Mary Jane Wilmoth is the firm’s managing partner. She litigated cases involving whistleblower protection for environmental and nuclear industry whistleblowers, and Qui Tam/False Claims whistleblowers. Ms. Wilmoth joined the firm in 1992 and worked on cases and hearings that involved complex nuclear and environmental regulations.
In her efforts to uphold such safeguards in the American workplace, she has helped to strengthen whistleblower rights in licensing and enforcement proceedings with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. She has also defended whistleblowers at the Environmental Protection Agency in actions before the Department of Labor.
Ms. Wilmoth is a Trustee at the National Whistleblower Center Legal Defense & Education Fund. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the National Whistleblower Center, where she serves as the corporate secretary and treasurer. She is also the Editor of the Whistleblower Network News blog.
Promoting International Qui Tam Whistleblowing
Kohn, Kohn and Colapinto has played an instrumental role in advancing whistleblower rights worldwide. Currently the partners represent whistleblowers from every continent on earth (except Antarctica) in pursuing whistleblower reward cases under U.S. laws.
Steve Kohn has been sponsored by the U.S. Department of State to promote whistleblowing on a world-wide scale, including special seminars and programs in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Bosnia, Serbia and Thailand. He has given major keynote addresses in Peru and Greece and presented in numerous international conferences and has testified on behalf of whistleblowers before the European Parliament and the Danish Parliament. Mike Kohn has made major international presentations in Poland, South Korea and Israel. The firm filed extensive comments supporting greater whistleblower protections in the now-approved European Directive on Whistleblowing.
Whistleblower attorney Stephen M. Kohn and partners of Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto regularly advise congress on crafting whistleblower laws. And play an instrumental role in drafting whistleblower protection laws, such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), The Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act, and the Dodd-Frank Act.
SEC & IRS Rulemaking
During the Dodd-Frank rulemaking process, our partners worked closely with the SEC to create an effective whistleblower program. Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto’s partners met personally with each of the five SEC Commissioners. They presented them with detailed reports and proposals setting forth rules that were essential to make the law work for Dodd-Frank whistleblowers as intended by Congress. Furthermore, Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto’s whistleblower attorneys seek to protect and enhance legal protections for tax fraud whistleblowers. Our firm has filed numerous internal revenue service rulemaking petitions, filed extensive briefs to the IRS and testified at IRS rulemaking hearsing to strengthen the tax whistleblower program.[Read More]
- August 23, 2010: Presentation to Representatives from the Office of the Chairman
- January 31, 2011: Presentation to the Staff of the SEC Division of Enforcement
- February 10, 2011: Presentation to SEC Commissioner Luis A. Aguilar
- February 11, 2011: Presentation to SEC Commissioner Troy A. Paredes
- March 11, 2011: Presentation to SEC Commissioner Kathleen L. Casey
- March 16, 2011: Presentation to SEC Commissioner Elisse B. Walter
- March 28, 2011: Presentation to SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro
In recognition of the growing importance of whistleblower litigation, The National Law Journal named the whistleblower attorney and advocacy law firm of Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto as one of top fifty plaintiff’s law firms in the United States. The firm’s partners were officially named as among “America’s Elite Trial Lawyers.” In its September 29, 2014 article, “Elite Trial Lawyers: The 50 Leading Plaintiff’s Firms in America,” the National Law Journal named Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto as one of the firm’s “doing the most creative and most important work in the courtroom.”
- 2019 - 2022 – LawDragon 500 Leading Plaintiff Financial Lawyers
- 2013-2020 – A-V Preeminent, Martindale-Hubbell®
- 2014 – “Elite Trial Lawyers” Designation, National Law Journal (Awarded to KKC LLP)
- 2014 – America’s Most Honored Professionals, American Registry (Awarded to KKC LLP)
- 2009 – Top Attorneys, Washington DC Super Lawyers (Awarded to KKC LLP)
- 2008 – Friend of the IEEE Award
- 2003 – “Hot List” of Plantiff’s Law Firms, National Law Journal
- In the Matter of Georgia Power Company, 37 NRC 96 (1993). Established standard for NRC licensing proceedings related to the character and competence of nuclear managers.
- Hobby v. Georgia Power Co., Case No. 90-ERA-30 (U.S. Dept. of Labor), No. 01-10916 (11th Cir. 2002) (argued). Co-counsel in judicial and administrative litigation over a ten-year period establishing numerous precedents in Labor Department corporate whistleblower cases regarding liability and damages available to high ranking corporate officers. Having obtained over $5,000,000 in total damages, this case continues to represent the largest financial victory by any nuclear/environmental whistleblower.
- Mosbaugh v. Georgia Power Co., 91-ERA-1 (ALJ Oct. 30, 1992) (co-counsel at hearing and on appeals). Established key precedent governing when a whistleblower can engage in one-party taping to document misconduct. Whistleblower was ordered reinstated with full back pay after being fired for taping conversations of corporate executives conspiring to violate safety rules.
- Opthof v. Ashland Chemical Co., 94-CAA-7 (ALJ May 8, 1995). Co-counsel. Prevailed at merits hearing on behalf of wrongfully discharged chemical engineer.
- Linda Tripp v. Department of Defense, 104 F. Supp.2d 30 (D.D.C. 2000), 99-2554 (2001) 173 F.Supp. 2d 58 (D.D.C. 2001), 193 F.Supp.2d 229 (D.D.C. 2002), 01-157 (D.D.C 2002) 219 F.Supp.2d 85 (D.D.C. 2002), 99-2554 (D.D.C. 2002) 257 F.Supp.2d 37 (D.D.C. 2003), 194 F.R.D. 344 (D.D.C. 2000) and 200 F.R.D. 140 (D.D.C. 2001). Precedent setting litigation on behalf of nationally recognized whistleblower. Case resulted in one of the largest Privacy Act settlements ever awarded by the U.S. government.
- Dr. Frederic Whitehurst v. FBI (administrative and judicial proceedings in 1993-98). Successfully represented first nationally recognized FBI whistleblower. Case resulted in President Clinton ordering the Attorney General to establish whistleblower protections for FBI employees for the first time. See Memorandum of President William Jefferson Clinton, Vol. 62 Federal Register No. 81, p. 23123 (April 14, 1997). In addition, the case achieved the accreditation of the FBI crime laboratory and the re-opening and/or review of thousands of criminal cases tainted by fraudulent laboratory procedures. Dr. Whitehurst obtained a final million-dollar plus settlement to resolve allegations of violations of the Privacy Act and other federal laws.
What Clients are Saying
“Among the most experienced and skilled attorneys practicing in the specialization of whistleblower law”
“I couldn’t have navigated the shark invested waters whistleblower face without the passion, dedication, determination, and brilliance of my incredible attorneys.”
“…the three co-founders of the National Whistleblower Center, these are important names, Stephen Kohn, Michael Kohn and David Colapinto, thank you so much for all that you do, they broke the mold with these visionaries and we are all better for it.” – National Whistleblower Day, 2018
Mary Jane's Latest Thinking
Senators Introduce Bill to Rescue CFTC Whistleblower Program
Yesterday, Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) introduced the CFTC Fund Management Act. The purpose of this bipartisan legislation is to increase the whistleblower reward fund used to pay rewards to those that report commodities fraud. The fund is in danger of depletion due to the increasing success of the program. The bill would allow the commission to set aside more money from fines collected to pay whistleblower awards. The Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) relies on whistleblower to uncover fraud and other illegal activities. Its Customer Protection Fund, established by Congress in 2010, hold funds that are used to reward whistleblowers for their disclosures. However, it is also used to pay for operating expenses and educational initiatives associated with the CFTC whistleblower office. Under current law, the Customer Protection Fund is capped at $100 million. Any fines collected after the account reaches ...
Senator Grassley Proposes False Claims Act Reforms
During a keynote address for the 2021 Federal Bar Association Qui Tam Conference, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) discussed the need for reforms to the False Claims Act ("FCA"). The Senator's remarks come on the eve of the 158th Anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln signing it into law on March 1, 1863. After the Civil War, the False Claims Act continued to identify military contractors guilty of mismanagement and fraud. Sen. Grassley was the architect behind the 1986 amendments that turned the False Claims Act into America's most important tool to uncover and punish fraud. "The key to the False Claims Act's success is that it allows whistleblowers to sue fraudsters on behalf of the federal government by standing in the shoes of the U.S. government," Sen. Grassley remarked. "Since the 1986 amendments to False Claims Act, cases have recovered more than $64 billion for taxpayers," he noted. Since the inclusion ...
Journalists Call for Trump to Pardon Swiss Bank Whistleblower
As President Donald Trump heads into his last few weeks in office, he has started to hand out pardons. This has prompted calls for the President to pardon Bradley Birkenfeld, the man who single-handedly ended the long-standing institute of Swiss banking secrecy. A former international banker and wealth manager with UBS, he witnessed a massive tax evasion scheme. The scheme helped wealthy U.S. citizens create secret Swiss offshore accounts to avoid paying taxes. Mr. Birkenfeld’s disclosure led to a settlement in which UBS agreed to pay $780 million in fines to the United States. UBS and the Swiss Government also agreed to turn over the names of thousands of Americans suspected of tax evasion. More than 50,000 U.S. taxpayers turned themselves in, resulting in more than $24 billion collected from banks and individuals. Before hiring Kohn, Kohn and Colapinto, Mr. Birkenfeld used another law firm in providing information to the ...
Our Client Received the Largest Whistleblower Reward in World History of $104 Million
Bradley Birkenfeld broke the back of Swiss bank secrecy. He was the first Swiss banker to file a case under the IRS whistleblower law. The results were unprecedented. UBS bank (at the time the largest bank in the world) had to pay a fine of $780 million. They also had to close all known U.S. accounts, and for the first time in history, the bank turned over the names of 4450 U.S. taxpayers for prosecution in the United States. Mr. Birkenfeld obtained the largest ever individual qui tam whistleblower award in history, $104 million.
Pro Bono Public Service
Dedicated to protecting whistleblowers, the National Whistleblower Center (NWC) was founded in 1988 by three experienced whistleblower-rights attorneys, Stephen M. Kohn, Michael D. Kohn and David K. Colapinto. Mary Jane was selected as the NWC's first Public Interest Law Fellow, and soon became a major leader in the NWC. She currently is the NWC corporate Treasure and serves on its Board of Directors. She founded the whistleblower protection blog, and for years managed many of the NWC's highly successful programs.