Webcast – Whistleblower Protections Extended in Lawson v. FMR LLC – What Should Employers Expect Next?

April 3, 2014

​Join leading lawyers from Gibson Dunn and the plaintiffs’ bar for a thorough examination of the Supreme Court’s recent decision interpreting the “whistleblower” protection provision of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (“SOX”). Gibson Dunn lawyers handled this case in the Supreme Court and the lower courts.

In Lawson v. FMR LLC, the Court held by a 6-3 margin that SOX creates a cause of action not merely for the employees of public companies, but also for employees of non-public companies that perform work for public companies. The Lawson decision expands considerably the number of employees who may seek to bring suit under the SOX whistleblower provision. The Court’s lengthy opinion also touches upon a number of other issues that are important in whistleblower litigation, without definitively resolving arguments that will continue to be advanced by plaintiffs and defendants under both SOX and the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 (“Dodd-Frank”).

Our panelists discuss the Court’s decision and the myriad of issues employers will confront in SOX and Dodd-Frank whistleblower litigation in the aftermath of Lawson.

Topics discussed include:

  • The Court’s decision and reasoning
  • SOX and Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Litigation After Lawson
  • Potential SOX Claims by Employees of Non-Public Companies
  • Viability of SOX Claims That Are Not Related to Shareholders or Fraud
  • Dodd-Frank Coverage for Internal Complaints
  • Judicial Deference to Labor Department Decisions
  • Disciplining Employees for Violating Generally Applicable Standards of Conduct
  • Enforcing Agreements to Arbitrate Dodd-Frank Claims


Eugene ScaliaCo-Chair of Gibson Dunn’s Labor and Employment practice and a lead partner on firm’s Whistleblower Team. Former Solicitor of the U.S. Department of Labor at the time the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 was enacted, and helped oversee initial implementation of that statute’s whistleblower provision. Ranked among the top employment lawyers in Washington, D.C. and nationwide in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business and other publications. Successfully litigated the first major SOX appeal to establish the definition of protected activity under the Act. Has been at the forefront of litigating these claims before administrative agencies and in court.


Mark Perry An accomplished appellate lawyer in Gibson Dunn’s Washington, D.C. office who briefed and argued Lawson and many other cases in the Supreme Court of the United States and the federal courts of appeals. Mr. Perry has served as chief appellate counsel to Fortune 100 companies in significant employment, securities, and patent appeals. Named an Appellate MVP by Law 360, an Appellate Litigation Star by Benchmark Litigation, and one of the Best Lawyers in America® 2013 in for appellate litigation. Recommended by Benchmark Litigation 2012 for appellate and commercial litigation, and ranked in the National Appellate category by Chambers USA.

David J. Marshall Recognized as a top whistleblower and employment lawyer by Superlawyers, Washingtonian Magazine and Best Lawyers in America, and founding partner of Katz, Marshall & Banks, LLP. Mr. Marshall represents employees in claims arising under the whistleblower-protection provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the Dodd-Frank Act, and numerous other federal and state laws. Rated by Martindale-Hubbell as “AV Preeminent,” its highest possible peer-review rating.

Jason C. Schwartz Partner in Gibson Dunn’s Washington, D.C. office who has successfully tried several sensitive whistleblower matters for major national employers, and prevailed in a precedent-setting Labor Department appeal of one of the first Sarbanes-Oxley whistleblower cases to proceed to trial. Named one of the top five “MVPs” in employment law for 2012, awarded by Law360 , and selected as one of the top five “Rising Stars” in employment law by Law360. Also named a Super Lawyer by Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers, and as an “Up-and-Comer” on The Nation’s Most Powerful Employment Attorneys list published by Human Resources Executive magazine.

Gabrielle LevinSenior associate in Gibson Dunn’s New York office. Represents corporate clients in employment, securities, and general litigation matters. Has extensive experience representing employers in SOX and Dodd-Frank whistleblower actions.