Government Contracts

  • July 22, 2016

    Health First Beats Whistleblower's 'Shotgun-Style' FCA Suit

    A Florida federal judge on Friday dismissed an amended False Claims Act suit against Health First Inc., finding that a whistleblower's claims that the nonprofit medical company defrauded the government of hundreds of millions of dollars were not specific enough.

  • July 22, 2016

    Mentor-Protege Rule A Boon For Contractors Big And Small

    Although some small businesses may get left behind in the scramble for mentors, the U.S. Small Business Administration's much-anticipated final mentor-protege rule generally offers a broad new opportunity for contractors of all sizes, attorneys said.

  • July 22, 2016

    Congo Foe In Pursuit Of $800M Award Can See Plane Docs

    A public works contractor seeking an $800 million arbitral award from the Republic of the Congo must be granted access to a bank’s documents on a Boeing jumbo jet it holds in trust for Congo’s state-owned airline, whether or not it can actually seize the plane, a Utah federal judge has ruled.

  • July 22, 2016

    US Spent $2.6B-Plus On Afghan Telecom Sector: Audit

    The U.S. government has poured at least $2.6 billion into Afghanistan's telecommunications sector, and possibly much more, as accurate figures from the Pentagon and others are difficult to come by, a federal watchdog agency overseeing Afghan reconstruction said in an audit published Friday.

  • July 22, 2016

    Tribe Says Wash. Can't Go After It For Landslide Liability

    The Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians moved to win its federal court lawsuit contending the state of Washington cannot seek indemnity from it for claims over liability for a landslide, arguing Thursday that it never waived its sovereign immunity.

  • July 22, 2016

    Pols Want New Whistleblower Protections For Contractors

    A bipartisan group of House members introduced a bill Thursday that would extend existing federal whistleblower protections to federal contractors, as pressure has built on the U.S. departments of Defense, Veterans Affairs and other federal agencies over their treatment of whistleblowers.

  • July 22, 2016

    Radiology Center Hits Opposing Atty's Billing In FCA Row

    A Florida radiology provider that paid more than $8.7 million to resolve False Claims Act and kickback allegations blasted a request for about $70,000 in opposing counsel fees and expenses, telling a Florida federal court on Friday that the amount is unreasonable considering the government's large role in the case.

  • July 22, 2016

    Group Wants Rural Broadband Cash Pegged To Urban Speeds

    The American Cable Association on Thursday recommended that the Federal Communications Commission partially base its “weighting formula” for companies vying for rural broadband expansion dollars to the preferences of urban consumers for data usage and speed.

  • July 22, 2016

    FCC Approves Telcordia Phone Routing Contract

    The Federal Communications Commission has approved the assignment of a hotly contested phone number routing contract to Ericsson unit Telcordia Technologies Inc., despite objections from incumbent contractor Neustar Inc. about national security concerns, an agency representative confirmed on Friday.

  • July 22, 2016

    Philip Morris Relator Wants Cigs FCA Relit At DC Circ.

    A would-be whistleblower asked the D.C. Circuit Thursday to rethink its June ruling that False Claims Act allegations that Philip Morris overcharged the military for cigarettes should remain dismissed, arguing the purported public disclosure blocking the suit neither disclosed the accusations nor was it publicly available.

  • July 22, 2016

    Mentor-Protege Program Expanded By Final SBA Rule

    The U.S. Small Business Administration on Friday released a final rule putting in place a long-awaited expansion to its mentor-protege program, expanding the program to cover all small businesses.

  • July 22, 2016

    DOJ Charges Trio In $1B Health Fraud Scheme

    The U.S. Department of Justice on Friday announced criminal charges in Florida federal court against three men accused of defrauding Medicare and Medicaid in a $1 billion scheme involving kickbacks and exploitation of drug-addicted patients.

  • July 21, 2016

    Northern Trust Can’t Nix LA’s $95M Pension Fund Loss Suit

    A California judge Thursday denied Northern Trust’s bid to toss Los Angeles’ suit over $95.6 million in city pension losses through risky mortgage-backed securities, saying though restitution is the "dog, not the tail" of the case, it was still inappropriate as the basis to nix the suit.

  • July 21, 2016

    DOE Must Shield Nuke Workers From 'Toxic Soup,' Wash. Says

    The state of Washington pressed a federal court Thursday to force the U.S. Department of Energy and its Hanford nuclear site contractor to take steps to protect workers from exposure to a “toxic soup” of chemicals released by underground storage tanks at the site.

  • July 21, 2016

    ICSID Warns Bangladeshi Courts To Back Off Gas Bill Row

    Arbitrators hearing a case between a Canadian oil and gas driller and state-owned Bangladeshi energy companies have warned the country to get its courts in line, saying their efforts to overrule the arbitral tribunal “show a fundamental misunderstanding” of its authority.

  • July 21, 2016

    Army Contractor's Stockholders Seek To Pause Sanctions Bid

    Stockholders of recently bankrupt military contractor Conco urged a Kentucky federal judge Thursday to pause the company’s sanctions request against them for allegedly violating Conco’s Chapter 11 plan while they ask the Sixth Circuit to clear up the final terms for the reorganization.

  • July 21, 2016

    DC Metro To Seek Bids For Disabled Rider Service

    The government agency that operates the Washington, D.C., Metro is planning to seek bids for contractors to participate in a pilot program to provide shared-ride public transportation services for riders with disabilities, a spokeswoman for the Metro told Law360 on Thursday.

  • July 21, 2016

    Ignore 'Hollow' Stay Plea In FCA Research Suit, Gov't Says

    The federal government urged a South Dakota federal judge not to pause the resolution of a False Claims Act case against a man convicted of fraudulently obtaining a National Science Foundation grant, arguing Thursday the man offered up "hollow" reasonings to avoid disgorgement.

  • July 21, 2016

    Doc Accused Of Bribing Sen. Wants $2M Put In Fees Trust

    A Florida eye doctor facing charges for allegedly bribing U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., on Wednesday asked a Florida federal judge in a separate Medicare fraud case to modify his bond order so he can transfer $2 million to cover his “substantial” legal fees.

  • July 21, 2016

    Holland & Knight, Client Deserved Sanctions, 11th Circ. Told

    Defense contractor DRS Technical Services Inc. urged the Eleventh Circuit to maintain sanctions against a former competitor and its Holland & Knight LLP counsel, arguing Wednesday they were rightly taken to task for a meritless “vendetta” over a lost U.S. Air Force contract.

Expert Analysis

  • Gov't Contractor Sick Leave Rule Likely Excludes Banks

    Kenneth A. Rosenberg

    Banks and financial institutions have wondered for months whether they would be subject to a recent executive order requiring certain federal contractors to provide employees with paid sick leave. However, careful review of a U.S. Department of Labor notice shows it is highly unlikely the industry will be subject to this burdensome new requirement, say attorneys at Fox Rothschild LLP.

  • EEOC Won't Budge On EEO-1 Pay Data Collection

    Michael S. Burkhardt

    Although revisions to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's EEO-1 reporting proposal may alleviate some of the burden placed on employers, the core earnings and hours worked data that the commission proposes to collect remains largely unchanged, say attorneys at Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP.

  • Aveta And The Use Of Confidential Info In FCA Cases

    James M. Koukios

    A recent case in the District of Puerto Rico — U.S. v. Aveta — highlights several issues surrounding the use of privileged and confidential information by both plaintiffs and the government in False Claims Act suits. Much to the dismay of contractors like Aveta, the government and relators may be able to utilize confidential or privileged information in the course of investigating and prosecuting false claims, say James Koukios and... (continued)

  • Materiality Matters: The First Post-Escobar Decisions

    John Ruskusky

    As recent opinions in the Eastern District of Washington and the Northern District of Alabama show, the U.S. Supreme Court's Escobar decision yields fertile ground for defenses based on the materiality requirement of the False Claims Act, including at the pleading stage, say John Ruskusky and Emily Harlan of Nixon Peabody LLP.

  • How Law Firms Can Create Next-Generation Office Spaces

    Tere Blanca headshot (1).jpg

    Law firms today are recognizing that the process of creating a next-generation workplace is far more complex than relocating to a more modern space in a trendier part of town. The challenge is more significant for larger firms with multiple generations represented within their executive teams, says Tere Blanca, founder of Miami-based Blanca Commercial Real Estate Inc.

  • Defense Cos. Should Be Up In Arms Over Bid Protest Reform

    Jon W. Burd

    The Senate Armed Services Committee renewed its battle against the bid protest process in the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act. This latest attempt would erode a pillar of oversight that has long been a key to maintaining a credible, transparent and competitive acquisition system, says Jon Burd of Wiley Rein LLP.

  • What To Avoid When Patenting Government-Funded Inventions

    Max Colice

    Although the Bayh-Dole Act process for small businesses to patent an invention made under a federal funding agreement seems straightforward, several potential pitfalls exist. And if the small business doesn’t properly notify the government, then the government can take title to the patent or patent application, say attorneys with Cooley LLP.

  • Skyrocketing FCA Penalties Ripe For Constitutional Challenges

    Scott Stein

    Constitutional objections to outsized False Claims Act judgments have experienced little success, but the dramatically higher penalty ranges recently announced by the U.S. Department of Justice may create an opportunity for defendants finally to gain traction in arguing for constitutional limits to FCA penalties, say attorneys with Sidley Austin LLP.

  • How To Close A Law Firm — Practically And Ethically

    Janis M. Meyer

    Winding down a law firm is at best stressful, at worst excruciatingly painful, and often carried out as if it were an emergency, rendering the process even more difficult. There are certain common steps that should be on the firm's radar from the moment the decision to dissolve is made, says Janis Meyer, a partner with Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP who helped oversee Dewey & LeBoeuf's 2012 bankruptcy filing and the subsequent wind-down of the firm.

  • Escobar Increases Risk Of Cybersecurity-Based FCA Litigation

    Matthew J. Gardner

    The U.S. Supreme Court's holding last month in Escobar that the implied certification theory of liability under the False Claims Act is valid may open the door to increased FCA cybersecurity claims. Contractors can take three steps to mitigate this risk, say Matthew Gardner and Stephen Obermeier of Wiley Rein LLP.