Government Contracts

  • September 19, 2014

    NJ Appeals Court Revives Town's Suit Over Smelly Well

    A New Jersey appellate court Friday revived the town of Berlin’s lawsuit against two engineering companies accused of negligently located a well near groundwater containing an odorous chemical, saying that expert testimony on damage costs had been improperly dismissed.

  • September 19, 2014

    Sequester In 2016 ‘Breaking Point’ For Army, Chief Says

    A return to sequester funding levels in fiscal year 2016 would push the U.S. Army to “breaking point,” Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno said Friday, urging lawmakers who have expressed concerns about Army troop reductions to address the issue.

  • September 19, 2014

    HHS Watchdog Warns Of Coupon Kickbacks In Part D

    Brand-name drugmakers have imperfect systems for preventing use of copay coupons in Medicare Part D and may be letting millions of seniors access discounts that constitute illicit kickbacks, the Office of Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported Friday.

  • September 19, 2014

    DOD Unveils Third Round Of 'Better Buying Power' Reforms

    The Defense Department previewed the third phase of its “Better Buying Power” initiative Friday, outlining a plan to reduce acquisition costs, boost innovation and cut some of the bloat from the Pentagon's decision-making process.

  • September 19, 2014

    Ex-Speaker Hastert Beats FCA Suit Over Lobbying Costs

    Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert on Thursday defeated a lawsuit accusing him of violating the False Claims Act by using a federally funded office and staff for lobbying efforts for Dickstein Shapiro LLP and other personal business after his retirement from Congress.

  • September 19, 2014

    9th. Circ. Strikes Calif.'s Boeing Site Cleanup Law

    The Ninth Circuit said on Friday that a bill requiring Boeing to clean up a toxic site to a farming-safe level was too stringent under the doctrine of intergovernmental immunity, and that California overextended its authority by requiring more within a government site than was generally required in the rest of the state.

  • September 19, 2014

    Cos. Liable Under TCPA For 3rd-Party Texts, 9th Circ. Rules

    Companies that hire third parties to send unsolicited text messages can be liable for Telephone Consumer Privacy Act violations, the Ninth Circuit held Friday in a published opinion reviving a proposed class action that blamed U.S. Navy contractor Campbell-Ewald Co. for recruitment messages cellphone users received.

  • September 19, 2014

    Hillshire To Pay $330K To Settle Anti-Male Bias Claims

    Hillshire Brands Co. on Thursday settled U.S. Department of Labor claims it discriminated against 2,474 male applicants, while receiving millions in government contracts, and agreed to pay $330,000 and to offer 73 of them jobs.

  • September 19, 2014

    USAID Contractor Seeks To Revive Suit Against US In DC Circ.

    A U.S. Agency for International Development contractor who was imprisoned in Cuba for his pro-democracy work urged a D.C. Circuit panel on Friday to resurrect his negligence claims against the federal government, claiming it shouldn't be immune from paying damages.

  • September 19, 2014

    Navy, USDA, DOE Back Refineries For Military Biofuels

    The U.S. Departments of Energy, Agriculture and Navy said Friday that they've awarded contracts to three companies to build refineries that will produce drop-in biofuels to supply the military, producing more than 100 million gallons of military-grade fuel a year starting in 2016 and 2017.

  • September 19, 2014

    Gov't Says Doctors Group Misrepresents FCA Allegations

    The federal government on Thursday hit back at IPC The Hospitalist Co. Inc.’s attempt to escape a whistleblower suit accusing the company of overbilling Medicare and Medicaid, telling an Illinois federal court that IPC had misrepresented its complaint in a bid to dismiss the case.

  • September 19, 2014

    Kuwaiti Contractor Gets FCA Claims Trimmed To $40M

    A California federal judge trimmed $25 million from a False Claims Act suit brought against Kuwaiti contractor The Public Warehousing Co. but kept $40 million worth of claims, saying a whistleblower adequately alleged that the company deliberately overcharged the U.S. military under logistical support contracts in Iraq and Kuwait.

  • September 19, 2014

    FCA Free Speech Defense Tested In DOJ-PhRMA Fight

    A fiery feud in California federal court between the U.S. Department of Justice and Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America shows the gloves are finally off in a fight that will shape the future of False Claims Act litigation, experts say, with opposing sides clashing over whether the First Amendment always shields honest off-label promotion.

  • September 19, 2014

    Aerospace Corp. Snags $812M Mod To USAF Space Contract

    The Aerospace Corp. on Thursday took home an $812 million U.S. Air Force contract modification to provide planning, design, launch support, space systems integration and other services to a unit of the Air Force Space Command, which will be performed at the company's headquarters in California, the U.S. Department of Defense said.

  • September 18, 2014

    Senate Gives Final OK To ISIS Fight Aid, Avoids Shutdown

    The U.S. Senate on Thursday overwhelmingly approved funding for Syrian rebels to battle the Islamic State militant group, as part of a short-term spending bill that will fund the federal government through early December and avert another shutdown.

  • September 18, 2014

    Ex-Detroit Public Library Honcho Gets 10 Years For Bribery

    The Detroit Public Library's former chief administrator has been sentenced by a Michigan federal court to 10 years in prison for taking $1.5 million in bribes while running the 22-branch library, a prosecutor confirmed Thursday.

  • September 18, 2014

    DynCorp Shortchanged Subcontractor By $26M, Suit Says

    DynCorp International Corp. was served on Wednesday with a $25.9 million lawsuit in Virginia state court by one of its subcontractors accusing the company of refusing to fork over a piece of a profit sharing agreement from a U.S. Army infrastructure contract.

  • September 18, 2014

    Medtronic Pays States To Settle Defibrillator FCA Claims

    Medtronic Inc. reached an agreement with 46 states and the District of Columbia to settle a whistleblower's False Claims Act allegations that the company offered illegal kickbacks to physicians to implant its pacemakers and defibrillators, in a deal that follows a $10 million federal settlement, New York’s attorney general said on Thursday.

  • September 18, 2014

    Turkish Exporter Admits Fraud In $3.5M Ex-Im Settlement

    Agricultural products exporter SABA Inc. agreed on Wednesday to pay $3.5 million to settle claims in New York federal court that it fraudulently obtained a $29 million construction loan from Deutsche Bank AG guaranteed by the U.S. Export-Import Bank, but a suit against its agent will move forward.

  • September 18, 2014

    2nd Circ. Tosses Iraq’s Suit Over $10B Oil-For-Food Scheme

    The Second Circuit on Thursday upheld the dismissal of Iraq's $10 billion racketeering lawsuit accusing multinational companies of helping Saddam Hussein defraud the United Nations’ so-called Oil-for-Food program, finding the Hussein regime acted as a representative of the Middle Eastern nation, which could not sue itself.

Expert Analysis

  • Criminal Division Wants In On FCA Whistleblower Complaints

    Christopher Wray

    Now that an early criminal review by the U.S. Department of Justice will be standard operating procedure in every whistleblower matter — in addition to potentially concurrent review by criminal assistant U.S. attorneys in the district where the qui tam action is filed — False Claims Act defendants may face a greater threat of prosecution, say attorneys with King & Spalding LLP.

  • TAA Case Is Study On Contractors' FCA Vulnerability

    Donna Lee Yesner

    Cox v. Smith & Nephew Inc. highlights the vulnerability of medical device manufacturers that source products from nondesignated countries under the Trade Agreements Act to potential False Claims Act liability and the need for diligence in ascertaining the country of origin for goods under government contract, say Donna Yesner and Stephen Ruscus of Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP.

  • White House Continues Push For Contractor Labor Rules

    Susan Cassidy

    Two recent executive orders impose significant compliance burdens on contractors. The duty to self-report labor violations is likely to present attractive grounds for bid protests. It also could spur additional litigation from workers who become aware of violations for the first time as a result of these disclosures, say attorneys with Covington & Burling LLP.

  • Differing, Changing Pleading Standards For FCA Suits

    Jonathan Feld

    Two recent decisions — U.S. v. Momence Meadows Nursing Center Inc. and U.S. v. Planned Parenthood — highlight the difference among circuits in the way they treat False Claims Act actions. While some courts are raising the bar on qui tam pleadings, other courts are making it easier to bring suit under the FCA, says Jonathan Feld of Dykema Gossett PLLC.

  • Indiana V. IBM: What’s At Stake For IT Contractors

    Robert Metzger

    The Indiana Supreme Court recently announced that it will decide Indiana v. IBM Corp. The ruling by the Court of Appeals is an acute illustration of how a judicial process can produce a distorted and unjust result through simplistic reduction of a complex project and use of an ill-suited legal standard of performance, say Robert Metzger and Mark Linderman of Rogers Joseph O’Donnell PC.

  • OPINION: Pro Bono May Help Diversity Recruiting Efforts

    David A. Lash

    A recent Law360 article about the perennial BigLaw concern over how to recruit and retain female and ethnically diverse attorneys addressed a new approach being taken by some law firms — going beyond traditional mentoring programs by creating a sponsorship relationship. Pro bono can also play a part, say David Lash and Merle Vaughn of the Association of Pro Bono Counsel.

  • How Research Efficiency Impacts Law Firm Profitability

    David Houlihan

    For a law firm, excess time dedicated to legal research generates waste, either in the form of artificially reduced billable hours or, particularly in flat or contingency fee projects, as overhead eroding the profitability of legal work. By measuring five factors, firms will begin to understand their own opportunities for improving profits, says David Houlihan of Blue Hill Research Inc.

  • 7th Circ. Limits FCA 'Worthless Services' Theory

    Ty Howard

    While Absher v. Momence Meadows Nursing Center Inc. leaves open the potential that a worthless services theory could give rise to False Claims Act liability, the Seventh Circuit’s interpretation severely limits such liability to those cases in which a defendant effectively provided no service of value at all, says Ty Howard of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP.

  • Best Business Planning Practices For Lawyers

    Jenn Topper

    Each lawyer's practice is a self-run business, even within the platform of a firm, and yet the level of entrepreneurialism within the practice of law is oftentimes marginalized, says legal industry business development specialist Jenn Topper.

  • Mental Health Concerns Give Way To Broader Audit Concerns

    Daniel Chudd

    It remains to be seen whether the Senate bill intended to identify security-cleared personnel who are at risk of becoming unstable will pass and, if so, whether it will be effective. We have our doubts on both points, say Daniel Chudd and Esteban Morin of Jenner & Block LLP.