I like practicing law. I’ve been doing it almost 30 years, and it seems to get better with time and experience. It also helps that I get to work with my wife, who is a really great lawyer and a wonderful person. Lelia and I tend to agree about the main things and disagree about the details. This keeps us both on our toes and constantly works to the benefit of our clients.
Representing real people is my favorite part of this neighborhood practice we started in 2013. But it’s taken a long time to get here. I suppose you’re interested in that, since you are looking at this bio.
I graduated from Baylor University Law School in Waco, Texas, in May of 1984, having already received by Bachelor of Business Administration there. I began working shortly after passing the bar that year, first for a small firm and then for the state, as a prosecutor for the Alcoholic Beverage Commission, and then as an administrative law judge. From there I spent a short time in private practice before accepting a position with the Office of the Attorney General where I worked on a wide range of cases for fifteen years.
During that time, I represented pretty much every large agency in the state, as well as their commissioners, board members, managers, and elected officials, from the governor on down. I was assigned for a couple of years to run and reorganize the Consumer Protection Division Office in McAllen, Texas, and successfully investigated and prosecuted lawsuits against corporations engaged in deceptive practices, and developers of illegal “colonias.”
I returned to Austin as a Senior Attorney in the General Litigation Division, and was tapped to handle a variety of interesting and important cases, one of which, the defense of the Ten Commandments Monument on the grounds of the Texas Capitol, went to the to the Supreme Court of the United States.
In 2000, while still with the General Litigation Division, I became one of a small team of lawyers from different divisions who were tasked with prosecuting a whistleblower case against a number of large, multi-national drug manufacturers for defrauding Texas Medicaid through the use of a fake price called “Average Wholesale Price,” or “AWP.” This lawsuit became the first of its kind to be unsealed against the pharmaceutical industry, and resulted in a wave of litigation across the United States, which returned hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars being recovered from many of the drug manufacturers, many of whose names are household words.
This nation-wide litigation project required expertise and coordination which did not exist outside of the Texas Attorney General’s Office, so in 2005, I left Texas and came to Virginia to begin a national practice called Winget-Hernandez, LLC, associating with prestigious firms across the country to help other states achieve results for their Medicaid agencies similar to what we had gotten in Austin. While I was doing that work, I represented many states across the country, and spent most of my time traveling and working in federal and state courts from Boston to Honolulu, and from Wisconsin to Mississippi. Fortunately, that work is winding down, and I have returned home, to my wife and our two children, in Virginia.
After many years of representing states, state agencies, and other government entities too many to name, which I enjoyed very much, I am grateful and happy to be home, representing real people, and the businesses they have spent their lives building.
- Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) – Baylor University, Waco, Texas 1983
- Juris Doctor (JD) – Baylor University School of Law, 1984
Admitted to Practice:
- Eastern District of Texas
- Western District of Texas
- Northern District of Texas
- Southern Districts of Texas
- Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals
- Supreme Court of the United States
- Admitted Pro Hac Vice (for particular matters):
- District of Massachusetts