We don’t need more laws to make government programs work more effectively and finish within budgets. We need more honest communication between industry and government at the front end of programs regarding realistic requirements and realistic costs, says Richard P. Rector, chairman of DLA Piper LLP's government contracts practice.
It will be interesting to see if the Federal Circuit continues to afford government contractors the intellectual property protections that they have benefited from based on past precedent interpreting 28 U.S.C. 1498., says Kerry B. McTigue, head of Duane Morris LLP's government contracts practice.
In bid protests, there are arcane rules on timeliness which serve little purpose other than to deprive contractors of rights. The process should be overhauled to eliminate unnecessary burdens and level the playing field for the aggrieved parties, says Al Krachman, co-leader of Blank Rome LLP's government contracts practice group.
Recent proposals by the government to address organizational conflicts of interest have inappropriately lumped them in with banned business practices such as kickbacks, rather than treating them as situations that can often be addressed through mitigation, says John Williamson, leader of McGuireWoods LLP's government contracts practice.
While the outsourcing of compliance monitoring to qui tam whistleblowers may lead to more spectacular settlements and press releases, the public will eventually realize that “fraud” recoveries may be outweighed by the overall burden on the federal procurement system, says Rob Ryland, a leader in Kirkland & Ellis LLP's government contracts practice.
Congress has amended the Civil False Claims Act three times in the past 18 months. The best "reform" that could happen now would be a period of stabilization and consolidation in which the practical effects of recent “reforms” could be sorted out, says Robert K. Huffman, a leader in Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP's government contracts practice group.
As the government cuts back on defense spending and brings more work in-house, contractors will fight harder for the remaining work. That means more bid protests, says Kenneth B. Weckstein, a leader in Brown Rudnick LLP's government contracts and litigation practice group.
The most critical reform right now is alleviating the challenge of becoming a government contractor. Many companies expect the government to provide insight into the process, but the procurement work force doesn't have the headcount available to do it, says Lorraine Campos, head of Reed Smith LLP's government contracts and grants team.
Whistleblower litigation needs a filter to ensure quality control. Disgruntled employees view it as a lottery ticket, with minimal cost and great payoffs, while prosecutors are overwhelmed with cases and have a hard time separating the wheat from the chaff, says Michael Kendall, head of the white collar and securities defense group at McDermott Will & Emery LLP.
While the appellate process is on the whole very good, one increasingly important issue is that the huge workload of the courts of appeals result in many summary dispositions and unpublished opinions, says Herve Gouraige, co-group leader of the national litigation practice at Epstein Becker & Green PC.
The sheer number of appeals — particularly in criminal cases — unfortunately makes it impossible to shorten the time line, says Woody Peterson, a partner in Dickstein Shapiro LLP's antitrust and dispute resolution group with a focus on appellate matters.
The current financial market problems have shown that the regulatory structure governing the securities and financial markets is in great need of reform, and we can no longer operate with the philosophy that substantive regulation is not required because the market is self-correcting, says Robert L. Schnell, co-chair of Faegre & Benson LLP's securities and financial markets litigation practice.
There will continue to be an increase in the use of consumer fraud class actions on a state-by-state basis as an alternative to more traditional products liability cases, in part due to relaxed burdens of proof in some states and the opportunity for multiple damage awards, says Arvin Maskin, co-head of Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP's product liability and mass tort practice.
The future likely holds more cases arising out of regulated products such as pharmaceuticals, medical devices and food products, as well as an upswing in environmental, toxic tort and lawsuits brought under the False Claims Act, says Andy Bayman, leader of King & Spalding LLP's tort litigation and environmental practice group.
The wave of civil and criminal fraud cases against corporations that arose from Enron’s collapse in 2001 may soon recede as enforcement officials set their sights back on individuals, said Pam Johnston, chair of the white-collar defense practice at Foley & Lardner LLP.
In today’s ever-changing regulatory environment, it can be tricky for health care companies and providers to avoid scrutiny from the U.S. Department of Justice over product pricing or anti-kickback statute violations. But the best defense is always an offense, according to Ann Morgan Vickery, managing partner of Hogan & Hartson LLP's Washington, D.C., office and director of the firm’s health practice group.
The number of False Claims Act suits filed against health care providers and pharmaceutical companies has climbed steadily over the past few years, and the recent flood of suits shows no sign of dissipating, said Greg Luce, a partner in Skadden, Arps, Slate Meagher & Flom LLP's health care enforcement and litigation group.
The SEC should make investigations more transparent, be more willing to negotiate the scope of document subpoenas and be clearer about closing out their investigations so clients aren't left in limbo, say Mark Hellerer and Bruce Ericson of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP in our series of chats with high-profile securities lawyers.
After losing a string of merger challenges, federal agencies might be well advised to reconsider both their case selection and the way they try their cases, says William Kolasky of WilmerHale in our series of Q&As with practice leaders at top law firms.
Though about 35% of the Texas population is Hispanic, many law firms in the state have few or no Spanish-speaking attorneys. Monty Partners LLP, a small labor and employment firm based in Houston, is uniquely different.
The Sunshine Act, recently released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid, not only contains strict reporting requirements, particularly in light of the arrangements between applicable manufacturers, group purchasing organizations and physicians, but also has many important implications for life science companies and other health care professionals, say attorneys with Paul Hastings LLP.
Now that the U.S. Department of Defense's proposed rule on detection and avoidance of counterfeit parts has finally arrived, those who were expecting meaningful guidance surely will be disappointed. The rule fails to inform contractors of how they can minimize compliance risk, says Robert Metzger of Rogers Joseph O'Donnell PC.
The government has been fairly lackadaisical in its review of compliance in the E-Verify arena, so it may not fall very high on a federal contractor’s list of legal concerns. However, with the comprehensive immigration reform package, contractors should reconsider their priorities, says Dawn Lurie of Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP
Unlike large corporations, law firms require their procurement professionals to be generalists, handling everything from office supplies to insurance and benefits to library services. In order to recruit the right talent, law firms should ensure personnel are involved in strategy development and establish continuing development opportunities, say Adam Stoklosa and Clayton Fox of HBR Consulting LLC.
The updated bulletin by the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services offers substantial, useful guidance to providers on the scope of exclusion and best practices for avoiding liability in connection with individuals who have been excluded in federal health care programs, say attorneys with Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP.
While the Federal Circuit has not spoken on the government knowledge defense, the Court of Federal Claims in Ulysses Inc. v. U.S. applied a version of the defense that focuses not on a quasi-estoppel theory of government waiver by consent, but rather on the critical issue of scienter under the relevant fraud statutes, say Ronald Schechter and Stuart Turner of Arnold & Porter LLP.
Federal workplace agencies are taking a number of steps in response to the recent sequestration budget cuts, and employers who are parties to agency charges, lawsuits or other administrative proceedings before these agencies should expect effects such as delays in processing and investigation of complaints and petitions, says Seth Neulight of Nixon Peabody LLP.
If you submit a proposal on time but the government rejects it as late, take your protest to the Court of Federal Claims. That’s the lesson of a run of recent COFC decisions, capped by Insight Systems Corp. v. United States, say attorneys with McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP.
Recent legislative developments and shifting enforcement priorities have caused the risks posed by the False Claims Act and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act to spiral to astronomical levels. The interplay between these trends and increased reliance on administrative exclusion is potentially devastating to government contractors, say attorneys with Covington & Burling LLP.
Federal contractors face significant cost increases and compliance requirements as a result of the health insurance reforms in the Affordable Care Act. To minimize costs and compliance risks in the future, companies should take a number of steps in the coming months, say attorneys with Arnold & Porter LLP.