Howard Wieder, a Manhattan attorney and determined whistle blower, won a major victory in the New York Court of Appeals on Dec. 22 after a five-year trek through the state's court system. The state's high court, in the first decision of its kind in the United States, held 5-0 that lawyers who follow the requirements of the professional disciplinary rules and report dishonest colleagues can not be fired in retaliation. The decision represented a break from past rulings in which the court declined to protect corporate whistleblowing employees, said Seth Rosner, chair of the ABA Standing Committee on Professionalism. 'I think it demonstrates that this court is concerned about lawyer discipline,' he said. Legal ethics professors, virtually all of whom had supported Wieder's position, were exhilarated by the court's decision, which reversed two lower court rulings.