Document, Document, Document

Document, Document, Document


Without proper documentation, a whistleblowing case may lack substance. Essential evidence, such as emails indicating wrongful termination, inconsistent financial audits, or ship logs with missing oil dumping entries, bolsters the whistleblower’s position.

However, this doesn’t justify unauthorized entry into a supervisor’s office. Instead, report your concerns to the appropriate government agency and allow their investigators to conduct the necessary inquiries.



Whistleblower cases have resolved this issue. However, case precedent supports a finding that the government may use information illegally obtained from a private citizen to prosecute a criminal, see:

  • Arrington v. U.S., 350 F.Supp. 710 (E.D. Penn.) (1972)
    • government may use evidence illegally obtained

The doctrine was explained in Bacon v. United States, 97 F. 35, 40 (8th Cir. 1899):

“It is held very generally that, if an individual by an illegal search or seizure obtains possession of an article or document, the state may nevertheless make use of the same as evidence against the person from whom they were wrongfully obtained to convict him of a crime; and that the inhibition found in article 4 of the amendments to the federal constitution, and in many state constitutions, against unreasonable searches and seizures is a limitation upon the power of the state to make such searches and seizures for its own benefit, and has no reference to unauthorized acts of individuals.”

This holding was followed by the Supreme Court in:

Under New Jersey state law, an employer that destroys evidence not only can have an adverse inference drawn against it, but can also be liable for the tort of fraudulent concealment:

Also see:

Frequently Asked Questions

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All purchases or donations proceeds go to support the National Whistleblower Center, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to supporting whistleblowers.

What's Inside

This books covers all federal and state laws regarding whistleblowing, including protections, rewards, and procedures for whistleblowing.

Meet the Author

Stephen M. Kohn is considered the world’s leading authority on international whistleblower law, and behind some of todays modern whistleblower rules.

Introduction: The Revolutionary Roots of Modern Whistleblowing

Law Library

The Law Library is a free companion to the Rules for Whistleblowers, complete with relevant whistleblower cases and important links and resources.

Speaking Engagement

Stephen Kohn enjoys speaking to universities of all sizes, students and professionals, the media, general public, and government officials.

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