Supreme Court Seeks Middle Ground For Whistleblowers

Law360, New York (November 19, 2013, 2:57 PM EST) -- In oral arguments for the first whistleblower case they have heard under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, justices of the U.S. Supreme Court quickly locked onto the important issue: How to interpret SOX’s anti-retaliation provisions without gutting the law — or expanding it without limit.

Led by Justice Stephen Breyer, on Nov. 12, 2013, an hour-long discussion paid scant attention to the most extreme formulations of both sides in Lawson v. FMR LLC. Instead, the court seemed to spend its time groping toward a middle ground that would mostly favor employees.

Oral arguments can be misleading and several justices didn’t share any substantive...

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