Aerospace & Defense

  • May 27, 2016

    Copter Parts Case Should Stay Grounded, High Court Told

    Woodward Inc. is urging the U.S. Supreme Court not to take on two whistleblowers' appeal of a Seventh Circuit decision nixing their False Claims Act suit, which alleged the company sold unsafe helicopter parts to the military.

  • May 27, 2016

    Coast Guard Dodges Claim For $8.4M Flight Simulator Costs

    The U.S. Coast Guard does not have to compensate a contractor for $8.4 million in costs it allegedly incurred while building a flight simulator that the military branch never used, the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals ruled Thursday.

  • May 27, 2016

    DOD Property Accounting Needs Work, GAO Says

    The U.S. Department of Defense’s financial accounting remains inadequate for certain “key categories” of property, equipment and other assets, including the internal-use software and assets of the U.S. Marine Corps, according to a new report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office on Thursday.

  • May 27, 2016

    GAO Rejects Protest Of $122M DOD Scholarship Contract

    The Government Accountability Office found nothing unreasonable in the U.S. Department of Defense's equal ratings of two contractors looking to run an advanced science scholarship and work program, according to a bid protest ruling published Friday backing the DOD's decision to choose the cheaper bidder.

  • May 27, 2016

    Honeywell Wins $74M Extension For Marine Corps Supply Deal

    Honeywell Technology Solutions has won a $74 million modification to an existing supply contract with the U.S. Marine Corps, according to a U.S. Department of Defense announcement on Thursday, extending into next year an existing award for prepositioned supply ships in potential trouble spots around the world.

  • May 27, 2016

    41 Secret Service Staff Punished For Chaffetz Files Leak

    The U.S. Secret Service has punished 41 employees in the improper access and leak of House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz's personnel files during his committee's investigation of the beleaguered agency, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson announced Thursday.

  • May 27, 2016

    Hotel Co. Says Air Force Competition Process Cost It $4M

    A hotel company hit the U.S. Air Force with a nearly $4 million bid protest lawsuit in Federal Claims court Wednesday, accusing the service of improper competition procedures for off-base lodging that enticed it to buy and renovate a Las Vegas hotel, only to be denied a contract.

  • May 27, 2016

    Cybersecurity Regs Put Pressure On Contractors To Hack It

    Government contractors are navigating an industry facing increasing cybersecurity challenges, and experts note new and upcoming rules demanding safeguards are likely to play into contract eligibility and government enforcement actions while also spurring bid protests.

  • May 26, 2016

    Chamber Report Says Yates Memo Discourages Cooperation

    The U.S. Department of Justice runs the risk of discouraging corporations from cooperating with investigations under the so-called Yates Memo, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Institute for Legal Reform said in a report Thursday, arguing that workers could be pitted against their employers under the policy.

  • May 26, 2016

    Baseless Criminal Charges Cost Contractor $220M, Suit Says

    The federal government pursued a baseless criminal investigation of a former contractor for the U.S. president’s helicopter squadron, resulting in a dismissed indictment and costing the company more than $220 million, according to a Louisiana federal suit Thursday.

  • May 26, 2016

    Privacy Group Blasts Gov't's Job Applicant Data Policies

    The federal government’s proposed changes to how it collects public trust job applicants’ data in the wake of a massive privacy breach does more harm than good, the nonprofit Electronic Privacy Information Center said Tuesday, urging the government to only collect information it can protect.

  • May 26, 2016

    Boeing Urges FCC To Plan Satellite Spectrum-Sharing With 5G

    Boeing representatives met with Federal Communications Commission staff this week to press for more spectrum bands intended for 5G technology to be shared with “next generation” broadband satellite communications systems currently being developed by the company, according to an ex parte filing Wednesday.

  • May 26, 2016

    Senate Panel Approves $125M Funding Increase For CBP

    The Senate Appropriation Committee on Thursday unanimously approved a massive Homeland Security spending bill that includes a $125 million funding boost for U.S. Customs and Border Protection to address the agency’s dual role of securing U.S. borders and facilitating trade flows.

  • May 26, 2016

    Israeli Military Contractor Accused Of Stock Inflation

    An investment fund hit Israeli military communications contractor Ability Inc. with a putative class action in Manhattan federal court Wednesday, claiming the company embellished its revenues through fraudulent accounting methods, sending its stock price soaring and later plummeting when the truth came out.

  • May 26, 2016

    $317M UK Intel Center Draws Defense Watchdog Scrutiny

    The U.S. Department of Defense's internal watchdog revealed a new investigation Wednesday into allegations of “inaccurate or misleading information” given to Congress about the decision to locate a $317 million intelligence center in the U.K., a decision heavily criticized by lawmakers.

  • May 26, 2016

    Outdated Gov't IT Costs Billions, Puts Security At Risk: GAO

    The federal government needs to do a better job updating its outdated technology to ensure that it's not wasting money or putting its vast IT system at risk of security vulnerabilities, a Government Accountability Office report released Wednesday found. 

  • May 26, 2016

    Italian Marine Facing Murder Rap Can Go Home, India Says

    India’s top court on Thursday ruled that the second of two Italian marines accused of murdering two Indian fishermen at sea in 2012 can return home, subject to monitoring, while a panel of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague decides which country has jurisdiction in the politically sensitive dispute.

  • May 26, 2016

    GAO Denies Protest Over $14M Navy Customer Service Award

    The Government Accountability Office denied a protest from a losing bidder on a $14 million customer service center task order in a decision released Wednesday, agreeing with the Navy’s evaluation of the winning bidder’s past experience.

  • May 25, 2016

    House Battles Over LGBT Protections In Energy, Water Bill

    The U.S. House added possibly conflicting language addressing executive orders prohibiting LGBT discrimination among federal contractors to a $37.4 billion energy and water project authorization bill Wednesday, after voting down a measure explicitly preserving the orders in the Veterans Affairs authorization bill last week.

  • May 25, 2016

    Boeing, Airbus Tell 3rd Circ. Only FAA Can Regulate Planes

    Boeing and Airbus urged the full Third Circuit Tuesday to upend a panel decision reviving a defect suit, arguing that aircraft engine maker Avco Corp. cannot be held to state-law product liability claims because the Federal Aviation Administration has sole authority over aircraft design.

Expert Analysis

  • Behind The Curtain: Technical Advisers In Complex Cases

    Christopher S. Finnerty

    During complex litigation, litigants often retain consulting experts to help them understand any intricate aspects of social and natural sciences present in a case, but the federal rules provide no such mechanism for the presiding judge. That is where technical advisers come in, say attorneys at K&L Gates LLP.

  • Gov't Contractors Railroaded Again By The False Claims Act

    Tirzah S. Lollar

    While the U.S. Supreme Court’s implied certification case Universal Health Services v. U.S. gets all the press, the quiet doubling of False Claims Act penalties by one small federal agency — the Railroad Retirement Board — could foreshadow a dramatic increase in FCA penalties by the U.S. Department of Justice and possibly other agencies later this year, say Tirzah Lollar and Ralph Mayrell of Vinson & Elkins LLP.

  • 5 Tips For Negotiating And Drafting Joint E-Discovery Plans

    Anthony J. Rospert

    Courts often require parties to develop a joint e-discovery plan. But even when they are not court-imposed, parties should consider using joint e-discovery plans to promote transparency and streamline the discovery process, say Anthony Rospert and Jake Evans of Thompson Hine LLP.

  • An FCA Update As We Await High Court's Escobar Decision

    Brad Robertson

    The federal False Claims Act may soon be reshaped. With a case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court on the controversial theory of implied false certification, a pair of interesting cases in the Second Circuit and a recent House Judiciary Subcommittee raising issues of FCA reform, the law may face changes in text or interpretation, say attorneys with Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP.

  • Panama Papers: Reminders About Law Firm Cybersecurity

    Sean Doherty

    Nowhere is the attractiveness of law firms as cybercrime targets more evident than the recent Mossack Fonseca hack, believed to be the most significant data theft event in history. Firms represent a treasure trove of information and historically have had dreadful cybersecurity practices. There has been some progress, but firms can also commit to better defending their information by taking a simple, three-step approach, says Sean D... (continued)

  • In Congress: Defense Bill, TSCA Reform, Authority Over DC

    Richard A. Hertling

    In a busy lead-up to the Memorial Day recess, this week is likely to showcase instances in which Congress has been able to come together and enact important legislation and those in which contentious partisan and ideological divides are on display, say Richard Hertling and Zephanie Custer of Covington & Burling LLP.

  • OPINION: Sotomayor's Solution To Pro Bono Is Incomplete

    David A. Lash

    In calling for mandatory pro bono service, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor is effectively using her bully pulpit to advance the cause of access to justice for the poor. Her courageous leadership is a clarion call to action that must be heeded. But bold as it may be, the pronouncement is incomplete, says David Lash, managing counsel for pro bono at O’Melveny & Myers LLP and a member of the Association of Pro Bono Counsel.

  • Creating Barclay Damon: Lessons From A Law Firm Merger

    John P. Langan

    Joining two firms with long histories meant not only combining cultures, philosophies and deeply rooted ways of doing business, but also combining two IT systems, two accounting systems, and two ways of handling many other administrative functions. It didn't help that the firms had different fiscal year ends, says John Langan, managing partner of Barclay Damon LLP.

  • Reflecting On The 20th Anniversary Of BMW V. Gore

    Andrew Frey

    On May 20, 1996, the U.S. Supreme Court held that a $2 million punitive damages award imposed for a tort that caused $4,000 in economic harm was unconstitutionally excessive. In the ensuing 20 years, BMW v. Gore has proved to be a foundational case in punitive damages jurisprudence. We were fortunate enough to have played a role in this historic decision, say Mayer Brown LLP partners Andrew Frey and Evan Tager and Maserati North Am... (continued)

  • Corporate Counsel: Consumer Becomes Provider (The Sequel)

    Mark A. Cohen

    Last week, we discussed why corporate legal departments are taking on so much more work themselves instead of outsourcing it to law firms. This is, of course, an ominous sign for law firms and the traditional partnership structure. So too is disaggregation and the emergence of legal service providers as well as others — notably the Big Four — poised to enter the gargantuan legal services market, says Mark A. Cohen of Legal Mosaic LLC.