In this episode, I welcome back Steve Durham, a partner with Labaton and Sucharow to discuss the continued reverberations from the recent Supreme Court decision narrow the definition of whistleblowers in Digital Realty Trust v. Somers. Durham discussed the impact the decision may portend for the SEC Office of the Whistleblower and both the quality and quantum of tips and information brought forward to the SEC after the decision.

In his practice, Durham represents whistleblowers before the SEC. He provides insight that the decision in Somers will put more pressure on the SEC as now there is no incentive to report internally because you are not eligible for any financial incentive nor will you receive any protections from discrimination or retaliation. It is possible the SEC will be literally inundated with potential securities-laws violations. This will cause the problem of such whistleblower reports taking years for resolution to increase, thereby allowing the potentially illegal conduct to continue and perhaps get worse.

We also explore the role and increased importance of whistleblower counsel such as Durham. As there are more tips submitted to the SEC and less resources at the SEC to deal with the increased number of tips, the full vetting of the claims before their submission to the SEC will be more and more critical. We discuss how the SEC will need to rely even more on whistleblower counsel to vet, document and submit claims which lay out all the facts, documentary evidence and law to demonstrate the validity of the information. Durham and his firm are uniquely suited to bring this type of legal assistance t whistleblowers and evidence of securities law violations to the SEC.

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