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Thousands of Whistleblowers Seek Representation from NWC Annually.

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In January of 2024, National Whistleblower Center (NWC) and its partner organization, the National Whistleblower Legal Defense and Education Fund (“Fund”) agreed to terminate its long-standing Attorney Assistance Program and establish a new Attorney Referral Program (“ARP”) to help whistleblowers obtain representation.

To ensure the fairness of this referral process no referral can be made to any attorney who is an employee, director, trustee, agent, or contractor of the NWC or Fund. Because we cannot make self-referrals, your participation in this program is vital to its success.

If you are a whistleblower looking for assistance, please complete this secure intake form.

General Outline of the ARP Referral Process

  • The referral process begins when a whistleblower submits a Confidential Intake Form to the ARP. If it appears that the intake has a valid case a referral is made to an attorney-member of the ARP based either on where the attorney is licensed to practice law, or a self-identified area of expertise.
  • Once the referral is made the decision to represent any intake, and the terms of that representation, is up to you. We do not make any recommendations, and we do not influence or control any future representation. You can decide not to represent the whistleblower for any reason or no reason.
  • If you decide to represent the whistleblower you and the whistleblower must agree to the terms of that representation. The ARP is not involved in those discussions and plays no role in your decision (and under what terms) you may undertake any representation. However, you cannot charge the whistleblower, directly or indirectly, for costs associated with the referral.
  • We ask that you make an initial contact with the whistleblower withing five working days of receiving the intake from the ARP. This contact can be as simple as a denial based solely on the content of the intake form he or she submitted or an email letting the whistleblower know you are reviewing the intake form.
  • If you are not going to represent the whistleblower we request that you inform the whistleblower, in writing, of your decision not to represent him or her within 30-days of any referral.
  • The ARP is managed by an attorney licensed to practice law in the District of Columbia. All communications with the ARP are considered strictly confidential to the fullest extent of the law. Although the ARP is managed by an attorney, that attorney does not provide legal advice or make any recommendations as to whether or not the intake should hire you. The ARP cannot make a self-referral to attorneys employed by the NWC or Fund, or those who are trustees of the Fund or members of the NWC Board of Directors.
  • In order to pay for the operation of the ARP, and to permit the NWC to continue its advocacy work on behalf of all whistleblowers, the attorney members are expected to make contributions to the NWC as permitted under American Bar Association’s Model Rule 7.2(b)(2), Rule 7.2 Comment 6, and the requirements of D.C. Rule of Professional Responsibility 5.4(a)(5) and Note 11. These rules set forth the requirements that non-profit and tax-exempt organization, such as the National Whistleblower Center, must follow when referring whistleblowers (or other potential clients) to attorneys and for obtaining donations for such referrals.
  • Donations are only requested if a case is settled and a contingency fee is paid, or if fees are obtained as a result of a court order or a grant of statutory attorney fees. If your client is paying an hourly fee no donation is required, unless and until the case is ultimately resolved on the basis of a contingency fee settlement and/or a court order that includes a requirement that the defendant pays for fees incurred by the client.

Regardless of whether or not you join the ARP please consider donating to the National Whistleblower Center and joining our Action Alert network so we can continue our advocacy to strengthen whistleblower laws that benefit everyone.

Attorneys in NWC’s ARP program are invited to whistleblower attorney meetings, listed on NWC’s website, and recognized as supports of NWC in addition to receiving dozens of client referrals annually.

Since 1988 our efforts have been successful in creating numerous reforms and legal rights for whistleblowers. We played key roles in working with Congress in enacting whistleblower laws such as the Sarbanes-Oxley, IRS, Dodd-Frank, and most recently the Anti-Money Laundering Whistleblower Enhancement Act. Many of our policy and legal proposals have been adopted by administrative agencies as a result of rulemaking proceedings or judicial challenges. Our current policy campaigns are linked here.

Whistleblowers looking for help can complete this secure intake form to be evaluated for the ARP.

Thank you for considering joining our network of attorneys dedicated to providing legal assistance to whistleblowers facing retaliation for doing the right thing! To Request Information about Joining the ARP please follow the link below.

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