July 7, 2018
As a mentor, few things are more frustrating than dealing with someone who doesn't return telephone calls, fails to timely reply to emails, and thinks it is professional to communicate with customers and managers via emoticons. There is no persistence. There is no determination. It's all lackadaisical. Nothing frustrates me more than having to send emails, instant messages, and phone calls asking someone I'm trying to help if they contacted a lead that I had arranged for them -- did you call her yet? As the "Not Yet" or "I'm too busy right now" or "I got your message and I promise to call her first chance" add up, I often see who's going to make it and who still doesn't get it. Time and tide wait for no one.
Those of us who represent whistleblowers frequently practice regulatory law and are often former regulators. We fully appreciate that there are certain response that would be improper (and at times illegal) for OWB to provide. That being said, it is frustrating and insulting to be treated as if we are representing criminal defendants or regulatory respondents when asking OWB for an update -- and we are incensed when the response is that "we are not permitted to share that with you." Both OWB staff and whistleblowers are victimized by the lack of deadlines on many steps from the filing of a WB-APP, to being considered for an award, to being notified of the granting or denial of an award, and the calculation of the percentage of the award.
In today's featured arbitration, we got an unhappy public customer complaining that he was duped by his stockbroker into an investment that was beset by fraud. Frankly, the customer seems to have had a point. Turns out that the broker-dealer filed its own claim against the stockbroker "for his acts of theft." When your best defense admits that the complaining customer was the victim of theft and you file your own claim seeking to be made whole from by the same thief, there's not that much to do beyond write out a settlement check to the customer.