NATIONAL WHISTLEBLOWER LEGAL DEFENSE AND EDUCATION FUND

National Whistleblower Legal Defense and Education Fund (Fund) has four Attorney-Trustees all of whom are licensed attorneys in the District of Columbia.

The National Whistleblower Legal Defense and Education Fund (“Fund”) is an independent public interest law firm dedicated to providing pro bono assistance to whistleblowers.

All communications with the Fund are considered confidential under the Attorney-Client Privilege. Read full Disclaimer.

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Free Legal Representation for Whistleblowers Since 1997

The Fund was founded in 1997 by the partners of the whistleblower and qui tam law firm of Kohn, Kohn and Colapinto due to the tremendous need to find attorneys to represent whistleblowers and also to provide representation to the National Whistleblower Center as the NWC battled to increase legal protections for whistleblowers.

Since 1997, the Fund has sponsored a whistleblower legal assistance program for whistleblowers. In addition to representing whistleblowers in precedent setting cases, the Fund has attempted to locate private sector attorneys to provide representation to whistleblower. This program, operated free of charge for all whistleblowers, has connected thousands of whistleblowers with attorneys. The Fund has never charged a fee to whistleblowers for these services and, it does not charge a referral fee for the attorneys who have taken on cases. The Fund accepts intakes from both government and private sector whistleblowers, and reviews cases concerning retaliation, qui tam, and lawsuits filed under the Dodd-Frank Act, among numerous other laws

In addition to these programs, the Fund provided legal representation to the National Whistleblower Center since 1992. This representation has primarily consisted of filing amicus curiae (“Friend of the Court”) briefs on behalf of the National Whistleblower Center on significant precedent-setting cases. Also, Fund attorneys and law clerks have worked directly with the NWC, private law firms and/or the Trustees of the Fund in providing representation to whistleblowers in precedent-setting cases. Currently, with the consent of the whistleblower-intake, the Fund also refers some cases to the NWC’s Legal Assistance Program. The NWC’s program is independent from the Fund.

The Fund also co-founded the educational and advocacy web page www.whistleblowers.org, the primary public education resource of the Fund and the National Whistleblower Center. The Fund also published the whistleblowersblog.org. This blog transformed into the online newspaper, Whistleblower Network News, in 2020.

A FREE CASE REVIEW PROCESS FOR WHISTLEBLOWERS

Today the Fund operates a free-of-charge program in which whistleblowers can fill out a secure intake form that allows whistleblowers to submit basic information about their cases on a confidential basis. The intake form, and all communication with the Fund, are protected under the attorney-client privilege. The Fund contracts with an outside experienced whistleblower law firm whose attorneys are licensed to practice law in the District of Columbia. Attorneys from this law firm review every intake and make all decisions regarding the intakes. This review is conducted free of charge on a pro bono basis. The Trustees of the Fund are not involved, in any way, with the review of intakes and do not make any decisions related to any of the intakes

HOW THE PROCESS WORKS
The New Whistleblower Handbook

PUBLIC INFORMATION AVAILABLE FOR WHISTLEBLOWERS

Whistleblowers need to understand their legal rights. Understanding the laws that may cover you will help you in finding an attorney. It will enable you to explain the legal basis for your case and “sell” your case to counsel.

Additionally, understanding your legal rights is essential in protecting your job and in ensuring that your disclosures are lawful and covered under the whistleblower law.

Also, many whistleblower laws permit whistleblowers to qualify for rewards. These include the False Claims Act, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the Internal Revenue Act, the Securities and Exchange Act, the Commodity Exchange Act, and the Auto Safety laws, among others. Whistleblowers need to understand how these laws work to ensure that you qualify for a reward if permitted under law.

To help you understand your rights. The Fund has several resources available to you.

See the resources

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Whistleblower Network News asked the leading international experts in qui tam, compliance, and whistleblower law to provide us with the answers to Frequently Asked Questions of importance to whistleblowers and persons active in promoting effective internal compliance programs, anti-corruption activist and individuals interested in filing qui tam, SEC, IRS and FCA whistleblower reward disclosures.

There is no uniform definition of a whistleblower. However, the definition commonly used includes someone whose loyalty is to the truth, becomes an informant to the government on corporate crimes, or seeks monetary rewards under various whistleblower programs.

Under specific U.S. laws, both citizens and foreign nationals can qualify for financial rewards as whistleblowers if they disclose violations that result in the U.S. obtaining sanctions from the wrongdoer.

If you are facing whistleblower retaliation as a result of whistleblowing, immediately obtain legal counsel from a whistleblower attorney. The reason is simple – what you blow the whistle on and the method you use to make your disclosure will determine your rights going forward.

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) is a U.S. law that prohibits the payment of anything of value to foreign government officials in order to obtain a business advantage. The FCPA also requires publicly traded corporations to make and keep accurate books and records.