- Georgetown University Law Center, J.D., 1991
- Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, B.S.F.S, 1987
Bar & Court Admissions
- North Carolina
- U.S. Supreme Court
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio
- U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana
- Admitted to practice law only in the states listed above.
Victor is a partner in the Vorys Cincinnati office and a member of the litigation group. His practice focuses on business counseling and commercial litigation. He has significant experience defending government contractors and health care entities in proceedings brought under the False Claims Act by the government or whistleblowers. Victor's work includes complex litigation, including defense of financial institutions and corporations in commercial disputes including multiple class action defense in accounting, consumer, employment and commercial class actions. He has considerable experience in health care, pharmaceutical, lender liability, probate, estate and fiduciary, and construction litigation and represents a broad array of clients in civil, criminal and regulatory government investigations as well as conducting corporate internal investigations.
Career highlights include:
- Successfully defending government defense contractors in False Claims Act trials against qui tam relators
- Represented numerous health care entities in False Claims Act cases based on alleged Stark Act and Anti-Kickback Statute violations
- Successful defense of bank trustees for breach of fiduciary duty claims
- Counseling DME, pharmaceutical start-ups and food producers on applicable Medicare, FDA and USDA regulations
- Defending financial institutions in lender liability actions
- Represented numerous corporations and their employees in Department of Justice and HHS-OIG investigations and grand jury proceedings
- Successfully defending a company in a six-week, multimillion dollar federal environmental criminal trial
- Obtained numerous non-intervention decisions by the Department of Justice for federal contractors in False Claims Act qui tam cases
- Successfully represented client in a unanimous United States Supreme Court decision, Allison Engine Co., Inc. v. United States ex rel. Sanders, narrowing the scope of liability under the federal False Claims Act
- Defended financial institutions in nationwide consumer and privacy class actions
Victor is a member of the American Bar Association and the Cincinnati Bar Association.
Victor has spoken on numerous occasions on the False Claims Act, internal investigations, health care law and whistleblower lawsuits to health care and government contractor industry groups and trade associations, including the Ohio Hospital Association.
Victor received his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and his B.S.F.S. from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service.
Professional and Community Activities
- Cincinnati Bar Admissions Committee, Chair, 2006-2007
- Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health Legal Compliance Committee, Chair, 2004-2012
- Children's International Summer Village, 2009-2016
Honors & Awards
- The Best Lawyers in America, Cincinnati Litigation - Banking and Finance "Lawyer of the Year," 2015, 2017
- The Best Lawyers in America, Commercial Litigation, 2010-2020
- The Best Lawyers in America, Litigation - Banking and Finance, 2015-2020
- The Best Lawyers in America, Litigation - Labor and Employment, 2015-2020
- Ohio Super Lawyers, Business Litigation, 2005-2006, 2009-2019
- Leading Lawyer in Business Litigation, Cincy Magazine, 2008-2014
- Martindale-Hubbell AV Peer Review Rated
- 6/18/2018Walton Quoted in Government Contracts Law360 Story Titled “Attys Reflect On Escobar's FCA Impact 2 Years Later”Victor Walton was quoted in a Government Contracts Law360 story regarding the two year anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Universal Health Services v. Escobar.
- 6/19/2017Walton Quoted in Government Contracts Law360 Article Titled “Attys Dish On Escobar's FCA Impact One Year Later”Victor Walton, a partner in the Vorys Cincinnati office and a member of the litigation group, was quoted in a Government Contracts Law360 story regarding the one year anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Universal Health Services v. Escobar.
- 6/17/2016Walton Quoted in Government Contracts Law360 Article Titled “Attys React To High Court's FCA Liability Ruling”Victor Walton, a partner in the Vorys Cincinnati office and a member of the litigation group, was quoted in a Government Contracts Law360 story regarding the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Universal Health Services v. Escobar.
- 3/16/2012Vorys’ partners Glenn Whitaker and Michael Bronson were featured in a Cincinnati Business Courier story titled “Whistle-blowers push False Claims suits to record.”
- 1/31/2012The Vorys False Claims Act practice has been selected as a Government Contracts Practice Group of the Year by Law360. Law360 editors selected the national practice groups of the year from submissions by more than 500 law firms.
- 4/8/2019Whistleblower Defense Alert: District Court Holds that DOJ Can Still Dismiss Qui Tam Cases After It Declines To Intervene—With No Justification Required for DismissalIn a recent decision, the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota held that the Department of Justice (DOJ) can still dismiss a qui tam filed under the False Claims Act even after it has declined to intervene in the case.
- 1/30/2018Although the government has always had the authority to move to dismiss relator cases, it almost never does, to the great frustration of numerous defendants that have had to incur the costs and inconvenience of meritless False Claims Act (FCA) claims.
- 1/12/2018In February 2017, a jury in the Middle District of Florida found for a relator in an upcoding case against a nursing home operator, resulting in a total judgment of approximately $350 million.
- 10/2/2017On September 29, 2017, the Fifth Circuit overturned a $664 million False Claims Act (FCA) judgment in U.S. ex rel. Harman v. Trinity Industries, Inc, Case No. 15-41172 (5th Cir). The court’s reasoning offers substantial ammunition to FCA defendants, and further demonstrates that courts really will enforce the strict materiality requirements outlined by the Supreme Court in Universal Health Servs., Inc. v. United States ex rel., Escobar, 136 S. Ct. 1989, 1995 (2016).
- 5/2/2017Whistleblower Defense Alert: The Third Circuit Confirms Broad Power of Escobar’s Materiality RequirementsOn May 1, 2017, the Third Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a False Claims Act (FCA) case in which the eelator had asserted that Genentech concealed information about side effects of its cancer drug, Avastin. U.S. ex rel. Petratos, v. Genentech Inc., et al., Case No. 15-3805 (3rd Cir. May 1, 2017).
- 12/19/2016Whistleblower Defense Alert: The Supreme Court Rejects Mandatory Dismissal of Relator Claims For Seal ViolationsOn December 6, 2016, the Supreme Court of the United States handed down their second unanimous interpretation of the contours of the False Claims Act (FCA) in the last six months.
- 6/16/2016On Thursday, June 16, 2016 the United States Supreme Court released its decision in Universal Health Services, Inc. v. United States ex rel. Escobar (No. 15-7). In Escobar—argued on April 19, 2016—the Court decided the legal validity of the “implied certification” theory of liability under the False Claims Act (FCA).
- 4/22/2016Whistleblower Defense Alert: Supreme Court Hears Arguments on Implied Certification Theory of FCA LiabilityOn Tuesday, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Universal Health Services, Inc. v. U.S. ex rel. Escobar.
- 2/11/2016Client Alert: CMS Final Rule Clarifies and Eases Obligation to Report and Return Medicare OverpaymentsOn February 11, 2016, Medicare regulators issued a final rule that relaxes the obligations for doctors and hospitals to report and return Medicare overpayments (RIN 0938-AQ58, CMS-6037-F).
- 8/12/2015Whistleblower Defense Alert: D.C. Circuit Upholds Assertion of Privilege as to Internal Investigation Documents in FCA SuitOn Tuesday, August 11, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit released a decision upholding an assertion of privilege by Kellogg Brown and Root, Inc. (KBR) over internal investigation documents in a FCA suit alleging kickbacks and overbilling on Iraq war subcontracts.
- 7/20/2015The Ninth Circuit’s recent decision in U.S. ex rel. Hartpence v. Kinetic Concepts, Inc., 2015 U.S. App. Lexis 11643 (9th. Cir. July 7, 2015), overruled existing Ninth Circuit precedent regarding the requirements for meeting the public disclosure rule’s original source exception, weakening the public disclosure bar in the Ninth Circuit and opening the door for increased qui tam activity within that jurisdiction.
- 5/26/2015Whistleblower Defense Alert: Sixth Circuit Reaffirms Fair Market Value As Proper Measure of Damages, Vacates FCA Award of $657 Million to the GovernmentLast month, the Sixth Circuit reaffirmed the fair market value (FMV) standard as the primary measure of damages in False Claims Act (FCA) cases—and demonstrated the teeth of that requirement when evidence (including expert testimony) is not presented to support an FMV determination. United States v. United Technologies Corp., 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 5476 (6th Cir. April 6, 2015), represented the culmination of a decades-long dispute between the government and United Technologies’ Pratt & Whitney unit over pricing for engines supplied to the Air Force for use in its F-15 and F-16 aircraft.
- 5/26/2015Whistleblower Defense Alert: Supreme Court Holds the WSLA Does Not Apply to the Civil FCA But Limits the Scope of the First-to-File BarToday the Supreme Court issued its decision in Kellogg Brown & Root Servs., Inc. v. United States ex rel. Carter. On the first question presented, the Court held that the Wartime Suspension of Limitations Act (WSLA) applies only to criminal offenses and thus does not toll the False Claims Act’s (FCA) statute of limitations indefinitely while the United States is in armed conflict.
- 2/12/2015Courts continue to whittle away at the public disclosure bar, historically one of the best ways to dispose of parasitic qui tam lawsuits. Most recently, the Eleventh Circuit issued a ruling regarding the impact of the 2010 amendments to the False Claims Act’s (FCA) public disclosure rule. In its opinion in U.S. ex rel. Osheroff v. Humana, Inc., the Eleventh Circuitjoined the Fourth Circuit in holding that the public disclosure rule, as amended in 2010, is no longer a jurisdictional bar to an FCA action. Instead, under the amended version of the statute, defendants now must move to dismiss allegations that have been publicly disclosed under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6).
- 2/5/2015Whistleblower Defense Alert: Sixth Circuit Affirms Importance of Government Witnesses in Materiality AnalysisA recent Sixth Circuit opinion provides defendants a valuable roadmap for using government witness testimony to defeat False Claims Act (FCA) claims on materiality grounds at the summary judgment stage. In U.S. ex rel. American Systems Consulting, Inc. v. ManTech Advanced Systems Int’l Inc., Case No. 14-3269 (6th Cir.), the court rejected the relator’s argument that materiality decisions should be left to a jury. Instead, the court expressly held that “a judge may decide as a matter of law whether a misrepresentation was material under the FCA.”
- 1/14/2015Whistleblower Defense Alert: Fourth Circuit’s Opinion Shows Influence of Government’s Decision to Intervene on Court’s Determination of MaterialityOn January 8, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit reinstated the government’s False Claims Act (FCA) claims in United States v. Triple Canopy, Inc., No. 13-2190. In reversing the district court’s dismissal of the government’s case, the Fourth Circuit highlighted, both explicitly and implicitly, the importance of the government’s decision to intervene in the case.
- 1/9/2015Whistleblower Defense Alert: District Court Imposes $1.6 Million Sanction Against Relators for Violating the FCA SealEarlier this week, Judge Amy Totenberg of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia imposed significant monetary sanctions against a pair of relators who blatantly and repeatedly violated the seal order in a pending qui tam action, United States ex rel. Bibby v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Case No. 1:06-CV-0547-AT.
- 12/5/2014Whistleblower Defense Alert: Department of Justice Announces Third Straight Year of Record-Breaking False Claims Act RecoveriesAccording to a recent Department of Justice press release regarding annual False Claims Act (FCA) recoveries, FCA recoveries continue to skyrocket, in keeping with the trend in recent years. 2014 marks the third straight year in which the Department of Justice has announced a record-setting annual recovery.
- 10/16/2014Whistleblower Defense Alert: Court Finds Relator Ill-Suited To Question Federal Agency’s Judgment, Tosses Qui Tam SuitLast week, the District of Kansas granted summary judgment to Boeing in U.S. ex rel. Smith v. The Boeing Company, Case No. 05-10730MLB (D. Kan.), a False Claims Act case in which the qui tam relators effectively tried to second-guess the professional judgment of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
- 7/2/2014Whistleblower Defense Alert: D.C. Circuit Grants Writ of Mandamus and Protects Privilege of Internal Corporate InvestigationsLast week, the D.C. Circuit provided good news to defense contractors, health care providers and all other corporate entities doing business with the government. In a forceful opinion, the court overruled a trial court decision that portended disastrous consequences for privileged internal investigations by corporate legal departments.
- 7/1/2014Whistleblower Defense Alert: The Supreme Court Will Review Fourth Circuit Decision that Weakened the False Claims Act’s Statute of Limitations and First-to-File BarToday, the Supreme Court granted the petition for certiorari in Kellogg Brown & Root Servs., Inc. v. United States ex rel. Carter. The petition presented two questions: (1) whether the Wartime Suspension of Limitations Act (WSLA) applies to claims of civil fraud brought by qui tam relators, and (2) whether the False Claims Act’s (FCA) first-to-file rule is an absolute bar or whether it permits subsequent actions so long as the first-filed action had been dismissed on non-merits grounds prior to filing of the subsequent action.
- 6/25/2014The Third Circuit’s recent decision in U.S. ex rel. Foglia v. Renal Ventures Mgmt., LLC, 2014 U.S. App. Lexis 10549 (3d. Cir. June 6, 2014), evens the circuit split regarding whether a FCA plaintiff must identify at least one representative false claim before being granted a ticket to discovery—a troubling development for anyone who does business with the federal government and therefore runs the risk of dealing with an FCA lawsuit.
- 6/2/2014Whistleblower Defense Alert: Defeating a Whistleblower’s Cursory Allegations of Scienter in FCA Cases Involving a Defendant’s Good Faith Interpretation of a Regulation or ContractA recent decision dismissing a whistleblower’s complaint with prejudice is good news for companies facing a False Claims Act (FCA) case that turns on the interpretation of a regulation or contractual provision. In U.S. ex rel. Thompson v. Honeywell Int’l, Inc., Case No. CV 12-2214-JAK (C.D. Cal.), the court articulated a clear and defendant-friendly formulation of the pleading standard for scienter in such cases.
- 4/28/2014Qui tam relators and the Department of Justice continually push the FCA envelope with implied certification cases. A recent case from the District of Massachusetts, U.S. ex rel. Julio Escobar, et al. v. Universal Health Services, Inc., illustrates how FCA plaintiffs try to use this theory to shoehorn non-fraudulent regulatory non-compliances into FCA violations—and how to beat such claims.
- 3/27/2014Whistleblower Defense Client Alert: Using Government Witnesses to Obtain Summary Judgment on a Qui Tam Relator’s FCA ClaimsA recent False Claims Act decision serves as an important reminder that although qui tam relators may “stand in the shoes” of the government for purposes of bringing a lawsuit, they are not entitled to substitute their judgment for that of key government decision-makers to avoid summary judgment.
- 2/5/2014Whistleblower Defense Client Alert: What Government Contractors Should Know About Fraud-In-The-Inducement CasesA recent holding from the Eastern District of Pennsylvania contains some helpful analysis for defendants facing a fraud-in-the inducement False Claims Act (FCA) case. A fraud-in-the-inducement case is a rare sub-species of FCA cases, with different rules. Unlike a traditional FCA case, there is nothing “false,” factually or legally, on the face of the claims for payment at issue in a fraud-in-the inducement case. Instead, the otherwise unobjectionable claims are false by virtue of the fact that they were submitted under a contract that was procured through the use of false statements.
- 1/27/2014Whistleblower Defense Client Alert - Fourth Circuit: Amended Public Disclosure Bar No Longer JurisdictionalRecently, the Fourth Circuit became the first court of appeals to address whether the public disclosure bar, as amended in 2010 by the Affordable Care Act, remains a jurisdictional defense to False Claims Act allegations. The opinion in U.S. ex rel. Radcliffe v. Purdue Pharma L.P. is significant because the district courts are divided on whether the public disclosure bar remains jurisdictional after the amendment.
- 3/4/2013U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia Judge Thomas W. Thrash, Jr. recently granted a motion to dismiss qui tam claims from two relators who alleged that Lockheed Martin violated the False Claims Act by inflating the reported number of hours its employees worked on government contracts.
- 8/23/2012Victor Walton and Joseph Harper, attorneys in the Vorys Cincinnati office, authored a column for Law360 about theories that have been used for calculating damages in False Claims Act (FCA) fraudulent inducement cases.
- January 2007