Stephen M. Kohn
Stephen M. Kohn is one of the nation’s leading advocates for corporate and government whistleblowers. His record of winning whistleblower cases, at trial and on appeal, dates back to 1984. Many of his court victories have become landmark precedents in modern workplace law, establishing the employee’s right to free speech under the First Amendment. A respected scholar as well as a litigator, he has testified in Congress on behalf of whistleblowers and worked with the Senate Judiciary staff to draft corporate whistleblower protections under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Prior to practicing whistleblower protection law, Mr. Kohn served as a student law clerk to the Honorable A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr., Circuit Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
Mr. Kohn has represented several clients involved with high-profile cases, including the World Trade Center bombing cases, the Oklahoma City bombing case and the O.J Simpson murder trial. Perhaps his most famous client was Linda Tripp, who he represented in her successful lawsuit against the federal government for illegally releasing her work record.
From 1984 to 1988, Mr. Kohn served as Clinical Director of the groundbreaking whistleblower rights clinic at the Antioch School of Law. He is the author of the first legal treatise on whistleblowing, Protecting Environmental and Nuclear Whistleblowers: A Litigation Manual (NIRS, 1985). Since then, he has authored or co-authored numerous articles and books on the subject, including: The Whistleblower's Handbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Doing What's Right and Protecting Yourself (Lyons Press, Mar. 1 2011); Whistleblower Law: A Guide to Legal Protections for Corporate Employees (Praeger, 2004); Concepts and Procedures in Whistleblower Law (Greenwood Press, 2000); The Whistleblower Litigation Handbook (Wiley Law, 1991); and The Labor Lawyers Guide to the Rights and Responsibilities of Employee Whistleblowers (Greenwood Press, 1988). He has also written widely on American law and its relation to human rights.
Stephen Kohn serves as the Executive Director of the National Whistleblower Center and a Trustee of the National Whistleblower Legal Defense and Education Fund. In 2006, Northeastern University awarded Mr. Kohn the prestigious Daynard Public Interest Fellowship, recognizing him as a “social justice path-breaker” and “distinguished practitioner of public interest law” who serves as a role model “demonstrating how legal skills can be used effectively and creatively to make the world a better place.”
- Whistleblower Litigation
- Civil Liberties
- False Claims Act and Qui Tam Litigation
- Employer Retaliation and Unjustified Dismissals
A member of the bar in the District of Columbia, Stephen Kohn is also admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court and the Courts of Appeals for the First, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eight, Ninth, Tenth and Eleventh Circuits, the D.C. Circuit and the Federal Circuit. He is an inactive member of the New Jersey and Pennsylvania bars.
- Northeastern University, J.D., 1984
- Brown University, M.A. Social Education, 1981
- Boston University, B.A. Political Science, 1979
Other Whistleblower Publications:
- “Whistleblowing and Environmental Protection,” Macmillan Guide to Pollution (Macmillan Reference, 2002-2003).
- “Corporate Whistleblower Protection and Analysis,” The Employee Advocate (Winter 2002/2003).
- “Proving Motive in Whistleblower Cases,” Trial (March 2002).
- “Environmental Whistleblowers and the Eleventh Amendment: Employee Protection or State Immunity,” Tulane Environmental Law Journal 43 (Winter 2001).
- “Modern Trends in Protection of Employees under State Whistleblower Laws: A Model Statute,” ALA National College of Advocacy Reference Materials, Vol. II, p. 1789 (1998).
- “The Crisis in Environmental Whistleblower Protection: Deficiencies in the Regulations Protecting Employees Who Disclose Violations of Environmental Laws or Testify in ‘Citizen Suits’,” New England Environmental Law Forum 1, (New England School of Law, 1995).
- “An Overview of Federal and State Whistleblower Protection,” Antioch Law Journal 99 (Summer, 1986).
- “The Fort Leavenworth General Strike,” a chapter in Nonviolence in America: A Documentary History, edited by Staughton and Alice Lynd (Orbis Books, 1995).
- American Political Prisoners: Prosecutions under the Espionage and Sedition Act (Praeger, 1994).
- “Nuclear Whistleblower Protection and the Scope of Protected Activity under Section 210 of the Energy Reorganization Act,” Antioch Law Journal 73, (Summer 1986).
Studies in Legal History:
- Jailed for Peace: The History of American Draft Law Violators, 1658-1985 (Greenwood Press, 1986).
- “Conscientious Objection: A Constitutional Right,” coauthored with Hon. Frederick L. Brown, Associate Justice, Massachusetts Court of Appeals, New England Law Review 545, (1986).
- “Human Rights and Freedom of Conscience in Administrative Law: A Critique of the Fugitive Slave Act and the Selective Service Act Through Use of the Liberty Fact Doctrine,” co-authored with Hon. Frederick L. Brown, Associate Justice, Massachusetts Court of Appeals, University of Detroit Journal of Urban Law 177, (Winter 1984).
- Stephen Kohn was profiled in Super Lawyers DC Magazine for Protecting the Insider.
- Stephen Kohn was featured in the Boston University Alumni Spotlight, "Teaching Crooked Contractors a Lesson," Spring 2010.