Last night, leading whistleblower attorney and Executive Director of the National Whistleblowers Center, Stephen M. Kohn, held an author talk and book signing for his new book The Whistleblower’s Handbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Doing What’s Right and Protecting Yourself, also released that day.
The talk at Busboys and Poets had a standing room only turnout. It was co-sponsored by the National Whistleblowers Center, Teaching for Change and the Zinn Education Project. Michael D. Kohn, NWC President, and Deborah Menkart, Teaching for Change Executive Director, spoke up for whistleblower advocacy and the importance of Stephen Kohn’s new handbook. Stephen Kohn was described as one of the “finest lawyers that money can’t buy.”
Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, Director of the No FEAR Coalition and an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) whistleblower introduced Stephen Kohn. Dr. Coleman-Adebayo stressed the importance of being appropriately educated before taking on a whistleblower case because the laws are difficult to understand and navigate. ” Paving the way for Stephen Kohn to discuss the importance of The Whistleblower’s Handbook, Dr. Coleman-Adebayo noted the deep irony that U.S. government officials “praise whistleblowers in Egypt and Tunisia but not here in the U.S."
Mr. Kohn began his talk by explaining why he wrote a handbook that lays out the rules in language for the public at large. Having represented whistleblowers for 27 years, has been an enriching, but often heartbreaking experience. Mr. Kohn often sees distraught employees come into his office explaining what they witnessed. Although their accusations had merit, the whistleblowers often lost by stepping on procedural landmines due to the confusing whistleblower laws.
According to Mr. Kohn, “The law doesn’t care if you’re right or wrong. The law is the law. You have to be prepared from Day One.”
After introducing The Whistleblower’s Handbook, the floor was open to questions and comments from the audience. Mr. Kohn answered all questions patiently and thoroughly. For example, he addressed questions as broad as the status of whistleblower protections for all Americans and as specific as the origins of the False Claims Act.
It took Mr. Kohn nearly five years to write his seventh book. He said that this was by far the most difficult book to write because of its significance. He broke down whistleblower legislation into language easy for all to understand. With that goal in mind, The Whistleblower’s Handbook has 21 comprehensive rules with examples of successful and unsuccessful cases. The National Whistleblowers Center applauds Mr. Kohn’s dedication to whistleblowers.
You can purchase your own copy of The Whistleblower’s Handbook and help support the work of the National Whistleblowers Center by visiting our new online store.
*Sabeen Khanmohamed (a NWC intern) drafted this posting.