A former college dean who says she was blackballed after suing the now-scuttled Globe University may have a second career as a whistleblower advocate. Heidi Weber, who moved to the Twin Cities from South Dakota to become a Globe University dean only to be fired in 2011, was featured on the Aug. 31 episode of CBS-TV’s new series “Whistleblower.”
MINNEAPOLIS, MN (August 24, 2018): Halunen Law is pleased to announce firm founder and managing partner Clayton Halunen, and client Heidi Weber will be featured in the August 31 episode of CBS’ new Whistleblower television series. Weber won a judgment in excess of $1 million in her 2013 civil court case claiming her former employer, Woodbury, Minn.-based Globe University/Minnesota School of Business, wrongfully terminated her. As Dean of the Globe Universities Medical Assistant Program, Weber was let go in April 2011. Weber claimed the for-profit school engaged in consumer fraud by making misleading statements to students about its job placement rates and failing to meet its commitment to place all qualified medical assistant program students in externship programs, according to court records. Rather than address her concerns constructively, Globe University officials chose to silence her by firing her.
Weber’s courage and conviction to blow the whistle on the school’s misleading and illegal practices resulted not only in a significant financial judgment, but garnered the attention of Minnesota’s Attorney General, and brought a national spotlight to the unethical practices embraced by many for-profit colleges. As a result, schools across the region and nation have ceased operation. Clayton Halunen and employment attorney and partner Ross Stadheim were instrumental in achieving the verdict and bringing broader attention to the case.
“We are immensely proud that CBS chose to share Heidi’s compelling, courageous story,” said Halunen. “Heidi epitomizes the guts and determination it takes to blow the whistle. And her case conveys what we so passionately believe; one person seeking justice can have a profound impact on creating meaningful change. We are grateful to host and executive producer Alex Ferrer, producer Caroline Sommers, and the CBS Whistleblower team for their exceptional work conveying Heidi’s difficult but ultimately rewarding journey. I encourage everyone to tune in on August 31.”
About the Whistleblower Series
Whistleblower takes a thrilling look at the real-life David vs. Goliath stories of heroic people who put everything on the line in order to expose illegal and often dangerous wrongdoing when major corporations rip off U.S. taxpayers. Hosted by attorney Alex Ferrer, a former judge, and police officer, each hour introduces cases in which ordinary people step up to do the extraordinary by risking their careers, their families and even their lives to ensure others are not harmed or killed by unchecked, unethical corporate greed. The show airs Fridays on CBS. Streaming is available at https://www.cbs.com/shows/whistleblower/
Photos are available on www.cbspressexpress.com
CBS Twitter: https://twitter.com/
About Halunen Law
With offices in Minneapolis and Chicago, Halunen Law offers experienced legal representation to protect whistleblowers that have experienced retaliation or are planning to blow the whistle. They also offer experienced legal representation to individuals who are blowing the whistle on government fraud under the False Claims Act and other statutes. More information at halunenlaw.com.
WCCO TV – Minneapolis: Whistleblower Hopes Win Over Globe University Inspires Others To Speak Up: https://minnesota.cbslocal.
CBS News coverage of Whistleblower series The Case Against Globe University: https://www.youtube.com/watch?
KELO TV: South Dakota Native Shares “Whistleblower” Story With CBS News: https://www.keloland.com/news/
CBS’s New Whistleblower Series Shines a Light on Real-Life Whistleblowers
CBS television launched the new 8-part series called Whistleblower On July 13. The show offers an in-depth look at the remarkable courage and resolve of several whistleblowers, and the difficult paths they take that lead to justice.
Familiar territory for Halunen Law Qui Tam/Whistleblower attorneys. Halunen’s attorneys are in the daily fight to prosecute cases brought by whistleblowers to challenge unlawful corporate conduct. We know the toll these cases can take on those courageous enough to challenge unethical practices and we do everything we can to alleviate that burden.
“We’re pleased to see such a bright, national spotlight put on these heroes with the whistleblower series. It presents an opportunity to educate a broader audience about the profound changes these cases can bring and the types of fraud that still occur today. We encourage you to tune in on Friday nights and follow the whistleblower series.”
Check Your Local Listings for Times
Episode One: “Blow the Whistle, Change the World”
Two dentists were alarmed by the unsafe and fraudulent practices they observed as standard practice at a pediatric dental chain that provides services in underserved communities. They challenged those practices that they feared would lead to overtreatment, overbilling and putting children at risk. The episode also features a whistleblower who took on pharmaceutical giant Bristol-Myers Squibb accusing the company of using illicit bribes, expensive vacations, and sumptuous dinners to gain illegal access to patient medical records and influence doctors to prescribe the company’s high-priced meds. Watch the full episode
Episode Two: “The Deadly Cancer Doctor & the Ugly Side of the Beauty Business”
What could be worse than being diagnosed and treated for cancer? Later finding out that your doctor lied and you never had it to begin with. An office manager at a cancer center blew the whistle on the oncologist running the practice when he discovered the doctor was giving chemotherapy to more than 500 patients who do not need it. The scope of what the whistleblower discovered was staggering. This episode also features the story of courageous whistleblowers who challenged the unethical practices of Marinello Schools of Beauty after uncovering fraud against its students. Watch the full episode
Episode Three: “The Case Against Northrop”
James Holzrichter thought he had landed his dream job working at Northrop, one of the top military contractors in the world. But, once he moved from testing equipment to “product assurance,” that is, ensuring that the company was properly billing the government for parts, he began to notice some disturbing trends. Taking nearly two decades to be resolved this case is the featured story for the full episode. Watch the full episode
Episode Four: “The Case Against the Cardiologists and the Case Against Wells Fargo”
In this episode Host, Alex Ferrer investigates the case against cardiologists engaging in unethical, potentially life-threatening practices. The first segment features Dr. Michael Jones, a successful cardiologist in Lexington, Ky., who noticed a troubling pattern in the patients showing up in his office. They were all from the same part of rural Kentucky, and each of them seemed to have had expensive heart procedures he believed they didn’t need. The second segment features courageous whistleblower Jessie Guitron who sounded the early alarms in what subsequently became a huge banking scandal for Wells Fargo amid allegations that bank employees were encouraged to open credit card accounts for customers without their knowledge, leading to even larger, systemic fraud. Watch the full episode
Episode Five: “The Case Against Los Alamos”
Los Alamos National Laboratory, the birthplace of the atomic bomb and home to some of the country’s most dangerous secrets had some troubling security issues. Following a series of embarrassing security lapses and thefts, former police chiefs Glenn Walp and Steve Doran were brought in to review and bolster security at the facility in 2002. But almost immediately, it was clear that things were far worse than they had thought. Watch the full episode
Episode Six: “The Case Against eClinicalWorks; the Case Against Chartwells”
Thanks to electronic medical records, millions of Americans now expect their doctors to have the right information about their care at their fingertips. But could faulty digital medical records cost lives? Host Alex Ferrer investigates the case of medical charting software gone wrong. In the second part of this episode, New York Chef Jeffrey Mills, became executive director of the Office of Food and Nutritional Services for DC Public Schools (DCPS) and discovered an entrenched system of spoiled, and wasted food served across the school system. His whistleblower actions resulted in a $19.4 million settlement against the food service provider. Watch the full episode
Episode Seven: “The Case Against Second Chance Body Armor”
What would you do if you had dedicated your career to protecting those who protect us, only to discover the company that once saved your life may be putting others at risk? Dr. Aaron Westrick was the research director for America’s largest body armor company – Second Chance Body Armor – and was the first official to oppose the sale of bulletproof vests made with Zylon fiber. Based on his disclosures, these defective vests were forced off the market and police officer’s lives were saved. Dr. Westrick’s story is featured in this hour-long episode. Watch the full episode
MINNEAPOLIS, MN — (August 1, 2018) Halunen Law is pleased to announce attorney Amy Boyle was recently made a Partner at the firm. Boyle has been with Halunen Law since October 2015 and works with the employment and class action practice groups. Her reputation as a first-rate litigator and staunch defender of plaintiffs’ rights, has garnered much praise and recognition by colleagues and clients alike.
“Amy’s personal approach, robust litigation experience, and deft ability to navigate difficult, prolonged cases has made her an exceptional member of our team,” said Clayton Halunen, founder and managing partner of Halunen Law. “I’m incredibly proud of the work she does and pleased to acknowledge her contributions by making her a Partner at the firm,” added Halunen.
A Cum Laude graduate of University of St. Thomas School of Law, Boyle received the Minnesota State Bar Association’s Law Student Award for Excellence in Employment Law. She holds bar admissions in Minnesota, New York, and Wisconsin. Boyle is a member of the Warren E. Burger Inn of Court, a by-invitation organization of attorneys and judges dedicated to promoting excellence in legal advocacy. She is also a Board Member for the Federal Bar Association’s Younger Lawyers Division and Alternative Dispute Resolution Section and is an active member of Minnesota Women Lawyers.
Boyle grew up in Janesville, Wisconsin and graduated from Milton High School. She received her B.A. from the University of St. Thomas, in St. Paul, Minnesota with a focus on Legal Studies in Business and International Business—Spanish.
About Halunen Law
With offices in Minneapolis and Chicago, Halunen Law offers experienced legal representation to employees, consumers and whistleblowers in individual and class actions. Halunen also offers experienced representation to employees and whistleblowers under the False Claims Act and other statutes. Halunen Law has achieved a reputation as a fearless, tenacious and successful plaintiffs’ law firm, with a laser focus on achieving justice for its clients as well as meaningful social change. For information on the firm visit www.halunenlaw.com.
On July 11, 2018, Halunen Law’s Blaine Balow was admitted to practice in the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota. Halunen Law employment attorney and colleague Emma Denny made the motion for admission at the U.S. Courthouse in Minneapolis. The Honorable Ann D. Montgomery granted the motion and Blaine was then admitted into practice in federal court. As an employment attorney, Blaine represents clients in matters of discrimination, civil rights, sexual harassment, or are whistleblowers. Congratulations Blaine!
Strong legal advocacy can have a ripple effect in achieving systemic change. This article recounts the expanded impact of a letter Clayton Halunen wrote on behalf of a whistleblower client. Read the article.
Minneapolis, MN: For the 15th consecutive year, Halunen Law founder and managing partner, Clayton Halunen was selected to the Minnesota Super Lawyers list. Halunen Law partner, and chair of the False Claims Act/Whistleblower practice group, Susan Coler was selected for the 10th consecutive year, while employment attorney Barbara Felt was included for the 5th year in a row. Partner and Consumer Class Action attorney Christopher Moreland was newly selected to the Super Lawyers list. Returning to the Rising Stars list was partner and employment attorney Ross Stadheim, employment attorney Emma Denny, and consumer class action attorney Charles Moore. The Super Lawyers list represents just 5% of Minnesota attorneys, and the Rising Stars list recognizes only 2.5% of attorneys 40 years old or younger or in practice for ten years or less.
“I am honored to be included in this important list once again, and pleased so many Halunen Law attorneys were recognized this year,” said Clayton Halunen. “It is extremely gratifying to see our work consistently acknowledged by our peers. I’m proud of our team’s tremendous track record, expertise, and dedication in pursuit of justice on behalf of the courageous whistleblowers, employees, and consumers they represent.”
HALUNEN LAW 2018 SUPER LAWYERS:
Clayton D. Halunen, Founding Partner
Susan M. Coler, Partner
Barbara J. Felt, Partner
Christopher J. Moreland, Partner
HALUNEN LAW 2018 RISING STARS:
Emma R. Denny, Associate
Charles D. Moore, Associate
Ross D. Stadheim, Partner
ABOUT HALUNEN LAW: Halunen Law offers expertise in litigating employment cases on behalf of individual employees, consumer class actions and whistleblower cases under the False Claims Act and other statutes. With offices in Minneapolis and Chicago, Halunen Law has achieved a reputation as a fearless, tenacious and successful plaintiffs’ law firm, with a laser focus on achieving justice for its clients while creating meaningful social change.
Halunen Law partner and employment attorney Ross Stadheim has been tenacious in his fight to obtain justice for his client, Richard “Rick” Messina, in a case involving the existence of a two-year employment contract and numerous appeals to the 8th Circuit. His client will finally get to tell his story to a jury during the week of July 30 at the St. Paul federal courthouse. Read Minnesota Litigator’s perspective on this dogfight of a case, which began over four years ago.
Learn more about Halunen Law partner and employment attorney Ross Stadheim.
Event lineup included Olympic gold medalist Greg Louganis, triathlete Chris Mosier, and former Vikings punter Chris Kluwe
EAGAN, Minn.—(June 21, 2018) On Thursday, June 21, acclaimed LGBTQ athletes, professional sports team leaders and others convened for an unprecedented day-long summit focused on the critical importance of equity and inclusion in sports. LGBTQ thought-leaders, athletes, coaches, team executives and members of the media shared ideas and best practices through a series of panel discussions, interviews, and testimonials from LGBTQ athletes. The event, spearheaded by the Minnesota Vikings, was co-sponsored by Halunen Law, known for its leadership and representation of LGBTQ community members in employment and other legal concerns.
“Today was about education, empowerment, motivation, and inclusion in sports,” said Vikings Chief Operating Officer Kevin Warren. “We work every day to create a respectful environment inside the Vikings organization, and we firmly believe it is our fiduciary responsibility to extend that environment to each and every human being by raising awareness and creating positive change. Together with some of the nation’s thought leaders, we were able to create an engaging and impactful discussion regarding the role coaches, players, administrators, and executives can play to promote equality.”
“It was a tremendous opportunity to advance awareness, bring greater understanding, and facilitate change in sports at every level for members of the LGBTQ community,” said Clayton Halunen, founder and managing partner of Minneapolis-based Halunen Law. “We were extremely pleased to work with Chris Kluwe and the Minnesota Vikings organization and serve as co-sponsors of this important event.”
The day’s events included a series of panel discussions with athletes, LGBTQ allies, coaches, members of the media, and representatives from professional sports organizations. Panels included:
Athletes and Allies: LGBTQ athletes and allies discussed their role in creating inclusive environments, and shared first-hand experiences working to build team cultures that welcomed all athletes. Panelists included Chris Kluwe, former professional football player for the Minnesota Vikings, Hudson Taylor, founder and executive director, Athlete Ally, and Amy Wilson, director of inclusion, NCAA.
The Role of Coaches: Coaches and players shared how to create an ecosystem of LGBTQ support within a team. The discussion included LGBTQ athletes and their coaches on navigating when a player comes out, addressing challenges, and building support among their teammates. Panelists included Stephanie White, head women’s basketball coach, Vanderbilt University, Xavier Colvin, football player, Butler University and Joe Cheshire, coach, Butler University.
LGBTQ Trailblazers: This candid discussion with high-profile athletes offered inspiring stories, challenges, and observations of being the/one of the first out athletes in their sport and how coming out led to further inclusion. Panelists included Chris Mosier, Olympian and first known out transgender athlete to join a U.S. national team, Greg Louganis, Olympic diver and LGBTQ activist and Joanna Lohman, professional soccer player for the Washington Spirit.
The Power of Visibility: Institutions and Individuals: In this panel, the moderator and panelists focused on the power leaders have in transforming institutions to be fully inclusive of LGBTQ athletes. Panelists included Samantha Rapoport, director, football development, NFL, and Nevin Caple, co-founder of LGBT SportSafe, leading strategic diversity consultant on LGBTQ inclusion in sports.
“I am very happy with how the panels went and the Vikings’ commitment to make the Summit a useful resource for those in attendance and for others who can use it as a resource later,” said former Minnesota Vikings football player Chris Kluwe. “I think this Summit sets a model for other teams to follow. Ideally this will be the first of many similar gatherings and will work toward advancing the cause of LGBTQ inclusion in sports.”
The day was capped off with a fundraiser and silent auction benefitting several LGBTQ advocacy organizations. The Seattle Seahawks, Chicago Cubs, U.S. Tennis, the Minnesota Vikings, and many others donated items. Monies raised go to local and national LGBTQ organizations including GLSEN, You Can Play, LGBTQ SportSafe, Twin Cities Quorum, and Athlete Ally; each offering a unique program and approach to advance LGBTQ inclusion and equality.
ABOUT THE BENEFICIARY ORGANIZATIONS:
GLSEN – Founded in 1990, GLSEN ensures that LGBTQ students can learn and grow in a school environment free from bullying and harassment while helping to transform K-12 schools into safe and affirming environments across the country. www.glsen.org
You Can Play – Launched in 2012, You Can Play works to ensure equality, respect, and safety for all athletes, without regard to sexual orientation and/or gender identity. You Can Play seeks to guarantee that athletes receive a fair opportunity to compete, judged by other athletes and fans alike, only by what they contribute to the sport of their team’s success. You Can Play is an official partner of the National Hockey League. www.youcanplayproject.org
Athlete Ally – Athlete Ally believes everyone should have equal access, opportunity and experience in sports — regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. Their mission is to end the rampant homophobia and transphobia in sport and to activate the athletic community to exercise its leadership to champion LGBTQ equality. www.athleteally.org
LGBTQ SportSafe – LGBTQ SportSafe Inclusion Program was developed to create an infrastructure for athletic administrators, coaches, and recreational sports leaders to support LGBTQ inclusion in college, high school and professional sports. Their 3-Peat Model addresses the importance of Programming, Policy, and Public Awareness at levels of sport, while offering incentives to institutions, teams, and leagues that reach inclusion goals. https://lgbtsportsafe.com
Twin Cities Quorum – Minnesota’s LGBT and Allied Chamber of Commerce, Twin Cities Quorum builds, connects and strengthens the area’s business community. The organization works to assist and develop certified LGBTQ owned enterprises and supports their entrance into the supply chain of forward-thinking equality-minded companies as well as creating visibility and business activity for all of their member businesses and organizations. www.twincitiesquorum.com.
KARE 11 Video: https://www.kare11.com/
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Nearly 200 people gathered at the Nicollet Island Pavilion on Thursday, June 14 for the Twin Cities Business Journal’s first-ever Business of Pride awards event. The evening, and accompanying special publication, honored 24 individuals for their business success and advocacy for LGBTQ issues. Halunen Law is proud that Clayton Halunen was recognized as a Business of Pride honoree. The esteemed group was comprised of entrepreneurs, corporate executives, nonprofit leaders, and many more. All were heralded for their professional success and making a difference in advancing equality in the business world and community at large.
“I am humbled and honored to be in the company of so many accomplished individuals and to have our shared commitment be recognized in such a significant way,” said Clayton Halunen, founder and managing partner of Halunen Law. “I am passionate about the work I do on behalf of the LGBTQ community. And although we’ve made progress, there is still much to do. I will continue to pursue justice for our community through my legal practice and my life-long personal advocacy.”
Clayton Halunen is the founder of Halunen Law, which represents employees, consumers, and whistleblowers in individual and class actions. Halunen Law has achieved a reputation as a fearless, tenacious and successful plaintiffs’ law firm, with a laser focus on achieving justice for its clients as well as meaningful social change. Clayton’s representation of Vikings punter, Chris Kluwe, during the team’s investigation of Kluwe’s allegations of homophobic comments by a Vikings coach, was instrumental in achieving a historic settlement advancing GLBT rights in professional sports.
Phone: (312) 222-0660
Fax: (612) 605-4099
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