H. Vincent McKnight Jr.

H. Vincent McKnight Jr.

DC Managing Partner

Biography

Vincent “Vince” McKnight, Jr. is the Washington, DC Managing Partner of Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP, a national law firm with offices in the District of Columbia, New York, California, Tennessee, and Maryland, and a Co-Chair of the firm’s Whistleblower & Qui Tam Practice Group. He also represents clients in employment discrimination and wrongful discharge cases.

Vince represents whistleblowers in sealed and unsealed False Claims Act/qui tam suits under investigation by the United States and other governmental stakeholders. He has achieved significant success in such cases, including the representation of whistleblowers in a series of actions alleging that office products companies (Staples, Office Depot) were illegally selling products from non-compliant countries such as China to the U.S. government in violation of the Trade Agreements Act and General Services Administration (GSA) policies. He also served as co-counsel in United States ex rel Cox v. Smith & Newpew, alleging unlawful sales of medical devices under government contracts arising from the manufacturer’s violations of the Trade Agreements Act.

Vince was co-lead counsel for a whistleblower who was the Government Contracting Director for Network Appliance (NetApp) in a matter that resulted in the then-largest GSA procurement fraud settlement in history. NetApp overcharged the government in violation of the GSA “Best Price” Clause, and ultimately settled for approximately $128M.Vince has served as faculty at the ABA’s  Annual National Institute on the False Claims Act and Qui Tam Enforcement and he has participated as a panelist at conferences hosted by Taxpayers Against Fraud and the Practicing Lawyers Institute focusing on issues under the False Claims Act. In addition, he co-authored “Causes of Action by Employee for Retaliation and Reprisal Pursuant to the False Claims Act, 31 USC Section 3730 (h)” in Causes of Action 2d 217, Section 2 (West 2003). Vince is renowned for arguing and winning a case in which the DC Court of Appeals first departed from the employment-at-will doctrine—the assumption that employment is for an indefinite amount of time and may be terminated at any time—in the District of Columbia.  In the Summer of 2018, Vince was on the SHS trial team that obtained a $1.25M verdict against Columbia University on behalf of Professor Enrichetta Ravina.

Vince has consistently received a rating of “AV” by Martindale-Hubbell and was selected as one of the organization’s “Best Lawyers in America”  He has also been honored as a “Top Lawyer in Maryland” by the Legal Network and as “top DC Lawyer” in Super Lawyers.

Credentials

EDUCATION
  • J.D. University of Pennsylvania School of Law 1978
  • B.A. Brown University 1975
CLERKSHIP
  • Honorable William C. Pryor in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia and the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.
BAR ADMISSIONS
  • District of Columbia, 1980
  • Maryland, 2009
PUBLICATIONS
  • Causes of Action by Employee Retaliation and Reprisal Pursuant to the False Claims Act, 31 USC Section 3730 (j). Causes of Action 2d 217, Section 2, West 2003. Co-author.
  • Biomechanics of VDT Carpal Tunnel Cases. Trial. June 1991.

Major Cases

UNITED STATES EX REL COX ET AL v. MEDTRONIC (D.MINN.)

Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP won a more than $4.4 million qui tam settlement against Medtronic, Inc., one of the world’s largest medical device manufacturers. The whistleblower, represented by the firm and the U.S. Department of Justice, alleged that Medtronic violated the Trade Agreements Act (“TAA”) and the False Claims Act by selling products to the Government that were manufactured in countries with which the United States is not a trading partner, under contracts governed by the TAA. Read More

UNITED STATES EX REL SHERWIN v. OFFICE DEPOT [LOS ANGELES COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT]

The whistleblower, represented by Altomease Kennedy and California co-counsels, alleged that Office Depot violated the California False Claims Act by overcharging numerous governmental entities, including the city and county of Los Angeles, for office and classroom supplies, and failing to offer them the company’s “best price.” The city of Los Angeles received the largest settlement allocation of more than $11 million. Read More

UNITED STATES EX REL COX v. SMITH & NEPHEW (W.D. TENN.)

Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP won a $11.3 million qui tam settlement against Smith & Nephew one of the world’s largest medical device manufacturers. The whistleblower, represented by the firm and the U.S. Department of Justice, alleged that Smith & Nephew violated the Trade Agreements Act (“TAA”) and the False Claims Act by selling products to the Government that were manufactured in countries with which the United States is not a trading partner, under contracts governed by the TAA. Read More

Accolades

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Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP is a public interest law firm representing individuals and groups against corporations and governmental entities. The firm also represents individual citizens when a corporation is committing an act of fraud against the U.S. Government. As a private attorney general, Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP specializes in employment, Title VII and wage and hour matters; representation of executives and attorneys; qui tam whistleblower cases; consumer fraud; housing discrimination; mass torts; and appellate and complex litigation.

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