Posts Tagged ‘award’

James Hoyer Paralegal Wins Pro Bono Service Award


Jan Brown with 13th Judicial Circuit Court Judges Catherine McEwen and Emily Peacock

It was a proud moment for the James Hoyer Law Firm as paralegal Jan Brown was named the very 1st recipient of the Outstanding Pro Bono Service by a Paralegal Award in Florida’s 13th Judicial Circuit.  Jan graciously accepted the award at a ceremony at the Chester Ferguson Law Center in Tampa, on April 24th, 2014. (See video and pictures below)

“I’m very passionate about pro bono work, because I think it’s important to give back to the community,” Jan said. “There are so many people in need of legal services who can’t afford them, so we all need to do our part.”

Jan was honored for providing more than 125 hours of pro bono work on various projects ranging from the Wills for Heroes program to cases on child custody, student loan debt, and foreclosure.

Attorney Nancy Lugo, Bay Area Legal Services Pro Bono Manager, presented Jan with the award.  Nancy praised Jan for selflessly dedicating herself, not only to pro bono clients in need, but also to organizations that provide pro bono service to the indigent, including Bay Area Legal Services, the Bay Area Volunteer Lawyers Program, and the Hillsborough County Bar Association.

Jan has served as the Pro Bono Chair for the Tampa Bay Paralegal Association for the past three years.  She is also on the Association’s Board of Directors and was its 2012-2013 Vice President.  In her role there, she has tirelessly encouraged other paralegals to join in the spirit of giving pro bono time.

Jan continued to champion the cause, in her charming and infectious way, as she accepted the award, saying,  “I warn everybody to be careful, because pro bono, volunteer work can be addictive, and you may never quit!”  Please join us in congratulating Jan for his honor.

Play the video below to see Jan accepting the award.

We would also  like to congratulate James Hoyer Attorney Jillian Estes for being recognized at this year’s ceremony, as a Hillsborough County Attorney who has provided more than 20 hours of pro bono service.  In 2012, Jillian was the recipient of the Outstanding Pro Bono Service by a Young Lawyer Award in Florida’s 13th Judicial Circuit.

Photos from the 2014 Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Awards:

2014 Pro Bono Award Recipients (from L to R)Wes Tibbals - Rosemary Armstrong - Betsey Hapner - Morris "Sandy" Weinberg, Jr. - Sara Alpert -Jan Brown

2014 Pro Bono Award Recipients (from L to R)
Wes Tibbals – Rosemary Armstrong – Betsey Hapner – Morris “Sandy” Weinberg, Jr. – Sara Alpert –
Jan Brown

Jan with James Hoyer Attorneys Jillian Estes and Jess Hoyer

Jan with James Hoyer Attorneys Jillian Estes and Jess Hoyer


Jan with James Hoyer Communications Director Angie Moreschi


Jan Brown with award presenter BALS Attorney Nancy Lugo


Jan with Attorney Katie Everlove-Stone


SEC Announces $14 Million Whistleblower Award

Right on the heels of Chief Sean McKessy’s interview promising more resolved cases and whistleblower awards, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced an award of more than $14 million to a whistleblower today.  The whistleblower has requested to stay anonymous, which the SEC law permits – a distinct difference from typical False Claims Act cases where the whistleblower’s identity is almost always revealed at the resolution of a case.

The SEC has not yet identified the target company nor the total amount of recovery, but does state that it brought an enforcement action against the company less than six months after the whistleblower tip was filed.  The speed of the SEC’s action – particularly in light of the clearly large value of the settlement – is encouraging and hopefully indicative that other cases may be fast-tracked as well.

As we have previously discussed on this blog, the James Hoyer law firm has significant experience representing clients in filing anonymous tips with the SEC Office of the Whistleblower.  If you have knowledge of a violation of federal securities laws or regulations and are considering filing a complaint with the SEC, please contact James Hoyer for an evaluation of your claims.  Click here for more information about the firm and to submit your information electronically, or you may contact our office at 813-397-2300.



Washington D.C., Oct. 1, 2013

The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced an award of more than $14 million to a whistleblower whose information led to an SEC enforcement action that recovered substantial investor funds.  Payments to whistleblowers are made from a separate fund previously established by the Dodd-Frank Act and do not come from the agency’s annual appropriations or reduce amounts paid to harmed investors.

The award is the largest made by the SEC’s whistleblower program to date.

The SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower was established in 2011 as authorized by the Dodd-Frank Act.  The whistleblower program rewards high-quality original information that results in an SEC enforcement action with sanctions exceeding $1 million, and awards can range from 10 percent to 30 percent of the money collected in a case.

“Our whistleblower program already has had a big impact on our investigations by providing us with high quality, meaningful tips,” said SEC Chair Mary Jo White.  “We hope an award like this encourages more individuals with information to come forward.”

The whistleblower, who does not wish to be identified, provided original information and assistance that allowed the SEC to investigate an enforcement matter more quickly than otherwise would have been possible.  Less than six months after receiving the whistleblower’s tip, the SEC was able to bring an enforcement action against the perpetrators and secure investor funds.

“While it is certainly gratifying to make this significant award payout, the even better news for investors is that whistleblowers are coming forward to assist us in stopping potential fraud in its tracks so that no future investors are harmed,” said Sean McKessy, chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower.  “That ultimately is what the whistleblower program is all about.”

The SEC’s first payment to a whistleblower was made in August 2012 and totaled approximately $50,000.  In August and September 2013, more than $25,000 was awarded to three whistleblowers who helped the SEC and the U.S. Department of Justice halt a sham hedge fund, and the ultimate total payout in that case once all sanctions are collected is likely to exceed $125,000.

By law, the SEC must protect the confidentiality of whistleblowers and cannot disclose any information that might directly or indirectly reveal a whistleblower’s identity.

For more information about the whistleblower program and how to report a tip, visit


James Hoyer Associate Receives Outstanding Pro Bono Service Award

With family and friends looking on proudly, James Hoyer Law Firm Associate Jillian Estes was honored with this year’s Outstanding Pro Bono Service by a Young Lawyer Award in Florida’s Thirteenth Judicial Circuit. Jillian accepted the award on April 26th, 2012 at the Chester Ferguson Law Center in Tampa.

“I want to (say) thank you very much to the committee for this honor. It’s very humbling to say the least,” Jillian said as she addressed the crowd after accepting the award from Judge James Barton, but one very special guest couldn’t hold back his excitement at that very moment.  Jillian’s 22-month old son Kingston beamed and called out “Ma Ma,” just after Jillian began to speak. Click on the video below to watch Jillian accept the award and see the priceless interruption by her number one fan.

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