Donald P. McKenna, Jr

Donald P. McKenna, Jr

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Class Action & Mass Torts Attorney in Birmingham, AL

Hare Wynn Newell & Newton LLP
 | 2025 3rd Avenue North, Suite 800
Birmingham, AL 35203-3331
Phone: 855-226-3062
Fax: 205-324-2165
Selected To Super Lawyers: 2013 - 2019
Licensed Since: 1995
Practice Areas:
  • Class Action/Mass Torts: Plaintiff (40%),
  • Employment & Labor: Employee (40%),
  • Personal Injury - Products: Plaintiff (20%)
Attorney Profile

Don McKenna graduated from Auburn in 1992 where he was named to the Spades honorary, an honor reserved for the top ten seniors on campus. He received his law degree from the Cumberland School of Law, Samford University where he was a member of the Cumberland Law Review and named a Scholar of Merit in toxic torts. Mr. McKenna was named 2009 Whistleblower Lawyer of the Year by the Tax Payers Against Fraud Education Fund.

During his career Mr. McKenna has litigated cases for plaintiffs resulting in jury verdicts and settlements totaling more than $1,613,000,000. Mr. McKenna handles cases covering many different fronts including: serious personal injuries; tractor trailer accidents; wrongful death; automobile accidents; products liability; explosions; burn victims; class actions; complex commercial litigation; False Claims Act whistleblower cases; consumer fraud; health care fraud; insurance fraud; as well as toxic torts and environmental cases.

In more recent years, Mr. McKenna has focused his efforts more on complex commercial litigation such as: the RealtySouth ABC Fee Class Act; the Genetically Modified Rice MDL litigation; DePuy ASR Hip Implant MDL litigation; representation of State Attorney General's against large corporate defendants; and, numerous False Claims Act whistleblower cases such as the Novartis Pharmaceuticals case.  

In 2010, Mr. McKenna was part of the trial and appellate team in Schafer v. Bayer.  The trial result was one of the top 100 verdicts of 2010 -  a $48 million dollar verdict of which $42 million was punitive damages.  On appeal, Mr. McKenna and his team successfully argued that the Arkansas statutory cap of $1 million on punitive damages was unconstitutional and collected the entire verdict.  Mr. McKenna was also involved in the firm's MDL Genetically modified rice litigation team.  That case resulted in a $750 million settlement benefiting the firms 3000 rice farmer clients.  In 2012, Mr. McKenna and his partner Matt Minner obtained an $8 million jury verdict in Louisville, KY for a retired surgeon injured while under the care of a nursing home.  He is currently representing the State Attorney General's offices of Kentucky and Alaska in consumer protection act cases against Merck for its deceptive advertising of VIOXX.

Mr. McKenna handles cases in Birmingham, throughout the South Eastern United States and in other states when called upon to associate with other lawyers.


About Donald McKenna, Jr

Admitted: 1995, Alabama

Professional Webpage:


  • Best Lawyers in America
  • BIRMINGHAM, ALA. – November 17, 2009 – Don McKenna and Scott Powell from Hare, Wynn, Newell & Newton along with Co-Counsels Frederick M. Morgan and Jennifer M. Verkamp from Morgan Verkamp LLC have been named the 2009 False Claims Act Lawyers of the Year by Taxpayer’s Against Fraud Education Fund (TAF). The award, presented in Washington, D.C. at the TAF annual meeting, was a result of their successful litigation in a fifteen year case against Healthways and Diabetes Treatment Centers of America which eventually resulted in a $40 million settlement. “This is a tremendous honor which is shared by all who worked so untiringly on this case,” said Scott Powell. The case was initiated in June 1994, when A. Scott Pogue, who had recently been fired from his job as a marketing representative for a company called Diabetes Treatment Centers of America, filed a case in Nashville under the United States Civil False Claims Act against his former employer. Over the course of 15 years, the Pogue Case made a lot of new and important law.  In fact, this case resulted in 15 published opinions, several of which have been pivotal in establishing the now widely-accepted principle that violations of the Anti-Kickback Act can form the basis for a suit under the False Claims Act. Powell says, "The law established and developed by the Pogue case has enabled the Department of Justice to recoup several hundred million dollars in taxpayer money wrongfully and fraudulently taken through Medicare fraud and illegal kickbacks." “Mr. Pogue's settlement likely represents the third-highest recovery in such a case in the history of the False Claims Act,” says Co-counsel Don McKenna. In awarding the Lawyer of the Year the Taxpayer’s Against Fraud Education Fund lauded the perseverance of Powell, McKenna, Morgan and Verkamp stating, “This is the kind of warrior spirit we like to see at TAF.” Hare, Wynn, Newell & Newton has battled on behalf of whistleblowers in the federal district courts around the country as well the United States Supreme Court and the Sixth, Eleventh and DC Circuit Courts of Appeals. The firm is one of only a hand full of law firms in the Country that has litigated a False Claims Act jury trial., False Claims Act Whistleblower Lawyer of the Year, Taxpayers Against Fraud Education Fund, 2009
  • AV Peer Review Rated, Martindale Hubbell
  • Mr. McKenna was recognized as having one of the top 100 verdicts of 2010 for the case of Schafer v. Bayer.  This was a case involving crop contamination with genetically modified rice.  The trial resulted in  $48 million dollar jury verdict of which $42 million was punitive damages.  On appeal, Mr. McKenna and his team successfully argued that the Arkansas statutory cap of $1 million on punitive damages was unconstitutional and collected the entire verdict., Top 100 Verdicts 2010, Verdict Search, 2010
  • Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum

Special Licenses/Certifications:

  • AV Peer Review Rated Martindale-Hubbell

Bar/Professional Activity:

  • The Birmingham Bar Association , 1996
  • Alabama Association for Justice Executive Committee, 2012
  • Birmingham Bar Public Service Committee., 2011
  • American Association for Justice, 1996
  • Alabama Association for Justice, 1995
  • American Bar Association, 1996
  • ALI Collaborative Law Committee.  Working as part of a team to introduce collaborative law legislation in Alabama., 2012
  • Alabama State Bar, 1995
  • Alabama Association for Justice Legislative Committee, 2012
  • Birmingham Bar Public Service Committee, 2012

Pro bono/Community Service:

  • Began Birmingham Bar Public Service Committee's mock trial program for inner city high school students., 2012
  • Monday Morning Quarterback Club.  Raises money for children's health charities., 2011
  • Board of Directors Restoration Academy.  Private donor funded Christian school for inner city youth., 2011
  • Vestavia Hills Youth Baseball coach for the last 6 years., 2012

Scholarly Lectures/Writings:

  • CLE Presentation on how to best present a plaintiff's personal injury or wrongful death case in mediation., Author - Speaker, Effective Mediation Presentations in Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Cases, 2009
  • Co-author of an journal article on why the State of Alabama should adopt a State False Claims Act to combat fraud on the State Treasury., Co-Author, Taking Control: How a False Claims Act Will Allow Alabama to Stop the Leeching of its Treasury, 31 Am. J. Trial Advoc. 545, 2008
  • Presentation to the Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association on the fundamentals of the False Claims Act, Author Speaker, False Claims Act Primer, Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association, 2009


  • Top 100 Verdicts of 2010 - Verdict Search.  $48 million.  Schafer v. Bayer - Lonoke County Arkansas.  Represented 12 farmers who had their crops contaminated by genetically modified rice.  Case was significant in that the $1 million punitive damage cap was ruled unconstitutional and that ruling was successfully upheld on appeal allowing the entire verdict to be collected.  The case was also instrumental in leading the the MDL Genetically Modified Rice global $750 million settlement., 2010
  • $425 million settlement.  Represented one of several whistieblowers in a False Claims Act case against Novartis for off-label marketing of drugs., 2010
  • $8 Million Verdict - Louisville, KY.  Griffin v. Treyton Oak Towers.  Represented the family of a retired doctor who was injured while in the care of a nursing home.  He was injured during an improper transfer and at trial, we showed systemic problems in the nursing home staff following its own policies and procedures for patient care. , 2012
  • $437 Million Settlement - U.S. ex rel Johnson v. Shell, et al.  Represented whistieblowers in a False Claims Act case against 18 oil companies.  , 2001
  • $750 million settlement.  MDL Genetically Modified Rice Litigation.  Represented over 3000 farmers, primarily in Arkansas, that had their crops contaminated with Bayer's experimental genetically modified rice., 2012
  • $40 million settlement:  U.S. ex rel Pogue v. DTCA.  Represented a whistleblower in a False Claims Act case alleging kickbacks to physicians to refer patients to Diabetes Treatment Centers of America., 2009

Representative Clients:

  • Attorney General's Office Commonwealth of Kentucky:  Representing the AG's office in a Consumer Protection Act case against Merck for its deceptive marketing of VIOXX., 2011
  • Attorney General's Office State of Montana - Representing the Montana AG's office as outside counsel against Merck for consumer protection violations in its marketing of VIOXX., 2012
  • Attorney General's Office State of Alaska:  Representing the AG's office in a Consumer Protection Act case against Merck for its deceptive marketing of VIOXX., 2012


Industry Groups

  • American Assoication For Justice
  • American Bar Association
  • Taxpayers Against Fraud; Alabama Association For Justice
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Office Location for Donald P. McKenna, Jr

2025 3rd Avenue North
Suite 800
Birmingham, AL 35203-3331

Donald P. McKenna, Jr:

Last Updated: 7/22/2019

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