David L. Douglass is a partner in Sheppard Mullins’ Governmental Practice and former Managing Partner of the firm’s Washington, D.C. office.

Over his four-decade career, he has represented public and private companies and senior corporate executives in investigations and litigation. Through the range of his representations, David has earned a reputation as an effective litigator, strategic thinker, and trusted advisor, whom clients seek out to help them solve novel, complex, and often unprecedented legal, policy and business problems. Reflecting his innovative thinking, David co-founded Sheppard Mullin’s Organizational Integrity Group, which helps businesses pursue business opportunities while minimizing legal, regulatory, and reputational risk. He is also an American Arbitration Association neutral.

As a former federal prosecutor and former Chair of the ABA Health Law Section, a significant portion of David’s practice focuses on representing a wide range of companies in defending False Claims Act investigations and litigation, which a specialty in representing companies in the healthcare industry. A unique aspect of his practice is counseling companies negotiating acquisitions that are confronted with FCA investigations.

David's trial record has earned him the distinction of being named a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, a prestigious honor reserved for the most distinguished trial attorneys who exemplify the highest standards of ethical conduct and professionalism. David honed his trial skills as a former Assistant United States Attorney and Department of Justice Trial Attorney, where he investigated and prosecuted numerous criminal case in a variety of federal courts. He has employed those skills to successfully represent private and public companies achieve favorable litigation and trial results. Most recently, after a four-week trial, David achieved a favorable result in a False Claims Act Case brought by the Department of Justice against a Fortune 100 company when the government was awarded only approximately $50 million (approximately 5%) of the amount the government sought.

David’s professional and life experiences have given him the ability to find common ground with diverse constituencies. In 2013, David was appointed by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana as deputy federal monitor over the New Orleans Police Department to guide and monitor the department's compliance with a Consent Decree obligating the department to transform its policing practices. In that capacity, David worked closely with community advocates and stakeholders to ensure their meaningful involvement in the consent decree reform process.

Arising from his work as a consent decree monitor, David co-founded and leads Effective Law Enforcement For All (ELEFA), a non-profit organization that partners with communities and their police agencies to adopt law enforcement practices that are safe for the police and the communities they serve. Recently, ELEFA has been entrusted with the significant responsibility of monitoring the Minneapolis Police Department under both state and federal consent decrees, a testament to David's expertise and dedication to building trust between police and historically marginalized communities.

David is deeply committed to advancing civil rights and promoting diversity within the legal profession. Through David’s leadership as vice-chair of the ABA’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Council from 2020-2023, the ABA adopted Resolution 102, which encourages all attorneys to devote at least 20 hours annually to promoting diversity, equity and inclusion in the legal profession. He was the inaugural recipient of the ABA Health Law Section’s Champion of Diversity Award. He serves on the Board of the Washington Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, as well as the Advisory Board of the Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession, where he contributes to fostering a more inclusive and equitable legal landscape. He previously served on the Board of Appleseed Foundation, a nonprofit network of 17 public interest justice centers in the U.S. and Mexico dedicated to building a society in which opportunities are genuine, access to the law is universal and equal, and government advances the public interest.

In summary, David Douglass's multifaceted career reflects a steadfast commitment to effective advocacy, upholding justice, promoting integrity, and driving positive change in the legal profession and in society.



Representative Matters

  • Successfully defended NortonLifeLock, a Fortune 20 cybersecurity company, in a $1.4 billion False Claims Act qui tam matter, in which the U.S. government and California sought in excess of $1.2 billion in damages and penalties. The case was one of the largest False Claims Act matters to proceed to trial and the largest involving the GSA Schedule. After 10 years of litigation and a four-week trial, the court awarded the government approximately 5% of the amount the government sought.
  • Successful representation of physicians investigated for alleged False Claims Act and Anti-Kickback statute violations.
  • Counsel for Boston Scientific in defense of False Claims Act litigation against predecessor company.
  • Successful trial defense of defendant in the qui tam trial arising from contracting in Iraq. (Federal Court, Eastern District of Virginia)
  • Jury verdict on behalf of Health Care Services Corporation in the first indirect-purchaser antitrust case to proceed to trial. (Federal Court, District of Columbia)
  • Successful defense of civil and criminal investigation of a national healthcare provider against allegations of violations of the Medicaid Rebate Statute.
  • Successful defense of corporate executive who was a target in investigation of alleged export control violations.
  • Trial defense of individual charged with violation of the Arms Export Control Act. (Federal Court, District of Maryland, Baltimore Division)
  • Director, White House Security Review, a U.S. Treasury Department led multi-agency review of White House security after a small plane crashed on the White House lawn.
  • Deputy Director, Department of the Treasury’s Investigation of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms’ investigation and raid on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco Texas.

Representative Clients (public representations)

  • Blue Cross Blue Shield Plans
  • Gen Digital (formerly NortonLifeLock, formerly Symantec)
  • Guidant Corporation
  • Health Care Services Corporation (formerly Blue Cross Blue Shield Texas)
  • Kaiser Foundation Health Plans
  • MedImmune



Recipient, Inaugural ABA Healthcare Section’s Champion of Diversity and Inclusion Award, 2015

Leading U.S. Litigator, Lawdragon, 2022-2023

Super Lawyers, 2007, 2010, 2014-2024

Recommended Lawyer - Government Contracts, Legal 500, 2022-2023

  • Legal500 US Recommended Attorney



False Claims Act Defense Blog Posts

Government Contracts, Investigations & International Trade Blog Posts

Healthcare Law Blog Posts

Organizational Integrity Group Blog Posts

Media Mentions

Speaking Engagements

  • Speaker, "The Ethical Case for Diversity,”  Embracing Diversity and Strengthening Communities for a Better Kentucky - Governor’s LEAD Conference, November 18-20, 2020
  • Speaker, "Procurement Collusion Strike Force Webinar," The Coalition for Government Procurement Webinar, January 8, 2020
  • Moderator, "The Impact of DOJ's New Corporate Healthcare Fraud Enforcement Strategies on Providers and Defense Counsel," American Bar Association Washington Health Law Summit, Washington D.C., December 13, 2016
  • Moderator, Implementation of Police Department Consent Decrees: Working Together Toward Institutional Change Conference, Tarleton State University, Texas, November 4-5, 2016
  • Speaker, "Diversity as an Ethical Obligation for Lawyers," Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession's International Program, Lausanne, Switzerland, March 29, 2016
  • Speaker, “Emerging Trends in False Claims Act (FCA) Damages Settlements," ABA Health Law Section’s “Emerging Issues” conference, San Diego, California, March 2-5, 2016
  • Moderator, "Women and Minorities: Willing Partners or Reluctant Allies?" Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession and the National Association of Women Lawyers, Washington, D.C., July 15, 2014
  • Panelist, "A Step-by-Step Guide to Conducting an Internal Investigation of a False Claims Allegation: Scoping Your Action Plan from A to Z," American Conference Institute Inaugural Executive Forum on False Claims and Qui Tam Enforcement, New York, New York, January 29, 2014
  • Panelist, "Lessons from the Trenches: Trial of a Healthcare Case," 31st Annual National CLE Conference, Vail, Colorado, January 9, 2014
  • Panelist, "The Evolution of the OIG," American Bar Association 2013 Washington Health Law Summit, Washington, D.C., December 10, 2013
  • Panelist, "Obtaining and Using Discovery from the Government," American Bar Association National False Claims Act and Qui Tam Trial Institute, June 5-7, 2013
  • Panelist, "Qui Tam Actions: Managing Whistleblower Suits for Class Action Counsel," Strafford Webinars, February 7, 2013
  • "Fraud and Abuse Enforcement Update," American Bar Association Health Law Section’s 12th Annual Conference on Emerging Issues in Healthcare Law, February 2011
  • "Qui Tam Litigation Defense: Three Dimensional Chess," American Bar Association's Litigating FCA Cases Teleconference, February 2011
  • "Healthcare Reform in Practice: Federal and State Health Care Fraud Prosecutions,” Law Education Institute’s 28th Annual National CLE Conference, January 2011
  • "Managing the New Threat that Individual Corporate Officer Liability Poses to Pharmaceutical Companies," American Conference Institute’s 15th Anniversary Drug & Medical Device Litigation Program, December 2010
  • "Litigating Civil Cases in the Shadow of a Criminal Investigation," DRI's Business Litigation and Intellectual Property Seminar, April 2010
  • "Key issues in establishing compliance protocols to manage risk in volatile environments," IPOA EuroConference 2010: Risk Management in Conflict and Post-Conflict Zones, April 2010
  • Panelist, “Mediating Health Care Fraud Cases," ABA National Institute on Health Care Fraud, May 2009
  • Panelist, National Institute on Internal Corporate Investigations and In-House Counsel, May 2009
  • Panelist, “Aftermath of the Financial Meltdown: - Analyzing Future Litigation and Compliance Issues," ABA Business Law Section, April 2009
  • “Representing Medical Device and Other Supplier Companies," Law Education Institute, Health Law Program, January 2009



Vice Chair, Fraud and Abuse Interest Group, Health Law Section, American Bar Association

Member and Former Co-Chair, Criminal Process Committee, Administrative Law Section, American Bar Association

Member, Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity, American Bar Association

Foundation Fellow, American Bar Association

Chair, Government Enforcement and Corporate Compliance Committee, DRI - The Voice of the Defense Bar

Member, The Bar Association of the District of Columbia

Member, Advisory Board, Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession

Member, National Bar Association

Member, Litigation Counsel of America

Digital Media


J.D., Harvard Law School, 1985, cum laude

B.A., Yale University, 1981


  • District of Columbia
  • Massachusetts
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims
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