Date: May 2, 2023

Law360 spoke with TELG's Scott Oswald on the potential effects of the Supreme Court's decision to hear an appeal in Murray v. UBS Securities LLC et al. Depending on the Supreme Court's decision, the burden of proof may become heavier for financial industry whistleblowers — and, Mr. Oswald said, spill over into the nuclear, aviation, and railway industries.

"[The nuclear, aviation, and railway industries] are areas where there is a real danger to the public of these employees not operating at the highest level. We want whistleblowers to come forward."

R. Scott Oswald

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High Court Whistleblower Case Is Bigger Than Wall Street

Law360 (May 2, 2023, 7:32 PM EDT) — The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to hear the case of a former UBS employee who claims he was fired for alerting his boss to potential illegal activity could reverberate beyond the financial industry to determine the future success of whistleblower retaliation claims pressed by employees in the transportation, nuclear energy and food safety sectors.

The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear an appeal brought by former UBS employee Trevor Murray, who says he was fired after telling higher-ups about being pressured to alter research he conducted on UBS’ commercial mortgage-backed securities business.

A Manhattan federal jury who heard the case in 2017 awarded Murray $903,300 but the Second Circuit overturned that verdict in August, saying that the judge failed to instruct the jury that they needed to find that UBS acted with “retaliatory intent” in firing the analyst.

UBS says that Murray’s position was cut as part of a round of layoffs the company undertook due to its poor financial performance in 2011.

It’s now up to the Supreme Court to decide if the Second Circuit improperly contradicted four other circuit courts that have imposed lesser standards of proof on alleged whistleblowers, as Murray and his supporters contend.


A Supreme Court ruling in Murray v. UBS could have spillover effects for workers in the nuclear, aviation and railway industries, said R. Scott Oswald, a managing partner and whistleblower attorney at The Employment Law Group.

“These are areas where there is real danger to the public of these employers not operating at the highest level,” Oswald said. “So we want whistleblowers to come forward.”

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