Neil V. Getnick is the managing partner of Getnick & Getnick LLP. He has led the development of the law firm’s dedicated anti-fraud litigation and business integrity practice. He has coordinated numerous groundbreaking civil RICO, Federal False Claims Act qui tam and other civil prosecution investigations and litigations, as well as corporate monitoring and Independent Private Sector Inspector General (IPSIG) projects.
His civil RICO litigations have included the first certified civil RICO class action, as well as the “Alliance” case heralded by Forbes for its “get-tough attitude” on an insurance fraud ring of corrupt lawyers, and the celebrated Tandem Computers mainframe computer parts theft case, described by The New York Times as a “real life ‘Mission Impossible’ in the heart of silicon valley.” Every civil RICO case filed by Mr. Getnick and his law firm since the firm’s founding in 1983 has resulted in parallel criminal convictions of the principal named defendants, in addition to the securing of civil judgments.
Mr. Getnick and his law firm have an active False Claims Act qui tam, IRS, and SEC whistleblower practice. He and his firm announced in 1992 the formation of an internal private economic crime unit to fight health care fraud using the Federal False Claims Act. The subsequent qui tam actions filed by Mr. Getnick and his firm have included: a $600 million Medicaid recovery in 2010 (part of a $750 million civil and criminal global resolution), resulting in the largest reward to a single U.S. whistleblower in U.S. history; a $251 million Medicaid recovery in 2003, the then largest in U.S. history; and an earlier $182 million Medicare recovery, which at the time was the largest False Claims Act recovery in U.S. history. Following the 2010 result, the Governor of New York State praised his “very skillful advocacy . . . courage and determination,” saying, “You were up to the task and achieved a stunning victory.” Mr. Getnick was appointed an adjunct professor at Cornell Law School in the spring semester of 2013 and, together with law school dean Stewart Schwab, co-launched a course on “Whistleblower Law: Involving Private Citizens in Public Law Enforcement,” the first of its kind in the country, under the auspices of the law school’s Business Law Institute.
Mr. Getnick pioneered the concept of independent investigations. He became and remains the Chairman and President of the International Association of Independent Private Sector Inspectors General. The National Law Journal formally endorsed the IAIPSIG Code of Conduct saying that it “defines independence” and the IPSIG mechanism became the principal monitoring means employed by New York City in its citywide anti-corruption programs. Mr. Getnick and his firm have undertaken monitoring projects in the school construction, plumbing, elevator, and commercial carting industries, and after 9/11 were appointed to serve in the role of an integrity monitor for the World Trade Center disaster clean-up. In 2004, they were appointed by the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York as the Monitor of the New York Racing Association pursuant to the terms of a deferred prosecution agreement. Upon the conclusion, the Comptroller of the State of New York extolled the Getnick & Getnick LLP team “for their unfailing integrity, expertise, dedication and business acumen during the course of this monitorship.”
Mr. Getnick has expanded his work, together with his firm, in the area of international business transparency and integrity. At the end of 2012, he and his firm announced the launch of a global anti-fraud and corruption unit, focusing on international whistleblower cases.
In 2012, Mr. Getnick received Cornell Law School’s Exemplary Public Service Achievement Award. In 2011, he received the Taxpayers Against Fraud Education Fund’s Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2004 and 2011, he and his firm were selected as Trial Lawyer of the Year finalists by the Public Justice Fund. And, while still in law school, he was the youngest recipient to receive the New York Public Interest Group’s Public Citizenship award.
In addition to his formal practice, Mr. Getnick led the international campaign to free and support his former Cornell classmate Koigi wa Wamwere, Kenya’s most renowned democratic and human rights activist. Since Mr. Wamwere won his freedom in 1997, Mr. Getnick and he have coordinated their activities, including delivering a joint plenary session address to the 1999 International Anti-Corruption Conference in Durban, South Africa, on “The Twin Fights for Human Rights and Against Corruption.” They continue to work on similar joint projects. Most notably, in 2004 they co-founded founded and today continue to lead the Ujima Subukia Fund, a charitable organization operating a scholarship program for secondary students in Kenya in accordance with the highest standards of integrity and transparency.
Mr. Getnick has been a member of the Executive Committee of the New York State Bar Association Commercial and Federal Litigation Section since the creation of the Section in 1989. He has chaired the Section’s Civil Prosecution Committee since its creation in 1991 and is the current Chairman and President of IAIPSIG. He serves as the Chairman of the Board of Taxpayers Against Fraud, a Washington, D.C. based non-partisan public interest organization supporting the Federal and state False Claims Acts and other whistleblower laws. He served on the Advisory Board of RISE, a comprehensive internal integrity remedial effort initiated by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, from its inception in 2000 to the completion of its work. He has served as a faculty member of the National Institute of Trial Advocacy since 1991.
Profiles and articles on his firm and him have appeared in the New York Times, Forbes, American Lawyer, The National Law Journal, The New York Law Journal, Crain’s New York Business, ethikos, Corporate Crime Reporter, and other newspapers, magazines and journals.
He has been interviewed on television and radio, including WCBS 60 Minutes and Evening News, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, FOX, BBC TV, and WABC, WCBS, NPR, and BBC radio.
He received his B.A. from Cornell University graduating Magna Cum Laude in Government and with Distinction in All Subjects in 1975; and his J.D. from Cornell Law School in 1978. After graduating law school, he began his career at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office as an Assistant District Attorney serving first in the Trial Division and later in the Frauds Bureau, where he was placed in charge of the litigation stemming from “Operation Good Buy”, the then largest undercover fencing operation conducted in the City of New York.