The fact that former Washington Mutual VP Theresa Hagman recently received a decision in her favor from the administrative law judge in her Sarbanes-Oxley whistleblower action by no means indicates the end of her journey. In fact, it is more than likely just the beginning.
As an attorney involved in whistleblower litigation pointed out in an e-mail to IT Business Edge yesterday, the fact that the ALJ awarded Hagman damages does not guarantee that she will actually receive them. The administrative decision is often the first of many in what is usually a long process.
Like the decision from the ALJ in David Welch's case, which we highlighted in October, the ALJ's award in Hagman's case may not be enforced. Moreover, there is always the possibility of appeal -- especially given that the idea of "front pay" in such cases is a new one.