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Synopsis: Stephen Kohn, Founding Partner at Kohn, Kohn and Colapinto, LLP, is introduced by FBI whistleblower, Jane Turner, as he tells the story of whistleblower contributions in the United States revolutionary history, and the meaning of National Whistleblower Day today.
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Stephen Kohn, KKC Founding Partner
Stephen M. Kohn is widely recognized as one of the nation’s leading qui tam and whistleblower attorneys. He won the largest ever individual whistleblower reward/qui tam payment for UBS whistleblower Bradley Birkenfeld ($104 million reward for Mr. Birkenfeld). His record of winning whistleblower cases dates back to 1984, and he was peer-review rated by the National Law Journal as one of the 50-top plaintiff’s lawyers in the United States, the only whistleblower rights lawyer to achieve this distinction. His successful advocacy has resulted in landmark precedents in whistleblower and qui tam law.
Kohn helped draft key whistleblower legislation and regulatory rules, including those incorporated into the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, Dodd-Frank Act, the IRS Qui Tam whistleblower amendments, and Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act. He is the author of the first legal treatise on whistleblowing and is the world’s most published author on whistleblower protection. His most recent book is The New Whistleblower’s Handbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Doing What’s Right and Protecting Yourself. In 1988 he helped found the National Whistleblower Center, where is currently serves, pro bono, as Chairman of the Board. Steve Kohn also teaches an annual seminar on Whistleblower Law at the Northeastern University School of Law
Jane Turner, FBI Whistleblower
Jane Turner was a highly decorated 25-year veteran of the FBI. She won awards for successfully investigating major crimes on the Forth Berthold Indian Reservation in North Dakota. She was described by federal prosecutors as the leading FBI agent solving child crimes in the entire United States. After documenting a seriously botched child sex crime case committed by agents of the FBI, she was removed from her position.
Jane successfully fought her removal, winning a precedent setting case before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Her case was tried before federal jury. She was fully vindicated. The jury awarded Ms. Turner the maximum compensatory damages permitted under Title VII. The total recovery, costs, fees, and damages awarded exceeded $1.5 million. After the trial one of the jurors hugged Ms. Turner and told her, “I think you were the very best FBI agent.”
Turner also reported illegal theft by federal officials at the 9/11 World Trade Center crime scene. Her disclosures were backed-up by the DOJ Inspector General, and systemic reforms were approved. She again suffered retaliation, and again won her whistleblower case. Turner faced retaliation and would not explains the importance of family, emphasizing that the would not have made it through her struggles as a whistleblower without the support of her daughter Victoria Turner.