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Perhaps you haven’t noticed, but there are essentially two justice systems in this country. There’s one for those who can afford the best, highest-paid and most-experienced lawyers. Then, there’s another for those who can’t.

We say perhaps you haven’t noticed, because it seems to have escaped the attention of one Alexander I. Platt, and he’s a Yale Law School graduate, former clerk to two federal judges, a one-time member of powerhouse law firm Boies Schiller and now a bona fide law professor himself. At least, it did until he started looking around at data from the Securities and Exchange Commission’s whistleblower program. And wouldn’t you know it, those with lawyers do better than those without, and those with good lawyers do better than those with less-good lawyers, and those with well-connected lawyers do better than everyone else.

The study shows that about 23% of awards in the database—or 30—went to law firms with at least one attorney who was a former SEC official, highlighting the potential benefits that this group’s connections might have.

Two-thirds of the total awards went to whistleblowers represented by lawyers, the study found. Within that group, about a quarter of them, or 22 awards, went to lawyers who previously won awards from the SEC. About one-third of the recipients in the database didn’t have legal representation, the data shows.

It's a scandal! A scandal, of course, repeated in every other area of American jurisprudence, but focusing on things like how the poor are disadvantaged by that system doesn’t get you invited to speak before the Federalist Society in the same way as papers like “Unstacking the Deck: Administrative Summary Judgment and Political Control” and “Gatekeeping in the Dark: SEC Control Over Private Securities Litigation Revisited.”

SEC Whistleblower Awards Program Might Have a Revolving-Door Problem, Study Says [WSJ]

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