Don McKenna

Don McKenna

of Counsel

Don has been practicing law since 1995 where he was a partner in another litigation firm for over 20 years. Don joined Farris, Riley & Pitt of counsel in 2022. Throughout his career, Don has represented plaintiffs from across the nation, including before the United States Supreme Court, and he has won several verdicts that set new legal precedents. He has published numerous articles in legal journals and law reviews and is a frequent speaker at legal seminars and professional conferences on the subject of representing whistleblowers under the Federal False Claims Act.

While he practices in several areas, including personal injuries, wrongful death, and product liability, Don has a special enthusiasm for cases that involve fraud on the United States Government and bringing to justice companies that steal from taxpayer dollars. He has handled such fraud cases under the False Claims Act involving: Medicare and Medicaid billing schemes; defense contracts; Navy destroyers; Army tank weapons systems; clinical laboratories; mineral royalties; kickbacks; Stark-law violations; IRS fraud; Davis-Bacon Act violations; employing undocumented workers on federal contracts; and, cheating on material government contract requirements.

Chambers & Partners have regarded Don as ‘one of the premiere False Claims Act lawyers in Southeast’ and both his clients and colleagues have praised his unique ability to provide expert counsel in complex government matters.

To date, Don’s work has resulted in jury verdicts and settlements totaling more than $1.8 billion. In 2012, he obtained an $8 million verdict for the family of a retired physician who was mistreated by a nursing home in Kentucky. In 2010, a case on which Don was co-counsel, Schafer v. Bayer Cropscience, was listed among the “Top 100 Verdicts in America” by Verdict Search.

While he practices in several areas, Don has a special enthusiasm for cases that involve government fraud. He is a member of the Taxpayers Against Fraud Education Fund, a national organization of lawyers who represent whistleblowers. He was honored by that organization in 2009 as the “Whistleblower Lawyer of the Year.”

Don represented several whistle-blowers in claims brought against East Alabama Medical Center and its subsidiary Aperian Laboratory Solutions. This involved allegations that they violated the Anti-Kickback Statute and False Claims Act, resulting in a $7.6 million verdict plus statutory fees and expenses of $1.56 million.

Don represented over 350 individual clients in the metal-on-metal hip litigation against various manufacturers of defective metal-on-metal hips. He has spoken nationally on this topic on the televised program, “The People’s Law School.” Don was appointed to the Plaintiffs Steering Committee on the Stryker Rejuvenate – ABG II Hip Implant Products Liability National Multi-District Litigation.

Don is married to his wife Stephanie and enjoys spending time hiking and skiing in the mountains and being on the water with family and friends.

Getting outside of the courtroom and giving back to those in need is important to Don, as evidenced by his extensive community involvement. He is an active member of Shades Mountain Baptist Church where he serves both locally and globally. He is also Chairman of the Board for Metro Changers – a Christian Organization that repairs houses for those in need within the City of Birmingham.

Education

  • Auburn University, B.S. Finance (1992)
  • Cumberland School of Law, J.D. (1995)

Admitted

  • Alabama (1995)
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama
  • United States Court of Appeals 11th Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals 5th Circuit
  • Alabama Supreme Court

Affiliations

Awards

  • National Trial Lawyer
  • False Claims Act Lawyer of the Year 2009
  • Mid-South Super Lawyers® (2016, 2018, 2020)
  • AV Preeminent® Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®
  • “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers in America® (2015)
  • “Best Lawyer” by Best Lawyers in America® (2013-2021)
  • B-Metro Top Flight Attorney (2019)
  • Best of the Bar 2019 – Birmingham Business Journal
  • “Top 100 Trial Lawyer” by The National Trial Lawyers

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