Attorneys, especially in-house counsel, are subject to retaliation by employers in much the same way as traditional whistleblowers, often experiencing retaliation and loss of livelihood for reporting instances of wrongdoing involving their clients. Although attorney-whistleblowing undoubtedly invokes ethical concerns, attorneys who "appear and practice" before the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) are required by federal law to act as internal whistleblowers under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) and report evidence of material violations of the law within the organizations that they represent. An attorney's failure to comply with these obligations will result in SEC-imposed civil penalties and disciplinary action.
Jennifer M. Pacella,
Conflicted Counselors: Retaliation Protections for Attorney-Whistleblowers in an Inconsistent Regulatory Regime,
Yale J. on Reg.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/yjreg/vol33/iss2/4