Aerospace & Defense

  • October 6, 2015

    House Bills Tackle US Cybersecurity Plan, Airport Workers

    House lawmakers advanced two bills Tuesday that would require the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to develop a federal cybersecurity strategy and require subagency the Transportation Security Administration to tighten airport employees’ access to secured areas.

  • October 6, 2015

    SBA Relaxes Small-Biz Defense Subcontractor Credit

    The U.S. Small Business Administration will expand its criteria for crediting nonsmall prime defense contractors for using small-business subcontractors, awarding credits for subcontracts more than one tier from the prime, the agency said in Tuesday’s Federal Register.

  • October 6, 2015

    $612B Defense Bill Clears Senate Hurdle

    The U.S. Senate voted Tuesday to move forward with a bicameral compromise version of the $612 billion 2016 National Defense Authorization Act, putting the bill one step away from President Barack Obama’s desk, where it is expected to be vetoed.

  • October 6, 2015

    NSA Metadata Challengers Redouble Efforts To Halt Program

    An activist suing the government over the bulk collection of telephone data once again asked a D.C. federal court for a preliminary injunction on Monday to stop the National Security Agency from collecting the data, saying that adding new plaintiffs who are Verizon subscribers establishes standing.

  • October 6, 2015

    Unauthorized Drone Use Ends In Record $2M FAA Fine

    The Federal Aviation Administration proposed its largest fine to date against a drone operator, slapping a Chicago-based aerial photography company with a $1.9 million penalty Tuesday after it said SkyPan International Inc. conducted 65 unauthorized flights over 2½ years.

  • October 6, 2015

    VA Has Discretion In Vet Contract Awards, Justices Told

    The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs properly adheres to a law advocating contract awards to veteran-owned and service-disabled-veteran-owned small businesses, the government has told the U.S. Supreme Court, refuting a contractor's contention that the agency lacks discretion once participation goals are met.

  • October 5, 2015

    DHS Agent Won't Be Deposed In Ex-Worker's Privacy Suit

    A D.C. federal judge declined Monday to compel a U.S. Department of Homeland Security investigator to be deposed in a suit by an ex-DHS employee who claims that her privacy rights were violated regarding a report that she provided false information for a vendor’s security clearance.

  • October 5, 2015

    High Court Won't Review CERCLA Deference Dispute

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to review a Ninth Circuit finding that district courts must more closely analyze states’ Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act settlements.

  • October 5, 2015

    Twin Brothers Get Prison For Hacking State Dept.

    Twin brothers who worked as contractors for federal departments were sentenced to prison in Virginia federal court Friday after they pled guilty to a host of charges related to hacking State Department and commercial Internet systems and stealing credit card, passport and other personal information.

  • October 5, 2015

    Contractor Says It Can Show Arbitrator Flubbed $6.5M Award

    A trucking company asked a Wyoming federal court Friday for an evidentiary hearing on its request that the court toss a $6.5 million arbitration award finding it withheld payments to a subcontractor in Afghanistan, which the company says was decided in an unfair process that missed key evidence.

  • October 5, 2015

    Fed. Claims Court Upholds $160M Embassy Contract Award

    A construction company backed by the U.S. Government Accountability Office lost a bid protest Friday, when the U.S. Court of Federal Claims affirmed the government's vetting of the winner of a $160 million contract to build a new embassy in Mozambique.

  • October 5, 2015

    Contractor Can’t Duck Insurer’s Suit In Navy Software Row

    A Florida federal judge on Friday refused a consulting company’s attempt to throw out its insurer’s suit seeking to deny coverage for a suit accusing the company of ripping off proprietary software and selling its version to the Navy, ruling the insurer can file in Florida because the underlying suit is in the state.

  • October 5, 2015

    DynCorp Federal Contract Rival Wants Espionage Suit Tossed

    An AAR Corp. unit urged a Florida federal court Friday to dismiss DynCorp International LLC’s suit alleging AAR gleaned trade secrets from former DynCorp employees, saying DynCorp’s complaint was vague and intended to “harass” AAR as they compete for a lucrative federal aviation contract.

  • October 5, 2015

    GOP Bill Targets Federal Agency Whistleblower Retaliation

    Two Republican senators have introduced a bill aimed at curbing retaliation against government whistleblowers, adding penalties for executive branch employees who demote or fire whistleblowers and giving agencies increased powers to determine if a whistleblower was punished and to counteract the retaliation.

  • October 5, 2015

    Border Guard's DHS Bias Appeal Turned Aside At High Court

    The U.S. Supreme Court refused Monday to hear an appeal brought by a former U.S. Department of Homeland Security officer who claims he was fired because of his Hispanic origin.

  • October 2, 2015

    NASA Subcontractor Wrongly Axed From Paint Job, Suit Says

    A subcontractor fired from a painting job at a Mississippi NASA site after being accused of lead contamination hit back with a lawsuit Thursday, saying the claims were baseless and asking a Louisiana federal judge to award damages for what it calls a wrongful termination.

  • October 2, 2015

    WTC Lease Holders Ask 2nd Circ. For 9/11 Rebuilding Costs

    World Trade Center lease holders urged the Second Circuit on Thursday to reconsider its recent ruling that they couldn’t recover post-9/11 rebuilding costs in a suit seeking to hold airlines and others liable for tort damages.

  • October 2, 2015

    Navy Official Indicted For Steering $1.6M Silencer Deal To Bro

    A U.S. Navy intelligence official has been indicted for allegedly arranging to use $1.6 million in Navy funds to purchase unlicensed weapons silencers from his brother.

  • October 2, 2015

    5th Circ. Stands By Dismissal Of $50M FCA Suit

    The Fifth Circuit said Friday it would not rehear a once-bankrupt whistleblower’s appeal of a Texas federal judge’s dismissal of a $50 million False Claims Act case against a U.S. Air Force contractor, likely queuing up a U.S. Supreme Court petition.

  • October 2, 2015

    DOD Pushes Contractor Cyber-Incident Reporting Overhaul

    All U.S. Department of Defense contractors will face tougher, faster reporting rules any time a data breach occurs for unclassified systems, according to an interim final rule published Friday in the Federal Register.

Expert Analysis

  • How An Attempt To Avoid Formal Bid Protest Can Backfire

    Adam K. Lasky

    The U.S. Government Accountability Office's recent bid protest decision in Coulson Aviation may punish contractors that seek to resolve concerns about a solicitation outside the protest process, says Adam Lasky of Oles Morrison Rinker & Baker LLP.

  • 5 Things Clients Never Tell Their Lawyers


    Given the times we live in, it is almost inevitable that everyone will, sooner or later, need to consult with legal counsel. With that in mind, I thought it might be interesting to discuss a few things that clients just won't tell their lawyers, says Francis Drelling, general counsel of Specialty Restaurants Corp.

  • In Congress: Energy, Budget, Boehner's Replacement

    Richard A. Hertling

    Budget negotiations and a House leadership election will consume much of the attention on Capitol Hill this week, following successful enactment of a continuing resolution to fund the government into December. Meanwhile, Speaker Boehner's recent announcement has set off a scramble in the Republican caucus of members eager to assume leadership posts for the remainder of the 114th Congress and beyond, say members of Covington & Burling LLP.

  • FCA's Split Personality Makes Compliance A Moving Target

    David Hall

    The False Claims Act is undergoing an identity crisis. Decisions this year by the First, Fourth and Seventh Circuits have magnified a split among the federal appeals courts regarding what conduct actually constitutes a false claim under the FCA, say David Hall and Matthew Nettleton of Wiggin and Dana LLP.

  • New GSA Rule For Commercial Suppliers: A Mixed Bag

    Robert S. Metzger

    The U.S. General Services Administration's recently issued class deviation was on track to resolve issues arising from the 15 “fail list” terms in standard commercial supplier agreements. Unfortunately, a little-noticed change to the “Order of Precedence” clause will work against goals that the GSA and commercial suppliers share, say Robert Metzger and Oliya Zamaray of Rogers Joseph O'Donnell PC.

  • KBR And Maintaining Privilege Throughout Investigations

    Stacey Sprenkel

    While the principles of attorney-client privilege set forth by the U.S. Supreme Court in Upjohn were ultimately upheld by the D.C. Circuit, the KBR Inc. saga serves as a stark reminder that documents from internal investigations may ultimately end up subject to production in litigation because a court finds that the privilege has been waived or did not apply in the first place, say attorneys with Morrison & Foerster LLP.

  • In Congress: Boehner, Shutdown, President Xi

    Richard A. Hertling

    Once again Congress is racing against the clock to keep the federal government open — before a midnight deadline Wednesday. The tumultuous process fits the highly partisan pattern of recent years and even led to the surprise announcement Friday from Speaker of the House John Boehner that he will resign from his leadership post and from Congress, say Richard Hertling and Kaitlyn McClure of Covington & Burling LLP.

  • OPINION: Have Big Law Firms Lost Their Way?

    Dennis R. Suplee

    My hope is that this article will not be seen as a rant by a senior trial lawyer. The truth is that some things get worse with the passage of time and it should be fair to comment upon such deterioration, says Dennis Suplee, a partner and former chairman of Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP.

  • 6 Ways To Prepare For A Government Shutdown

    Justin Chiarodo

    With Congress quickly approaching a Sept. 30 funding deadline with no adequate spending measures in place, the possibility of yet another shutdown is becoming increasingly likely. Now is the time to take stock of your own contingency planning, building on lessons learned from the 2013 shutdown, say Justin Chiarodo and Heather Petrovich of Dickstein Shapiro LLP.

  • What The 4th Circ. Will Address In Abu Ghraib Case

    Lawrence S. Ebner

    For more than a decade, defense lawyers have vigorously pursued a suite of threshold, pretrial defenses in battlefield contractor cases. A long-running suit involving the notorious Abu Ghraib prison is back in the Fourth Circuit, which now has the opportunity to reinforce the viability of the political question defense, say Lawrence Ebner and Lisa Norrett Himes of Dentons US LLP.