Association of Professional Responsibility (APRL) Conference
In 2017, former Bio-Rad General Counsel Sanford Wadler won an $8 million jury verdict in a whistleblower protection lawsuit against his former client. A California federal court allowed Wadler to use privileged and confidential information to prove that his firing was illegal. According to the court, the federal common law of evidence permits a lawyer-whistleblower pursuing a retaliation case to use communications that would ordinarily be protected by the client’s attorney-client privilege, and the SEC’s regulations implementing Sarbanes-Oxley preempt California’s restrictive confidentiality standards. This panel will examine the implications of the Bio-Rad case for lawyers who blow the whistle on a client’s wrongful conduct.