Ms. Kennedy’s long history of successful representation of False Claims Act whistleblowers makes her particularly effective when working for clients in cases under investigation by the United States government.
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As a result, our team more accurately mirrors America. Women, minority, and/or openly gay lawyers make up the majority of our staff. A passion for social justice unites our team - we all work to use the power of law to help create and enforce a more just society.
Altomease R. “Al” Kennedy is Of Counsel in the Washington, DC office of Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP, a national law firm with offices in Washington, DC, New York, California, Tennessee, and Maryland. She received her J.D. degree from the Georgetown University Law Center in 1975.
Ms. Kennedy has a long history of successful representation of whistleblower clients in cases arising under the False Claims Act and currently represents whistleblowers in a range of sealed and unsealed Federal and State False Claims Act False Claims Act/Qui Tam suits under investigation by the United States and other governmental stakeholders.
Ms. Kennedy also represents whistleblowers in active litigation and has served as co-lead counsel for whistleblowers in a series of successful actions alleging that office products companies were illegally selling products from non-compliant countries to the United States Government in violation of the Trade Agreements Act and several General Services Administration (GSA) policies. In addition, Ms. Kennedy was co-lead counsel for the Relator who was the Government Contracting Director for Network Appliance in a qui tam case that resulted in the then-largest GSA procurement fraud settlement in history. Ms. Kennedy represents whistleblowers in Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and SEC cases.
Ms. Kennedy also has amassed significant success as a litigator and trial lawyer in general public interest matters, including the successful representation of Washington, DC, residential electricity consumers before the DC Public Service Commission. She also has successfully represented plaintiffs in medical malpractice cases.
A member of the District of Columbia Bar and the Women’s Bar Association of the District of Columbia, Ms. Kennedy has served as secretary of the Qui Tam Litigation Subgroup of the American Trial Lawyers Association (ATLA). She was also a member of The Advisory Committee to the District of Columbia Bar Foundation. Ms. Kennedy is a former President of the Board of the Frederick B. Abramson Memorial Foundation, which provides financial aid to college-bound D.C. Public School graduates and stipends to lawyers working for public interest organizations. Ms. Kennedy also served two terms as a member of the Goucher College Board of Trustees and is a past Vice President of the Board of Directors of City Lights School.
Prior to joining Sanford Heisler Sharp, Ms. Kennedy founded and was a Partner at McKnight and Kennedy LLC, from 2009-2014. From 1983 to 2009, she was a litigator at Ashcraft & Gerel LLP, where she advanced to partner. From 2000 to 2001, Ms. Kennedy was Special Assistant and Counsel to the President of The Village Foundation, rejoining Ashcraft & Gerel as Of Counsel in May 2001.
Before entering private practice, Ms. Kennedy was a member of the Office of the General Counsel for Potomac Electric Power Company. Before that, Ms. Kennedy was a trial attorney in the Litigation and Liquidation Division of the Economic Development Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce. In this position, she handled cases throughout the U.S. involving environmental issues, employment discrimination, and challenges to President Jimmy Carter’s stimulus effort. Before joining the U.S. DOC, she was a Research Associate for the National Urban League. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, she has now worked inside the beltway for four decades.
- J.D., Georgetown University Law Center, 1975
- B.A., Goucher College, 1971
- District of Columbia, 1976
- Maryland, 2009
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.
United States ex rel. Sherwin v. Office Depot (Los Angeles County Superior Court) – $68 Million Settlement
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.
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.
- Named 2018 Martindale-Hubbell Top Rated Lawyer
- 2018 Marguerite Barland '60 Merit Award Winner
- 2018 DC Super Lawyer
Uncle Sam Needs You to Be a Whistleblower: A Simple Primer on the Federal and State False Claims Acts
What is a Whistleblower? A Whistleblower is a person who informs the federal and/or state government about illegal and fraudulent behavior that causes the government to pay money to an individual or business that is not entitled to receive those government funds. For assisting the government in uncovering fraud, the Whistleblower receives between 15% to […]
The old adage that “the penny matchmaker is a millionaire today” applies to the False Claims Act case I filed on behalf of David Sherwin against Office Depot in 2009. Mr. Sherwin was an Office Depot Account Representative who was responsible for responding to the needs of Office Depot’s municipal, county, and state government clients around the […]
“The More the Merrier”: When Multiple Whistleblowers Jointly File a False Claims Act Case It Often Creates a Stronger Case
The federal False Claims Act — as well as state False Claims Acts — rewards the people who provide information about companies and individuals who cause federal and/or state government entities to pay these parties more than they’re entitled to receive. These statutes also permit whistleblowers to jointly bring False Claims Act lawsuits and then […]
Are You A Construction Worker On A Federal Project Who Was Not Paid Davis Bacon Wages? That May Be a Violation of the Federal False Claims Act
The Davis-Bacon Act, 40 U.S.C. §§ 3141-3148, requires that contractors and subcontractors on federal construction projects pay their employees the prevailing wage rate for their job classification as determined by the U.S. Secretary of Labor. The Davis-Bacon Act is a protective labor law that requires certain federal government contracts “for construction, alteration, and/or repair of […]
President Trump made the “repeal and replacement” of the Affordable Care Act a centerpiece of his Presidential Campaign and Presidency. Thus, as Congress has attempted to “repeal and replace” “Obamacare,” the costs associated with health care have become a major focus of national attention. Such costs, and which party will bear them, are crucial issues […]
The answer to the question is YES. A fired employee may be a whistleblower and file a Federal and/or State False Claims Act case. By doing so, the employee would play a key role in assisting the government in uncovering fraud and prosecuting companies who commit fraud. The employee may also be able to receive […]