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This course will survey the principles underlying whistleblower law, and the various components of that law. It will begin by asking what a whistleblower is and by distinguishing whistleblowing from spying, stealing, and mere gossiping. It will then conduct a brief review of the history of the competing elements of the law: whistleblower protection statutes (both federal and state-based, affecting both private and government employees); and the competing statutes which are designed to protect secrets and to impose penalties on people who betray those secrets. It will ask whether there is such a thing as a “common law” of whistleblowing, or whether we must resign ourselves to the clumsy efforts to legislate which seem to dominate this area of the law today. And of course, it will dive into the relationship of whistleblowing to the First Amendment and to the law as it affects journalists (both full-time journalists and new age journalists).
Woodland Hills, California
San Diego, California
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