No Internal Complaints Under Dodd-Frank? Not So Fast.

By Andrew Henson

In Digital Realty Trust, Inc. v. Somers, 138 S.Ct. 767 (2018), a unanimous Supreme Court recently held that in order to be a whistleblower entitled to the anti-retaliation protections under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, an employee must have provided pertinent information to the SEC. Accordingly, the Court held that internal complaints to corporate management are insufficient to invoke Dodd-Frank’s Whistleblower anti-retaliation protections. The import of this decision has been somewhat dramatically characterized by various news outlets (see, “The Supreme Court Limits Whistleblower Protections Under Dodd-Frank,” and “Supreme Court declines to broaden whistleblower protections”), and while this decision may indeed have practical implications in the securities industry, it is important not to conflate this limitation on Dodd-Frank’s Whistleblower protections with the broader ambit of anti-retaliation protections afforded to employees under that 2010 law. Internal complaints remain an integral and expressly authorized form of protected activity under another prong of Dodd-Frank, and the Digital Realty Trust decision reaffirms that those protections continue to exist for covered employees.

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Supreme Court May Soon Tell You Whether a Denial Of State Action Immunity Is Immediately Appealable

By Nathan Standley

The U.S. Supreme Court has granted a petition for certiorari in the case of Salt River Project Agricultural Improvement & Power District v. SolarCity Corp., No. 17-368 (U.S. Sept. 7, 2017).  If you advise state agencies or local governments, you will want to take note of what the court determines.

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The U.S. Supreme Court Limits Discovery Sanctions to Compensation, Not Punishment

By Neil Bloomfield

It is not every day the U.S. Supreme Court pays attention to matters that affect the practice of discovery, but that day came with Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. v. Haeger, 137 S.Ct 1178 (April 18, 2017). Writing for a unanimous Court, Justice Kagan explained that when a court exercises its inherent power to sanction bad-faith conduct by ordering a party to pay the other side’s legal fees, the award is limited to the fees that would not have been incurred but for the sanctioned party’s conduct.

The Court’s decision provides useful guidance, but leaves open interesting questions that litigants and district courts will be wrestling with for years to come.

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Of Interest: Redskins Name, Aggies Call Audible, Supremes Hear Betting Case

Sports & Entertainment Law

Members of the Sports & Entertainment Law Section found the following, recent third-party articles to be of potential interest to the section:

Why the Redskins Scored a Victory In the Supreme Court’s Ruling In Favor Of The Slants 

“12th Man” Suit Forces Aggies To Call an Audible On Traditional Copyright Defenses 

U.S. Supreme Court To Hear Major Sports Betting Case 

Sports Teams Can Deduct Full Cost Of Pre-Game Meals for Traveling Employees At Hotels At Away Games

Can’t Say “I Ain’t Mad At Cha” For Copying Me

Jordan-Benel v. Universal City Studios, Inc.

The (Exempt) Boys of Summer: 9th Circuit Upholds Minor League Baseball Antitrust Exemption In Wage Suit

SEC Confirms Sales of NFL Fan Memberships Fall Outside of Securities Act

Gene Simmons Claims Gesture

Indiana’s Slow Implementation of Fantasy Sports Law

Chris Spielman’s Lawsuit Against Ohio State Could Set Monumental Precedent

Overview of Changes To Nevada Gaming Law

Celebrity Influencers Continue to Flout FTC Disclosure Rules