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The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the Act) is arguably the most sweeping and significant expansion of financial regulatory reform since the Great Depression. The Act, stimulated by Congress's perceived failures of government banking regulations, is intended to promote financial stability in the United States. Amidst the Act's thousands of pages are a handful of sections that significantly enhance the awards and protections available to whistleblowers. Among other things, the Dodd-Frank Act's whistle-blower bounty provisions and protections gives a hefty award to whistleblowers, strengthens and expands the whistleblower protections of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (Sarbanes-Oxley), creates an entirely new retaliation-protection regime, and provides for new private rights of action for whistleblowers under the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934 (SEA) and the Commodity Exchange Act of 1936 (CEA) going forward. These whistleblower provisions will have both immediate and long-term effects on employees, companies, lawyers, and federal courts.

This Comment's purpose is threefold. First, this Comment canvasses the history of federal law whistleblower provisions and discusses the financial climate that stimulated the passage of the Dodd-Frank Act. Second, this Comment considers the whistleblower provisions and protections afforded by the Dodd-Frank Act and compares them to prior legislative provisions. Third, this Comment explores the likelihood that the Act's whistleblower provisions will achieve their intended goals and the potential for unintended and undesirable consequences.