Alex Hontos

Alex Hontos




Alex is a former United States Department of Justice Trial Attorney with a national practice in procurement law and government contracting, including the Federal Acquisition Regulations and the Contract Disputes Act; Federal civil-fraud provisions, including the False Claims Act and Anti-Kickback Act; and the specialized rules that govern claims against the United States, including bid protests.  Alex assists clients in the areas of contract negotiation, compliance programs and internal investigations, contract performance, terminations and disputes, and litigation at the intersection of industry and the government.

Alex has first-chaired dozens of litigated matters.  His experience spans the entire litigation life-cycle, from devising litigation strategy, conducting discovery and internal investigations, briefing and arguing dispositive motions, negotiating settlements, and presenting effective advocacy at trial.  He has argued dozens of appeals in the Federal appellate courts, and has drafted filings in the United States Supreme Court.

Alex maintains an active pro bono practice, including representing an indigent defendant facing Federal murder charges and veterans seeking benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs for service-connected disabilities.  Alex has served as a prosecutor for the City of Minneapolis and a judicial clerk on appellate courts at the state and Federal levels.

Before joining Dorsey, Alex was a Trial Attorney at the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.  Hired through the Attorney General's Honors Program, Alex represented the United States in many matters, typically as lead counsel, including government-contracts disputes, fraud claims, bid protests, and other monetary claims against the government.

Alex is the Co-founder and Editor of FCA Now, Dorsey & Whitney’s False Claims Act blog.

Education & Admissions

University of Minnesota Law School (J.D., 2007), magna cum laude, Order of the Coif, Law Review

St. Olaf College (B.A., Political Science & Ancient Studies, 2003), cum laude, Departmental Distinction


  • Minnesota
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth and Federal Circuits
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims
  • U.S. Court of International Trade
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims


  • Minnesota Court of Appeals, Hon. Bruce D. Willis, 2007-2008
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, Hon. Myron H. Bright, 2008-2009


Representative Experience

Public Procurement, Contracts, and Grants

  • Represented medical-device manufacturer in successful bid protest challenging the Defense Department’s award of a multi-million dollar supply contract
  • Represented managed care organization in multiple bid protests arising from state Medicaid procurements worth hundreds of millions of dollars
  • Represented leading nuclear-remediation firm in Federal litigation related to DOE’s Hanford Nuclear Site and related termination-for-convenience settlement process
  • Advised U.S. subsidiary of multi-national corporation in connection with high-profile Federal construction project worth hundreds of millions of dollars
  • Represented educational organization in conjunction with bid protests arising from contracts worth more than half a billion dollars
  • Represented construction company in successful $100M+ bid protest
  • Advised Fortune 100 company in connection with Defense Department grant
  • Represented defense contractor in termination-for-convenience negotiations
  • Advised international standards organization regarding compliance issues in connection with Defense Department contract
  • Represented Alaska Native Corporations in conjunction with public contracting compliance, contract negotiation, and disputes with public agencies
  • Advised large non-profit health-care system in conjunction with Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) grant compliance
  • Advised subrecipient of Federal grant funding regarding cost disallowances proposed by HHS
  • Represented contractor in litigation with State public entity over $300M project
  • Represented the United States in a procurement challenge to a $40 billion Department of Defense contract
  • Represented the United States in a series of cases arising from the performance by a large defense contractor in support of the Iraq War, including a multi-week trial and fraud counterclaims
  • Represented the United States in bid protest challenging the Air Force’s procurement of training services for the Air Combat Command
  • Represented the United States in bid protest challenging the Army’s procurement of ammunition supplies and related logistics services
  • Represented the United States in bid protest challenging the Army’s procurement of custodial services for military facilities
  • Represented the United States in construction litigation arising from work performed on a hydroelectric dam operated by the Department of the Interior

Government Enforcement/Internal Investigations/Litigation

  • Represented multiple large academic institutions in conjunction with FBI and Justice Department national-security investigations and agency investigations involving allegations of grant fraud
  • Represented large Defense Department contractor in litigation arising under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act
  • Represented hospital system in litigation arising under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act
  • Represented large manufacturer in False Claims Act and related whistleblower litigation
  • Represented international organization in long-running investigation by the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division
  • Represented large non-profit organization in investigation by House of Representatives and conducted internal investigation
  • Represented public hospital system in litigation arising under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act
  • Represented national bank in several multi-party actions involving alleged violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO)
  • Conducted internal investigation of non-profit recipient of Federal grant funding
  • Represented healthcare provider in cost-disallowances and government investigation by State agency
  • Represented manufacturer in Federal agency debarment proceedings
  • Represented Fortune 20 company in multi-million dollar fraud claim against healthcare provider
  • Counseled clients with respect to voluntary self-disclosures to HHS’s Office of Inspector General, the SEC, and state regulatory entities
  • Negotiated and drafted procurement contract for technology company with State of Minnesota
  • Represented Federal grant recipient in reverse-FOIA lawsuit in conjunction with unprecedented attempt by HHS to release proprietary proposal information

News & Resources


DOJ to Develop New Whistleblower Program to Augment Existing Federal Whistleblower Programs
False Claims Act Settlements and Judgments Near $3 Billion in 2023
Fundamental Research & National Security: Recent Developments & New Issues
U.S. Treasury Department Takes Action Against Russian Darkmarket Entity as Latest Government Move Against Cybercrime
DOJ Announces First-In-The-Nation False Claims Act Settlement with PPP Lender
Federal Contractor Vaccine Mandate: Federal Appeals Court Says It's Unlawful But You Might Have to Comply Anyway
False Claims Act Case Tracker for Paycheck Protection Program Fraud
Fired Employee Alleges Employer Unlawfully Retaliated Against Him For Complaining of PPP Fraud
USICA Passage Suggests Significant Funding Opportunities Across Range of Industries
Borrowers & Banks Beware: The New Year Brings the Nation’s First False Claims Act Settlement for Paycheck Protection Program Fraud
The Convergence: Feds Level First Hybrid Healthcare- and Securities-fraud Charges Arising from COVID-19 Marketing and Sales
The Education Department Tests its Schools: New Title IX Rule May Force Schools to Revamp How They Investigate and Resolve Sexual-Harassment Complaints
False Claims Act Exposure for Beneficiaries of the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Relief Fund: Mitigating Risks of Ambiguous Terms & Conditions
Looking Ahead: Enforcement Actions for Fraud, Waste, and Abuse Related to COVID-19
CARES Act’s “Ready State” Provision – The Government to Pay Federal Contractors for Unperformed Work?
Stimulus Acts
Are Your Business and Construction Project Essential at This Time?
The Defense Production Act: The Obscure Law that Industry and Government Should be Talking About Today (and for the Foreseeable Future)
INSIGHT: Research Institutions Under DOJ’s False Claims Microscope After Chinese Influence Settlement
Justice Department Touts FY2019 False Claims Act Statistics as Evidence of Administration’s “High Priority” Against Fraud, but the Numbers Show Less of a Priority on Qui Tams
Naughty or Nice: Feds Hand Out More Than Lumps of Coal When it Comes to Healthcare Fraud
Naughty or Nice: Feds Hand Out More Than Lumps of Coal When it Comes to Healthcare Fraud
Dorsey Alert: HHS Regulatory Sprint May Impact FCA Enforcement Trends
DOJ Puts Recipients of Federal Funds on Notice: New “Procurement Collusion Strike Force” to Focus Antitrust Scrutiny on Public Procurement and Grant Transactions

News & Press Mentions

Dorsey Partner Alex Hontos Discusses the Supreme Court Affirming Dismissal of Whistleblower’s Fraud Lawsuit
Hontos, Schuler Discuss PPP Fraud
Dorsey Partner Alex Hontos Discusses FIOA Ruling
Dorsey Partner Alex Hontos Discusses Biden’s Enactment of DPA
Dorsey Partner Alex Hontos Discusses Biden's Buy American EO
Dorsey Partner Alex Hontos Discusses Defense Production Act
Dorsey & Whitney Expands “China Initiative” Task Force
Dorsey Partner Alex Hontos Comments on Higher Education and Foreign Gifts
Dorsey Partner Alex Hontos Discusses SCOTUS Ruling in Kisor v. Wilkie
Dorsey Partner Alex Hontos Comments on High Court FCA Ruling
Dorsey Partner Alex Hontos Comments on USSC’s TVA Case Limiting Sovereign Immunity
Dorsey Partner Alex Hontos Comments on FCA Whistleblower Cases
Dorsey Partner Alex Hontos Comments on Memo Regarding FCA Dismissals
Dorsey & Whitney Names New Partners
Dorsey Attorney Alex Hontos Elected to Board of Governors
Dorsey Attorney Alex Hontos Comments on Supreme Court’s Government-Procurement Decision
Hontos comments on impact of Eighth Circuit False Claims Act Decision on whistleblower recoveries
Fahnhorst, Hontos and Kilgriff Named Humphrey School of Public Affairs Policy Fellows

Select Presentations

  • Panelist, The False Claims Act, National Seminar on Government Contracts (Sept. 18, 2019)
  • Invited Faculty, Oklahoma State University Tribal Finance Program (May 24, 2019)
  • Panelist, Nuts and Bolts of Internal Investigations, Dorsey Investigations Seminar (March 6, 2018)
  • Presenter, “Perspectives on Bid Protests,” Minnesota State Bar Ass’n (April 14, 2017)  
  • Panelist, “How Appellate Courts Do Their Work,” Dorsey & Whitney LLP (July 18, 2016)  
  • Presenter, “Beyond FAR Part 45: Government Property in the Courts and Agency Enforcement,” National Property Management Ass’n Spring Seminar (May 4, 2016)
  • Panelist, “It’s Not Just About Getting the Project Built: the FCPA and the False Claims Act,” Advanced Construction Law Bootcamp (April 12, 2016) 
  • Presenter, “Federal Assistance Funding: The ‘Super Circular,’ Compliance, and Enforcement Risks,” Minnesota Nonprofit Law Conference (April 11, 2016)
  • Panelist, “Introduction to Veterans Benefits Claims,” Minnesota State Bar Ass’n (Sept. 30, 2015)
  • Presenter, “Domestic Preference Laws: Buy America, Buy American, and More,” Minnesota State Bar Ass’n (May 8, 2015)

Industries & Practices

Government Contracts Counseling & Litigation
Government Solutions & Investigations
  • Anti-Corruption Group
  • Antitrust & Competition Law
  • Appellate
  • Construction Litigation
  • Development & Infrastructure
  • Government Contracts Counseling & Litigation
  • Government Solutions & Investigations
  • Healthcare & Life Sciences
  • Indian & Alaska Native
  • National Security Law
  • Public-Private Partnerships

Professional & Civic

Professional Achievements

  • Member, American Bar Ass’n Public Contracts Law Section
  • Governor, Court of Federal Claims Bar Ass’n
  • Member, Lawyers’ Committee on Hate Crimes and Islamophobia
  • 2014-2015 Policy Fellow, University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs
  • Executive Committee Member, National Seminar on Government Contracts, University of Minnesota
  • Mentor, Twin Cities Diversity in Practice Program
  • Government Contracts Editor, Inside 717 (the Journal of the United States Court of Federal Claims Bar Association)


  • Dorsey & Whitney – Scales of Justice Team Award (The World Ventilator Foundation), 2021

Contributed 50+ Pro Bono Hours in 2021 Contributed 50+ Pro Bono Hours in 2020

  • Contributed more than 50 Challenge pro bono hours, 2020-2021

North Star Lawyer logo

  • MSBA North Star Lawyer, 2014-2020
Alex Hontos