John Thomas is a national leader in False Claims Act (FCA) litigation, where whistleblowers uncover and report fraud against the government. John litigates cases throughout the country involving procurement fraud, health care fraud, medical device fraud, and grant fraud. John is the founder and Chair of the Federal Bar Association Qui Tam Section and a frequent writer and speaker on FCA topics. In addition to his work in the qui tam arena, John is a national voice in science policy. He is a contributor to the blog Retraction Watch and has published in The Scientist. He advises researchers and academics in research administration issues.
Prior to joining Gentry Locke, John served as a judge advocate in the U.S. Marine Corps. He prosecuted and defended Marines and Sailors in courts-martial and deployed to Helmand Province, Afghanistan to advise commanders on the law of war. John is a Major in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve.
Years active military duty
Cups of java daily
Incredible young sons
Times lived in Germany
If you had chosen a different career path, what would it have been?
Archeology; I enjoy history and love to travel.
You grew up in an unusual setting. Tell me about that.
I’m from Fryburg, Pennsylvania, which is Amish country. My family bought a farm from an Amish family and that’s where I grew up. We had plumbing (which we had to install), and lots of sheep and other livestock.
You have had a number of unique experiences – on what advice do you model your life?
I love this quote from Robert Heinlein, the “dean” of American science fiction writers:
“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”
- University of Georgia School of Law, J.D. 2007
- The University of the South, B.A. cum laude, 2004
- Expeditionary Warfare School (2015-Present)
- Intelligence Law Course, TJAGSLC (2010)
- Basic Operational Law Course, TJAGSLC (2010)
- Naval Justice School (2009)
- The Basic School (2008)
- Officer Candidates School (2005)
Qui Tam Litigation
- Consulted and advised whistleblowers in fraud cases involving the defense industry, government procurement, health care industry and educational institutions
- Represents multiple whistleblowers in qui tam litigation involving tens of millions of dollars
Commercial & Corporate Litigation
- Represented contract mining company at arbitration over contract dispute, winning $23.5 million award
- Represented Fortune 500 company in trade secrets matter involving former senior executive, obtaining favorable settlement
- Successfully represented trucking company on FLSA claims at trial, obtaining verdict for defendant trucking company
- Represented leading telecommunications company in lawsuit from consumer, resulting in verdict for the company
- Represented owners of a closely-held corporation in dissolution lawsuit brought by minority shareholders, resulting in favorable settlement
- Represented car dealership on claims of false advertising, resulting in summary judgment for business
- Represented insurance carriers in multiple coverage matters, resulting in declarations of no coverage
- Represented property management company at trial on personal injury claims, resulting in verdict for the property manager
- Represented multiple businesses in efficiently collecting unpaid debts and obligations
Litigation for Individuals
- Represented a man injured by a defective CNC machine and tool bit, resulting in $16.5 million settlement
- Represented individual in FLSA case for unpaid wages against nursing care provider, resulting in verdict for individual and award of attorney fees and costs
- Represented executive in dispute over severance agreement, resulting in favorable settlement
- Represented homeowner on wrongful death claims arising from visitor falling down stairs, resulting in summary judgment for homeowner
- Represented homeowner on claims arising from dog bite, resulting in verdict for homeowner
- Represented individuals in dispute with former employer over non-compete agreement
- Served as Marine Corps defense counsel, representing Marines and sailors at General and special courts-martial accused of a variety of crimes, including attempted murder, aggravated assault, rape, negligent homicide, theft of government property, drug distribution, computer crimes and numerous other offenses
- Served as a Marine Corps prosecution team leader, managing a trial team that prosecuted numerous crimes, including a capital case involving crimes against children
- Served as judge advocate for 3d Battalion, 9th Marines in Marjah, Afghanistan, advising the battalion commander on a variety of issues, including detention operations, law of war, rules of engagement, fiscal regulations involving reconstruction funding, military justice and internal investigations
- Currently serves as the Assistant Senior Defense Counsel for the National Capital Region
- Major, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve
- Member, Federal Bar Association; Founder and Chair, FBA Qui Tam Section (2015-Present)
- Member, The Virginia Bar Association
- Member, Roanoke Bar Association
- Named a “Virginia Super Lawyers Rising Star” in Employment Litigation: Plaintiff (2017)
- Co-author, The False Claims Act: Past, Present, and Future; The Federal Lawyer, a publication of the Federal Bar Association (December 2016).
- The Federal Courts’ Jurisdiction and Venue Clarification Act of 2011, The VADA Journal of Civil Litigation, Vol. XXV, No. 4, (Winter 2013-2014).
- Co-author, Escobar Aftermath: Expanded Liability, Uncertainty and More Trials; U.S. Law Week published by Bloomberg BNA (November 3, 2016).
Case StudiesThe results of client matters depend on a variety of factors unique to each matter. Past successes do not predict or guarantee future successes.
Virginia Company Prevails in Hard-Fought Labor Arbitration Case The results of client matters depend on a variety of factors unique to each matter. Past successes do not predict or guarantee future successes.Case Studies