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.
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, attempting to locate private sector attorneys to provide representation to whistleblowers. This program is free of charge for all whistleblowers and has connected hundreds of whistleblowers with attorneys. The Fund has never charged a fee to whistleblowers for these services. The Fund accepts intakes from government and private sector whistleblowers and reviews cases concerning retaliation, discrimination, qui tam, and lawsuits filed under the Whistleblower Protection Act (federal employees), Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank Act (corporate employees), among numerous other federal and state laws.
In addition to these programs, the Fund provided legal representation to the National Whistleblower Center. 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.
The Fund also co-founded the educational and advocacy website www.whistleblowers.org, the primary public education resource of the Fund and the National Whistleblower Center. The Fund also founded the Whistleblower Protection Blog at whistleblowersblog.org. This blog became 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 to the fullest extent permitted under law. 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 intakes and make all decisions regarding the intakes. This review is conducted free of charge on a pro bono basis.
Please understand that this is a voluntary and pro bono process. None of the attorneys who work with the Legal Assistance Program are paid for their services. Because of the difficulty of matching whistleblowers with attorneys, we strongly recommend that all whistleblowers continue to try to locate an attorney while your case is under review. Also, in the strongest possible terms, we recommend that you obtain a copy of Rules for Whistleblowers. This book will help you understand the laws that may protect you and will help you explain to prospective attorneys the merits of your case.
Also, neither the National Whistleblower Center nor the Whistleblower Legal Defense and Education Fund can provide legal advice as part of the LAP intake process. Always remember you are NOT represented by an attorney until and unless you have a signed written representation agreement with an attorney.
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.
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.