Author granted license

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

11-1-2015

ISSN

0161-6587

Publisher

Boston College Law School

Language

en-US

Abstract

The federal government relies increasingly on whistleblowers to ferret out fraud, and has awarded whistleblowers over $4 billion under the False Claims Act and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform and Consumer Protection Act. May lawyers ethically seek whistleblower rewards under these federal statutes? A handful of lawyers have tried to do so as FCA qui tam relators. They have not yet succeeded, but several court decisions suggest that they might be able to do so under confidentiality exceptions to state ethics law, which several courts have held are not preempted by the FCA. No lawyer has been publicly identified as seeking a whistleblower reward under Dodd-Frank, perhaps because the program is young, but also because the SEC process for determining whistleblower eligibility is secret.

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