Yesterday, the National Whistleblowers Center filed an amicus, or friend of the court, brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in its case of Wiest v. Lynch, Case No. 11-4257. The main issue is whether the Court should adopt the ARB’s broad “reasonable belief” standard for determining protection activity, or whether it should affirm the district court’s narrow “definitively and specifically” standard. The brief also argues that Wiest’s internal complaints should be protected under SOX’s participation clause, and that he had no duty to inform management about the basis for his reasonable belief. The Third Circuit adopted a similar broad scope of protection under the Clean Water Act in Passaic Valley Sewerage Comm. v. U.S. Department of Labor, 992 F.2d 474, 478-79 (3rd Cir. 1993). Hopefully, it will do the same for the Sarbanes Oxley Act (SOX). This should be easier after the ARB issued its good decision in its Sylvester case.
Stephen M. Kohn, Executive Director of the National Whistleblowers Center (NWC) is the lead attorney for the brief.
UPDATE: The Third Circuit has scheduled oral argument in this case for the morning of September 25, 2012, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Available here are: