Government Contract Litigation
Protect Your Business When a Federal Contract Goes Wrong
Government Contract Lawsuits
What happens when your government contract goes wrong? It can put your whole business at risk. The government contract litigation team at Maglio Christopher & Toale, P.A. | mctlaw can help you dispute, protest, or litigate an issue with your government contract and help you protect your business.
Why Work with the Attorneys at mctlaw | Maglio Christopher & Toale, P.A.
Our Firm extensively litigates in local, state, and federal courts; against federal agencies that issue contracts, and some of the largest private law firms in the world. We have the legal, technical, and trial skills necessary for any type of lawsuit, no matter the adversary.
You can dispute the award of a contract to a competitor or dispute an issue on your awarded contract.
If you think you should have been awarded a contract, or another business is protesting your contract award, we can help. If you have an issue with your ongoing contract, we can help you Request for Equitable Adjustment (REA) or help you make a contract claim for additional payment or other issues.
Both REAs and claims require a special format and specific certifications to be valid. You should work with an attorney to make sure the format and certification are correct, or your case could get dismissed.
While there are good reasons to choose to submit either an REA or a claim, they involve different processes. There is no deadline for the government to respond to a REA. However, once a claim is submitted to a contracting officer for review, the contracting officer has a deadline to issue a final decision. If no decision is made within 60 days of filing the claim, then the claim is automatically denied. But, that is far from the end of the process
Bid protests can be argued at the agency level, before the General Accountability Office (GAO), or in the Court of Federal Claims. Even if your bid protest is unsuccessful at the GAO, you can then take your protest to the COFC. Although you will have access to certain records at the GAO related to the award decision, at the COFC, the discovery process should allow you to review all the relevant documents in the administrative record. Keep in mind that while the GAO may be a speedier and less costly method of protesting the award when compared to the COFC, the GAO’s final decision is merely a recommendation to the agency. The COFC “may award any relief that the court considers proper.” The GAO also has strict time deadlines that, if missed, deprive that body of jurisdiction to decide your matter.
Enforcing Your Contract in the United States Court of Federal Claims
If your claim is denied by the contracting officer, you can bring a claim with the U.S. Civilian Board of Contracts Appeals (or in select cases, before other agency Boards of Contracts Appeals). Although this is a strategic choice and depends on the circumstances, the better option may be to bring a claim in the United States Court of Federal Claims in Washington, DC. The court is authorized by the Contracts Disputes Act to hear an appeal of a contracting officer’s final decision.
Historically referred to as “the People’s Court,” the United States Court of Federal Claims has national jurisdiction over most money claims against the federal government. President Abraham Lincoln was responsible for the Court of Federal Claims becoming the national trial court for determinations of private claims against the federal government.
“It is as much the duty of Government to render prompt justice against itself, in favor of citizens, as it is to administer the same, between private individuals.”
– President Abraham Lincoln in creating what is now known as the United States Court of Federal Claims.
What is now known as the Court of Federal Claims has decided thousands of cases awarding billions of dollars against the federal government. As part of the judiciary, it is governed by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and Federal Rules of Evidence. The same is not true for an appeal to the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals or other Federal Boards of Contract Appeals. Independence, rules, and procedures matter a great deal when you are in a dispute with an agency of the federal government.
As part of the judiciary, it is governed by the rules of civil procedure and rules of evidence. No such protections exist when you appeal to the contract review board of an agency. Independence, rules, and procedures matter a great deal when you are in a dispute with an agency of the federal government.
We Respect Your Need for Social Distance at this Time
You do not need to come to our offices. Our attorneys can meet with you by video call during the pandemic. Anything that needs to be signed or reviewed, can be done online.
Justice at the United States Court of Federal Claims
Question: “How can I get justice from a court that is the part of the same federal government that wronged me?”
This is a question that we hear regularly. Despite being in Washington, DC, across the street from the White House, the United States Court of Federal Claims prides itself on its history, independence, and willingness to hold the rest of the federal government accountable. President Lincoln’s ideal is alive and well today.
Our law firm’s Washington, DC office is only two blocks away from the Court of Federal Claims. Our attorneys know the Court of Federal Claims and the Court knows our attorneys and our firm.
In fact, mctlaw files more cases in the United States Court of Federal Claims than any other law firm in the nation.
Reasons for Filing a Dispute ClaimThere are many reasons you may find you need to dispute a government contract. In that case, your business needs aggressive legal representation to make sure all parties are fulfilling their agreements. Some of the most common reasons for government contract litigation include:
- Changes to the contract
- Government or other third-party delays
- Negotiating a termination for default into a termination for convenience
- Reimbursements for differing site conditions
- Demands for additional payment
- Adjustment of contract terms
- Changing delivery dates
- Government’s failure to give the contractor the specifications needed to fulfill the contract
FILE A DISPUTE CLAIM
Discuss your business situation with our legal team. Find out if you have a potential dispute claim.
Problems with a Contracting Officer
One of the most common problems in government contracting is when the relationship with the contracting officer sours. Sometimes the officers may push back deadlines, change the scope of the contract, succumb to management pressure, lose impartiality, or even feel slighted after difficult negotiations.
Our attorneys believe business owners in this type of situation need an outside party to represent them. Our goal is always to de-escalate a dispute, but there are times when litigation is in the best interests of our clients.
We Can Help Your Government Contract Business
There is an entire industry of consultants out there promising to steer government contract awards your way. But as a business owner, there comes a point where you need legal advice to securely enter into or further negotiate a contract that benefits you. Our government contracts team will negotiate, defend, and resolve issues for you when the government contract that promised to grow your business threatens to derail it.
We are committed to minimizing your risks and alleviating your concerns so that you can focus on what really matters – your business success.
Federal Government Contract Litigation Team
About Maglio Christopher & Toale, P.A. | mctlaw
The attorneys at Maglio Christopher & Toale, P.A. represent clients against multinational corporations and governments every day, winning substantial settlements and judgments for our clients.
In the past few years alone, we’ve recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for our clients. We are trial attorneys with a reputation for standing firm when other law firms back down.
We don’t blink, and our clients benefit.