Is Edward Snowden a patriotic whistleblower or a traitor to this country?
Based on the information available to the public, Mr. Snowden does not meet the elements of a whistleblower protection action, even according to the recent WPEA 2012 amendments. Consequently, were he to bring a whistleblower claim, he would very likely not prevail as per the current state of the law. Whether he is a patriot or traitor is a question that probably relates to many factors, including his motives and his actual conduct. Unquestionably, the United States, Department of Justice has taken the position that he is a traitor that could have greatly or already has damaged national security and should he be returned to the United States, undoubtedly, he would have to stand a criminal trial.
I am a big believer in the jury system and I make it a habit not to judge others in the absence of the requisite legal proceedings. Under our system of justice, he has not been convicted of any crime yet, but given the information available, a whistleblower case would be a long shot, if that.
I happened to have litigated a matter back in 2006-2007 alongside Bruce Fein, Esq., the lawyer for the Snowden family. Mr. Fein was also general counsel for the Ron Paul presidential campaign. Having worked with Mr. Fein before and having spent some time with him, I know him to demonstrate great integrity and professionalism. I’m sure he deeply believes in his cause; however, the Snowden case would not be my firm’s cup of tea.
I live in Florida, can your firm represent me in a whistleblower action?
Yes. Whistleblower actions are litigated before Administrative Law Judges, federal judges in an administrative law system and we can and have litigated these cases before in many states aside of the Washington, DC area.
Can my agency retaliate against me if I file a whistleblower claim?
Under the law they are not allowed to and it would be foolish if they did. In most cases we’ve had, once a federal employee files a whistleblower action, the agency will not retaliate against that person, assuming that employee has a lawyer to protect their interests. We have seen some cases where the second action of retaliation turned out to be a better case than the original claim.
When is it worth it to bring a whistleblower action?
My strongest recommendation is not to bring a whistleblower claim until you’ve met with an attorney that concentrates in this area. Think of it this way. If you bring a defective whistleblower claim before you meet with an attorney, your supervisor will be extremely upset at you and you don’t have whistleblower case against him. Instead, if you met with your attorney on the claim, your attorney can advise you on what needs to occur to meet the legal elements before you bring the claim. My office has counseled numerous employees, both in the federal and private sectors that didn’t meet the elements of a claim. We performed the necessary filings for those clients to protect them in the future. Those clients were grateful that we not only solved their problems, but saved them a whole lot of money and headache.
How much does your firm charge to bring a whistleblower claim?
Each case has a set of factors that may lend itself to a different kind of payment arrangement. We invite you to discuss your case with our office and after studying the case, we can work with you in developing a fee structure that benefits both you and the law firm.