Chicago Law.


Jordan A. Thomas concentrates his practice on investigating and prosecuting securities fraud on behalf of whistleblowers and institutional clients. As Chair of the Firm's Whistleblower Representation practice, Jordan protects and advocates for whistleblowers throughout the world who have information about possible violations of the federal securities laws. He created, and serves as the editor for, www.secwhistlebloweradvocate.com, a website dedicated to helping responsible organizations establish a culture of integrity and courageous whistleblowers to report possible securities violations-without personal or professional regrets.

A longtime public servant and seasoned trial lawyer, Jordan joined Labaton Sucharow from the Securities and Exchange Commission where he served as an Assistant Director and, previously, as an Assistant Chief Litigation Counsel in the Division of Enforcement. He had a leadership role in the development of the SEC Whistleblower Program, including leading fact-finding visits to other federal agencies with whistleblower programs, drafting the proposed legislation and implementing rules and briefing House and Senate staffs on the proposed legislation. He is also the principal architect and first National Coordinator of the Commission's Cooperation Program, an initiative designed to facilitate and incentivize individuals and companies to self-report securities violations and participate in its investigations and related enforcement actions. In recognition of his important contributions to these national initiatives, while at the SEC, Jordan was a recipient of the Arthur Mathews Award, which recognizes "sustained demonstrated creativity in applying the federal securities laws for the benefit of investors," and, on two occasions, the Law and Policy Award.

Throughout his tenure at the SEC, Jordan was assigned to many of its highest-profile matters such as those involving Enron, Fannie Mae, UBS, and Citigroup. He successfully investigated, litigated and supervised a wide variety of enforcement matters involving violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, issuer accounting fraud and other disclosure violations, audit failures, insider trading, market manipulations, offering frauds, and broker-dealer, investment adviser and investment company violations. His cases resulted in monetary relief for harmed investors in excess of $35 billion.

Prior to joining the Commission, Jordan was a Trial Attorney at the Department of Justice, where he specialized in complex financial services litigation involving the FDIC and Office of Thrift Supervision. He began his legal career as a Navy Judge Advocate on active duty and continues to serve as a senior officer in its Reserve Law Program. Earlier, Jordan worked as a stockbroker.

Jordan is a board member of the City Bar Fund, which oversees the City Bar Justice Center, the pro bono affiliate of the New York City Bar Association. He also serves as the Chair of the Investor Rights Committee of the District of Columbia Bar.

Throughout his career, Jordan has received numerous awards and honors. Most recently, Jordan was named a 2015 Top Thought Leaders in Trust by Trust! Magazine and a 2014 Superstar by Corporate Responsibility Magazine. In 2012, he was named a Legal Rebel by the American Bar Association Journal in recognition of his trailblazing efforts in the legal field. Ethisphere Institute, an internationally recognized think tank, selected Jordan as a Rising Star in its listing of 2012 Attorneys Who Matter, which recognizes leading practitioners in the world of corporate ethics and compliance. While at the SEC, Jordan received four Chairman's Awards, four Division Director's Awards and a Letter of Commendation from the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia. He is also a decorated military officer, who has twice been awarded the Rear Admiral Hugh H. Howell Award of Excellence-the highest award the Navy can bestow upon a reserve judge advocate. Jordan has received an AV Preeminent rating, the highest attorney rating available, from the publishers of the Martindale-Hubbell legal directory.

Jordan is a nationally sought after writer, speaker and media commentator on securities enforcement, corporate ethics, and whistleblower issues.


Mike Delikat, a partner in the New York office, is the founder of the firm’s Whistleblower Task Force.

Chambers Global 2018 Guide lists Mike as one of only nine Band 1 ranked Labor and Employment attorneys in the United States. Under Mike's leadership as the Global Practice Group Leader for over twenty years, Orrick’s Employment Law & Litigation group was named Employment 360 Practice Group of the Year on multiple occasions including for 2018 and has received multiple other awards.             

He represents a broad range of major corporations with a focus on the financial services industry in all facets of labor and employment law. Mike has an active trial, arbitration and appellate practice and handles a number of high-visibility class action and impact cases. He is a leading lawyer representing companies in whistleblower matters and frequently is called on to conduct high level and sensitive internal investigations by boards of directors. He is the co-author of PLI's Corporate Whistleblowing in the Dodd-Frank/Sarbanes Oxley Era, the leading treatise on that subject. He also has an active practice advising companies and Boards of Directors on #Metoo investigations and gender pay equity litigation and strategy responding to shareholder proposals.


Sarah Bouchard helps companies respond to workplace crisis situations.  She litigates highly sensitive and complex harassment, whistleblower, noncompetition, and trade secret matters across the United States. As co-leader of the firm’s whistleblower group, Sarah routinely handles litigation and litigation avoidance related to regulatory issues under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, Dodd-Frank Act, False Claims Act, and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.  She is adept at leading internal investigations related to workplace misconduct, including sexual harassment, advising employers on appropriate responses and remediation measures, and defending companies in employment lawsuits and related matters.

Sarah’s whistleblower experience includes litigating numerous cases before the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), administrative law judges, and federal courts. She defends clients against allegations involving complex regulatory and compliance issues, including value-added tax (VAT) treatment and free trade zone issues; inventory booking and corresponding implications on quarterly earnings reports; accurate revenue accounting treatment; proper internal control procedures; and stock option agreements and compensation models. On behalf of Morgan Lewis, she has published comments to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on the Dodd-Frank whistleblower program, and is a frequent speaker on Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) and Dodd-Frank whistleblower issues.

Sarah also advises employers on the preemptive creation of crisis management plans before harassment allegations are made, and she advises on workplace culture assessments to evaluate companies’ policies, practices, and processes for handling sexual harassment and other workplace complaints. Sarah has handled workplace harassment investigations and counseled on workplace crises for employers in the financial services, legal services, and media and entertainment industries.

A seasoned litigator with first- and second-chair trial experience in numerous matters, Sarah handles cases alleging violations of employment laws, including individual, US national, and regional collective class actions under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and state wage and hour laws. She also litigates noncompete and trade secret matters for clients across the United States, most recently in the medical device and technology sectors.

Sarah also routinely advises employers on sexual harassment, employee leave rights, wage and hour compliance, and litigation avoidance, conducting training and internal audits related to these issues. Sarah is the labor and employment practice leader for the Philadelphia office.


As the former Chief of the Securities and Exchange Commission Office of the Whistleblower, Sean X. McKessy provides singular insight and unparalleled knowledge of the SEC whistleblower program in his current work with whistleblowers as a partner at Phillips & Cohen LLP.

Mr. McKessy was the first Chief of the SEC whistleblower office and helped establish the SEC’s procedures and policies for handling whistleblower claims. During his five-year tenure, he played a key role in the SEC’s efforts to protect whistleblowers using Dodd-Frank’s anti-retaliation provisions and to stop employment and severance contracts that discouraged whistleblowing.

In 2017, Compliance Week named him to its list of the “Top Minds” in corporate governance, risk and compliance, calling him “The Whistleblower King.”

In a previous stint at the SEC, Mr. McKessy was a senior counsel in the Enforcement Division. He later held corporate compliance positions as corporate secretary for Altria Group Inc. and AOL Inc. and as securities counsel for Caterpillar Inc.

Phillips & Cohen has the longest-standing and most successful practice devoted exclusively to representing whistleblowers under government reward programs, with more than $12.3 billion recovered for taxpayers and investors as a result of the firm’s cases.


Jason Zuckerman litigates whistleblower retaliationwhistleblower rewards, wrongful discharge, and other employment-related claims, and authors the Whistleblower Protection Law Blog. His broad experience includes practicing employment law at a national law firm, serving as a Principal at The Employment Law Group, and serving as Senior Legal Advisor to the Special Counsel at the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, the federal agency charged with protecting whistleblowers in the federal government. In 2012, the Secretary of Labor appointed Zuckerman to serve on the Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee, which makes recommendations to the Secretary of Labor to improve OSHA’s administration of federal whistleblower protections.

At OSC, Zuckerman worked on several high-profile investigations, including a whistleblower retaliation case resulting in the removal of an Inspector General.  He also took an active role in the agency’s implementation of the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act, expanded the agency’s outreach program, and drafted amicus curiae briefs on key issues concerning federal employee whistleblower rights and protections.

Zuckerman is rated 10 out of 10 by Avvo, based largely on client reviews, and rated AV Preeminent® by Martindale-Hubbell based on peer reviews.  He was recognized by Washingtonian magazine as a “Top Whistleblower Lawyer” in 2015, and selected by his peers to be included in The Best Lawyers in America® in the category of employment law (2011-2017).

He has lectured extensively on whistleblower law and employment law, especially on Dodd-Frank, Sarbanes-Oxley and False Claims Act actions, and has written several articles on whistleblower protections. Zuckerman co-authored a chapter on litigating whistleblower cases for Whistleblowing: The Law of Retaliatory Discharge, drafted a chapter on the D.C. Whistleblower Protection Act for the D.C. Practice Manual, and is a contributing author to The International Handbook on Whistleblowing Research.

For nearly a decade, Zuckerman has been a contributing author to an annual update on the whistleblower protection provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act published by the ABA Fair Labor Standards Legislation Committee. Zuckerman’s articles have been cited in various treatises and in a federal court opinion on the scope of Sarbanes-Oxley whistleblower protection. Zuckerman has trained administrative law judges, agency EEO directors, senior OIG officials and delegations from more than 30 countries on federal whistleblower protections.

Zuckerman serves as Co-Chair of the Whistleblower Subcommittee of the ABA Labor and Employment Section’s Employee Rights and Responsibilities Committee and served as Co-Chair of the National Employment Lawyers Association’s Whistleblower Committee, Co-Chair of the Sarbanes-Oxley Subcommittee of the ABA Labor and Employment Fair Labor Standards Legislation Committee, Co-Chair of the Whistleblower Committee of the District of Columbia Bar’s Labor and Employment Section, and member of Law 360’s Employment Editorial Advisory Board.

Zuckerman graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude from Georgetown University and received his law degree from the University of Virginia, where he served as Articles Editor of the Virginia Journal of Law and Technology.  He is admitted to practice before the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia bars, the United States Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second, Fourth, and Federal Circuits, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, and the United States District Court for the District of Maryland.


Steven J. Pearlman is a partner in the Labor & Employment Law Department at Proskauer Rose LLP, where he serves as co-head of the firm's Whistleblowing & Retaliation Group.

Steven’s practice focuses on defending complex employment litigation involving claims of discrimination, harassment and retaliation; wage-and-hour laws; breach of employment contract; and restrictive covenants (e.g., non-competition agreements). Steven is also at the forefront of defending whistleblower retaliation claims, and routinely conducts investigations arising from whistleblower reports.  He has successfully tried cases to verdict in Illinois, Florida and California, and defended what is reported to be the largest Illinois-only class action in the history of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.  He has also testified in defense of his investigations in federal court.

Steven is recognized for his accomplishments and thought leadership in the field of labor and employment law.  He was one of five U.S. lawyers selected by Law 360 as a "Rising Star Under 40" in the area of employment law and he was one of "40 Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch" selected by Law Bulletin Publishing Company from a field of 1,200 nominees.  He has been recognized in Chambers (describing him as an “outstanding lawyer” who is “very sharp and very responsive”), named as an Illinois Super Lawyer and recognized by The U.S. Legal 500. On four occasions, he has been named to the Ethisphere "Attorneys Who Matter" list.  Steven is a 2014 Burton Award Winner (U.S. Library of Congress) for "Distinguished Legal Writing."  Steven was also named to the Law 360 Employment Editorial Advisory Board (2014 and 2015).

In addition, the RAND Corporation (one of the world’s leading think-tanks) selected Steven to present at an exclusive symposium comprised of some of the most influential thought leaders and policy makers, including top officials at the Securities and Exchange Commission, on whistleblower laws and related policy issues on the eve of the issuance of the regulations to the Dodd-Frank whistleblower provisions.  Steven received a B.A. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a J.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law.


Matthew Stiff is a partner at Katz, Marshall & Banks, LLP, a D.C.-based boutique litigation firm which exclusively represent plaintiffs in whistleblower and employment discrimination cases.  Mr. Stiff has represented dozens of whistleblowers and other employees in the financial, nuclear, aviation, healthcare, pharmaceutical, medical-device, and other industries.  He primarily focuses his practice on corporate whistleblower matters, which includes representing individuals in the whistleblower-reward programs administered by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Commodities Futures Trading Commission.  In addition to these reward programs, the representation of whistleblowers in employment retaliation cases is a central facet of Mr. Stiff’s legal practice.  He regularly represents employees in claims arising under the whistleblower-protection provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the Energy Reorganization Act, the Dodd-Frank Act, and numerous other federal and state laws.  He also represents relators in qui tam lawsuits filed pursuant to the federal False Claims Act. 

In addition to his work as a whistleblower lawyer, Mr. Stiff has represented plaintiffs in sexual harassment, disability discrimination, Title IX, and other workplace discrimination cases.  He also has extensive experience in the negotiation of complex executive employment and separation contracts.  His recent speaking engagements have included presentations for the Practicing Law Institute, the Taxpayers Against Fraud Conference, Society for Human Resource Management, the National Employment Lawyers Association, the D.C Bar Continuing Legal Education Program, and the LGBT Bar’s Lavender Law conference.  Mr. Stiff attended the New York University School of Law and began his legal career with the Human Rights Campaign as a McCleary Law Fellow.


Jane A. Norberg is the Chief of the Office of the Whistleblower in the Division of Enforcement of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.  She joined the SEC in January 2012 as Deputy Chief and was promoted to Chief in September 2016.  In her capacity as Chief, Ms. Norberg helps administer the whistleblower program including working with whistleblowers and their counsel, reviewing and analyzing whistleblower applications for award, and engaging in public outreach to educate potential whistleblowers and other interested parties about the program.  Prior to joining the SEC staff, Ms. Norberg was engaged in private law practice for 14 years, including at Shearman & Sterling LLP.


Teri M. Wigger is the Assistant Regional Administrator for OSHA’s Region 2 Whistleblower Protection Programs. Region 2’s geographical territory includes: New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The program enforces 22 whistleblower provisions the Secretary of Labor has been delegated the authority to investigate. Teri began her career with OSHA in 1988 as a Safety Compliance Officer before transferring to the Whistleblower Program in 1990 as an investigator. In 2012 Teri was selected for the position of Regional Supervisory Investigator and in 2014 she was promoted to Assistant Regional Administrator. Teri is a graduate from Binghamton University with a degree in Political Science with a concentration in Public Policy.