New Developments in the SEC and CFTC Whistleblower Programs: Record Year for Awards and Narrowed Whistleblower Protection


This is a virtual event, accessible online and over the phone. Access instructions will be provided after registration.


This year the SEC and CFTC have issued record whistleblower awards and are experiencing an increase in whistleblower disclosures. And in 2018, the Supreme Court issued an opinion construing the Dodd-Frank Act’s anti-retaliation provision that will likely have a significant impact on corporate compliance programs. In addition, the SEC recently issued proposed amendments the rules governing its whistleblower program.  Join this webinar to hear from the Directors of the SEC and CFTC whistleblower offices and leading practitioners about new developments in whistleblower incentives and protections.

Educational Objectives:
· New developments at the SEC and CFTC Whistleblower Offices
· Impact of record awards to whistleblowers in 2018
· SEC and CFTC prohibitions against “gag clauses” in employment policies and agreements
· Potential impact of Supreme Court’s Digital Realty decision on corporate compliance programs
· Proposals to amend SEC whistleblower rules

Who would benefit most from attending this program?
This program will be useful for attorneys practicing whistleblower law, securities law and employment law, in-house counsel, compliance professionals, and human resources professionals.


Jane A. Norberg
  • Chief, Office of the Whistleblower
  • U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

Jane A. Norberg is the Chief of the Office of the Whistleblower in the Division of Enforcement of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.  She joined the SEC in January 2012 as Deputy Chief and was promoted to Chief in September 2016.  In her capacity as Chief, Ms. Norberg helps administer the whistleblower program including working with whistleblowers and their counsel, reviewing and analyzing whistleblower applications for award, and engaging in public outreach to educate potential whistleblowers and other interested parties about the program.  Prior to joining the SEC staff, Ms. Norberg was engaged in private law practice for 14 years, including at Shearman & Sterling LLP.

Christopher Ehrman
  • Director
  • Whistleblower Office, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission

Christopher Ehrman is the Director of the Whistleblower Office at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.  Section 748 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act established a whistleblower program under which the CFTC will pay awards, based on collected monetary sanctions, to eligible whistleblowers who voluntarily provide original information about violations of the Commodity Exchange Act that lead either to a “covered judicial or administrative action” or a “related action.”

Mr. Ehrman formerly served as an Assistant Director in the Office of Market Intelligence at the Securities and Exchange Commission. In that role, he oversaw the processing, review and assignment of all tips, complaints and referrals received by the SEC.  Mr. Ehrman also formerly served as the Co-National Coordinator for the Microcap Fraud Working Group, a cross-divisional specialized group charged with creating novel ways to detect, disrupt and prosecute fraud relating to securities quoted on the OTC Market.  Prior to joining OMI, Mr. Ehrman worked in a variety of other roles within the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, including Branch Chief, Senior Counsel, and Staff Attorney.

Mr. Ehrman is a graduate of Miami University and the University of Kentucky College of Law.

Sean X. McKessy
  • Partner
  • Phillips & Cohen LLP

As the former Chief of the Securities and Exchange Commission Whistleblower Office, Sean McKessy provides singular insight and unparalleled knowledge of the SEC whistleblower program in his work with Phillips Cohen clients. Mr. McKessy was the first Chief of the SEC Whistleblower Office and helped establish the processes the office follows and the policies that guide the SEC whistleblower program. His office assessed and reviewed whistleblower tips, evaluated whistleblower award claims and made whistleblower award recommendations to the Commission.During his five year tenure, he was a tireless advocate for whistleblowers and an outspoken proponent of the SEC program. He played a key role in the SEC s efforts to protect whistleblowers using Dodd Frank s anti retaliation provisions and to punish employers that discouraged employees from reporting wrongdoing to the SEC through employment agreements and other means. Mr. McKessy also actively encouraged whistleblowers in other countries who knew of violations of the US anti bribery law, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, as well as other securities violations to report them to the SEC and file whistleblower claims. Under his leadership, the SEC Whistleblower Office was authorized by the Commission to pay whistleblower awards totaling nearly 100 million a record setting pace for a government whistleblower reward program. The SEC recovered more than 500 million in sanctions as a result of the whistleblowers information and assistance. The SEC awarded Mr. McKessy its Law and Policy Award in 2011 in recognition of his work implementing the whistleblower program created by the Dodd Frank Act. In a previous stint at the SEC, he was a senior counsel in the Enforcement Division for three years. After leaving that position, Mr. McKessy served as corporate secretary for Altria Group Inc. and AOL Inc. and as securities counsel for Caterpillar Inc. He worked on internal compliance and reporting matters related to federal securities laws for those companies.Mr. McKessy received his law degree from the George Washington University Law School. He is admitted to the bar in Virginia, Illinois and Washington, DC.

Steven J. Pearlman
  • Partner
  • Proskauer Rose

Steven Pearlman is a partner in the Labor Employment Law Department and co head of the firm s Whistleblowing Retaliation Group. Steven s practice focuses on defending complex employment litigation involving claims of discrimination, harassment and retaliation wage and hour laws breach of employment contract and restrictive covenants e.g., non competition agreements . Steven is also at the forefront of defending whistleblower retaliation claims, and routinely conducts investigations arising from whistleblower reports. He has successfully testified in defense of his investigations in federal court. In addition, he has successfully tried cases to verdict in Illinois, Florida and California, and defended what is reported to be the largest Illinois only class action in the history of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.Steven is recognized for his accomplishments and thought leadership in the field of labor and employment law. He was one of two lawyers named to the Ethisphere Attorneys Who Matter list in the area of labor and employment, one of five U.S. lawyers selected by Law 360 as a Rising Star Under 40 in the area of employment law and one of 40 Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch selected by Law Bulletin Publishing Company from a field of 1,200 nominees. He has also been named as an Illinois Super Lawyer and recognized by The U.S. Legal 500. Also, Steven is a 2014 Burton Award Winner U.S. Library of Congress for Distinguished Legal Writing. In addition, Steven was named to the Law 360 Employment Editorial Advisory Board 2014 and 2015 . Steven was appointed to serve as a Special Assistant Attorney General for the State of Illinois in employment litigation matters. The U.S. Department of Labor DoL Administrative Review Board has invited him to serve as a stakeholder in its rule making and related proceedings and to serve in an amicus curiae capacity. A sought after commentator, Steven has presented alongside the Solicitor of the DoL, appeared on Bloomberg News television and radio , is regularly quoted in leading publications such as The Wall Street Journal and serves as an editor of Proskauer s Whistleblower Defense Blog.In addition, the RAND Corporation one of the world s leading think tanks selected Steven to present at an exclusive symposium comprised of some of the most influential thought leaders and policy makers, including top officials at the Securities and Exchange Commission, on whistleblower laws and related policy issues on the eve of the issuance of the regulations to the Dodd Frank whistleblower provisions.Steven is deeply committed to providing pro bono services to individuals who are unable to afford legal resources.

Jason Zuckerman
  • Principal
  • Zuckerman Law

Jason Zuckerman litigates whistleblower retaliation, whistleblower rewards, wrongful discharge, and other employment-related claims, and authors the Whistleblower Protection Law Blog. His broad experience includes practicing employment law at a national law firm, serving as a Principal at The Employment Law Group, and serving as Senior Legal Advisor to the Special Counsel at the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, the federal agency charged with protecting whistleblowers in the federal government. In 2012, the Secretary of Labor appointed Zuckerman to serve on the Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee, which makes recommendations to the Secretary of Labor to improve OSHA’s administration of federal whistleblower protections.

At OSC, Zuckerman worked on several high-profile investigations, including a whistleblower retaliation case resulting in the removal of an Inspector General.  He also took an active role in the agency’s implementation of the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act, expanded the agency’s outreach program, and drafted amicus curiae briefs on key issues concerning federal employee whistleblower rights and protections.

Zuckerman is rated 10 out of 10 by Avvo, based largely on client reviews, and rated AV Preeminent® by Martindale-Hubbell based on peer reviews.  He was recognized by Washingtonian magazine as a “Top Whistleblower Lawyer” in 2015, and selected by his peers to be included in The Best Lawyers in America® in the category of employment law (2011-2017). He has lectured extensively on whistleblower law and employment law, especially on Dodd-Frank, Sarbanes-Oxley and False Claims Act actions, and has written several articles on whistleblower protections. Zuckerman co-authored a chapter on litigating whistleblower cases for Whistleblowing: The Law of Retaliatory Discharge, drafted a chapter on the D.C. Whistleblower Protection Act for the D.C. Practice Manual, and is a contributing author to The International Handbook on Whistleblowing Research.

Zuckerman serves as Co-Chair of the Whistleblower Subcommittee of the ABA Labor and Employment Section’s Employee Rights and Responsibilities Committee and served as Co-Chair of the National Employment Lawyers Association’s Whistleblower Committee, Co-Chair of the Sarbanes-Oxley Subcommittee of the ABA Labor and Employment Fair Labor Standards Legislation Committee, Co-Chair of the Whistleblower Committee of the District of Columbia Bar’s Labor and Employment Section, and member of Law 360’s Employment Editorial Advisory Board.

Zuckerman graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude from Georgetown University and received his law degree from the University of Virginia, where he served as Articles Editor of the Virginia Journal of Law and Technology.  He is admitted to practice before the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia bars, the United States Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second, Fourth, and Federal Circuits, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, and the United States District Court for the District of Maryland.

Continuing Education

1.5 General COA, 1.5 CLE, 1.5 HRCI, 1.5 SHRM
Practice Areas:
A general knowledge of SEC Whistle blower laws.
Production Date:
Price: $224.00