Today, corporations are on the move to conceal waste, fraud, bribery and corruption simply by having managers wear a lawyer hat on top of their management cap. The battle to protect in-house lawyers from retaliation for blowing the whistle internally or as permitted by federal whistleblower protection laws is of great concern.
Yesterday, the National Whistleblower Center submitted a public comment to proposed ethics opinion 13-005 of the California State Bar. If issued the proposed opinion could bar most attorney-whistleblower claims. Whistleblower-attorneys could be barred from disclosing information that is already publicly available, such as information contained in SEC filings.
The NWC submitted its comment seeking to ensure that attorney-whistleblower rights are fully protected. The NWC recommended that the CA State Bar revise the proposed opinion “to explicitly address and carve out an exception for attorney-whistleblowers and be further refined to address and adopt the public policy considerations found in emerging federal common law and federal statutory protections.”
NWC Public Comment on Proposed Ethics Opinion 13-005