The Inbox

| Jason M. Knott

The Inbox

Grab your glass of eggnog, light the fireplace, and peruse the latest in Suits by Suits:

  • Fox Business reports that a New York law firm is making a cottage industry out of lawsuits against company directors based on the Dodd-Frank Act’s “say-on-pay” provision, which requires an advisory shareholder vote on executive compensation once every three years.  The lawsuits by Faruqi & Faruqi, which a defense lawyer calls a “shakedown” effort, claim that companies aren’t giving their shareholders enough information to assess executive pay.  They haven’t resulted in awards to shareholders, but have resulted in some additional disclosures (and some legal fees to the plaintiffs’ counsel).
  • Famous whistleblower Jeffrey Wigand, of 60 Minutes and Hollywood (“The Insider”) fame, is testifying in a Canadian class-action trial about the health effects of smoking, writes the Canadian Press.  The trial, in a case which has been pending since 1998, is expected to take two years.  No word as to whether Russell Crowe and Al Pacino showed up to watch.
  • Leigh Jones of the National Law Journal brings us the story of an administrator at the University of Toledo who was fired after she wrote a newspaper editorial asserting that homosexuality is a choice and therefore members of the LGBT community were not “civil rights victims.”  She filed a discrimination claim alleging that the university retaliated against her for exercising her freedom of speech.  However, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held that because the administrator’s job required her to enforce anti-discrimination policies, and her article directly contradicted those policies, she could be terminated for it.
  • According to Courthouse News Service, a fired senior vice president at Citibank has sued the company, alleging that it terminated him for reporting a junior vice president for embezzling millions.  Peter Orlandi claims that it was his investigation that exposed questionable expenditures submitted by Gary Foster, his subordinate, and that whistleblower laws therefore protected him against termination for failing to adequately supervise Foster.