Two shipping companies have agreed to pay $3.4 million to settle a whistleblower suit alleging they violated the False Claims Act by fixing the price of government cargo transportation contracts between the continental U.S. and Puerto Rico, the U.S. Department of Justice said Friday.
A veteran-owned small business urged a Federal Circuit panel on Friday to force the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to set aside additional contracts for veteran-owned contractors, claiming the agency isn't giving the companies the contracting advantages they're entitled to.
The president's 2015 proposed budget includes plans to hire more fraud and compliance enforcers, likely creating more work for attorneys who defend government contractors in areas like health care, information technology and labor compliance.
Thousands of comments poured in by Friday’s deadline for public input on proposals to eliminate Medicare Part D protections that guarantee access to certain drugs, and federal regulators appeared to be on the ropes amid an onslaught of opposition.
More than 100 research and technology proposals are cruising through NASA’s small business innovation research program, with roughly $87 million in projects from 99 U.S.-based firms shining a light on the future of American innovation in aerospace technology, NASA said Friday.
The Transportation Security Administration has ceased its development of a new prescreening initiative that would have searched through flyers’ online data in order to assess their flight risk, saying in a notice posted to a government contracting website Tuesday that it would explore additional ideas before testing the technology on passengers.
The U.S. Department of Defense's Office of Inspector General has recommended that the U.S. Army improve its property accountability and contractor oversight at redistribution property assistance team yards in Afghanistan, after finding $586.8 million in equipment losses in one year, according to an audit report released Thursday.
Negotiators from the European Union and the U.S. will convene next week for the fourth round of talks to secure an ambitious trade and investment agreement, focusing their attention the deal's agricultural and public procurement chapters, among others, the European Commission said Thursday.
A New York federal court on Friday approved a deal in which a whistleblower will get $63.9 million for tips leading to a False Claims Act settlement in which JPMorgan Chase & Co. agreed to pay $614 million over allegations it defrauded the U.S. government into insuring flawed home loans
The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court on Friday affirmed an arbitrator’s ruling that the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission had violated a collective bargaining agreement with the Teamsters by hiring a subcontractor to cut grass, but it overturned a punitive damages award.
Several people have told me that they had a lot of trepidation when they found out they would be working for a woman. To be effective, you need to be able to eliminate or address the conscious or unconscious bias colleagues may have about having a female boss, says Nancy Mitchell, chairwoman of Greenberg Traurig LLP's New York business reorganization and financial restructuring practice.
A male in-house counsel once told me I had not been "nice" to him when I approached him about a business opportunity and would therefore not get the business. To add insult to injury, one of my male partners told me I should be flattered by the interest paid to me by the in-house counsel, says Paulette Brown, chief diversity officer at Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP.
Defense contractor Raytheon Co. said Thursday that it has been awarded a $350 million contract to increase production of missiles for the U.S. Department of Defense's Missile Defense Agency, the second major missile contract Raytheon snagged in a week.
A Fourth Circuit panel found Thursday that a company can have a racial identity and sue for racial discrimination, siding with a minority-owned Virginia contractor claiming a municipal housing authority discriminated against it while working on a public housing project.
The Federal Circuit on Thursday rejected a former U.S. Navy engineer's bid to revive his suit alleging he was the target of retaliation after exposing contract fraud, saying he had failed to exhaust other avenues of recourse.
A Texas federal judge refused Thursday to toss a qui tam complaint accusing a U.S. Air Force contractor of cheating the government out of $50 million, after deciding the company may have known about the wrongdoing alleged by an ex-employee.
Senator Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., said on Thursday that she wants more litigation information included in federal contractor databases, saying that better records of lawsuits and settlements will help ensure that the government has the best information available when deciding which companies to do business with.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie did not break any state or federal regulations in awarding a contact for Superstorm Sandy cleanup without putting it up for bid, according to a U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Inspector General report released Thursday by the Christie administration.
KBR Inc. and Halliburton Co. may not automatically be immune from multidistrict litigation accusing them of exposing U.S. military personnel to toxic fumes in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Fourth Circuit ruled on Thursday, finding there wasn’t enough evidence to conclude the defense contractors had acted within the bounds of their contract.
An assisted living facility on Wednesday asked the Texas Supreme Court to toss a ruling in a defamation suit that held that a business-transaction exemption to a state law protecting free speech did not apply to newspaper articles describing poor conditions and Medicaid fraud at the facility.
Cloud users must know how to use the cloud responsibly to prevent later difficulties with document production. When negotiating a cloud service agreement, users should look for certain services that will prove useful when responding to discovery requests, such as comprehensive search options, instant suspension of the auto-delete function, and preservation of metadata and embedded data, say attorneys with Sidley Austin LLP.
The main takeaway from the Second Circuit's recent decision in U.S. v. DHL Express (USA) Inc. is that potential False Claims Act liability attaches long after a transaction closes, regardless of the contract protections bargained for. Contractual or statutory notice requirements cannot be relied on to shift risk onto counterparties, say attorneys with Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP.
Despite the current circuit split on whether a qui tam relator must identify specific claims in order to satisfy Rule 9(b), the U.S. Department of Justice has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to deny certiorari in U.S. v. Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America Inc. But even if the court does not agree to review this case, it appears highly likely that the court will eventually be called upon to resolve the split, says Scott Grubman, an associate at Rogers & Hardin LLP and a former federal prosecutor.
In stark contrast to the changing environment for the majority of lawyers today, the evolution for the general counsel is driven less by necessity than by opportunity. Today’s GC may touch every aspect of his or her organization to solve challenges and propel the company forward, keeping the GC far ahead of what is expected of the average lawyer, says James Merklinger, vice president and general counsel of the Association of Corporate Counsel.
In U.S. v. Omnicare Inc., the Fourth Circuit recently joined the growing chorus of courts that have refused to extend the reach of the False Claims Act to all manner of regulatory violations. And even though this case involved pre-Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act conduct, the ruling also may have provided some much-needed perspective to the 2009 FERA amendments to the FCA, say attorneys with Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson LLP.
The coming decrease in substantive suspensions and debarments will give the impression that the risks of cutting corners have decreased. Nothing can be farther from the truth. Yet advisers to government contractors do not appear to be pushing back on this trend of less vigilance, says David Robbins of Shulman Rogers Gandal Pordy & Ecker PA.
The recently closed comment period for the proposed Federal Rules of Civil Procedure amendments generated passionate antipodal responses over discovery rules that appear to benefit large corporate litigants at the expense of individual plaintiffs and civil rights groups. The nature and intensity of the response should lead the committee to reconsider the overall fairness of the proposed discovery amendments, says Henry Kelston of Milberg LLP.
Three courts — including the Fourth Circuit in Carter v. Halliburton Co. — have erred in ruling that the Wartime Suspension of Limitations Act applies to noncriminal matters, such as False Claims Act claims. These decisions put businesses in numerous industries at risk of having to defend stale claims seeking potentially ruinous damages under the FCA. The U.S. Supreme Court should grant cert in Carter, say Jesse Witten and Lee Roach of Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP.
Given heightened enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, particularly in the energy industry, firms need to pay particular attention to anti-bribery risks when contemplating potential transactions in Mexico’s newly privatized energy markets. Significant risks also exist under the Mexican Federal Anti-Corruption Law for Public Contracts, which is broader than the FCPA and follows the “zero tolerance” approach taken by the U.K. Bribery Act, say Obiamaka Madubuko and Michael Stanek of McDermott Will & Emery.
In the recent size appeal of TISTA Science and Technology Corp., the Small Business Administration ruled that the Small Business Jobs Act's deemed certification provisions do not apply to proposals for task or delivery orders under long-term contracts. But it is unclear whether Congress intended to include or exclude task orders when it used the term “contract” in the deemed certification statute, say Albert Krachman and Lucas Hanback of Blank Rome LLP.