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 mctlaw can help you dispute, protest, or litigate an issue with your government contract to help protect your business.
Why Work with the Attorneys at mctlaw on your Government Contract Issue?
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.
A lot can go wrong with a government contract. Don’t do it alone.
Talk to an attorney about your situation.
Government Contract Disputes and Adjustments
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 submit a Request for Equitable Adjustment (REA) or help you make a contract claim for additional payment or for additional time.
There are strategic issues when submitting an REA or claim and some claims require 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 an 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 United States Court of Federal Claims. Even if your bid protest is unsuccessful at the GAO, you can then take your protest to the Court of Federal Claims. Although you will have access to certain records at the GAO related to the award decision, at the Court, the discovery process should allow you to review all the relevant documents in the administrative record. Keep in mind that while the General Accountability Office may be a speedier and less costly method of protesting the award when compared to the Court of Federal Claims, the GAO’s final decision is merely a recommendation to the agency. The Court of Federal Claims “may award any relief that the court considers proper.” The General Accountability Office 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 to 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.
Reasons for Litigation
There 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
- Native SBA 8(a) Programs
Talk to Us About Your Government Contract Problem
Discuss your government contract business situation with our legal team at no charge. 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.
Filing a Government Contract Claim Under the Tucker Act
The Tucker Act allows the government to waive sovereign immunity in specific instances, opening it up to lawsuits. The “Big” Tucker Act deals with claims against the government of over $10,000. Claims under the Tucker Act allow private citizens to be compensated after suing the government in certain situations such as contractual claims, non-contractual claims where the plaintiff is looking for the money they paid the government to be returned, and non-contractual claims where the plaintiff asserts that they should have been paid by the government.
Pseudo Foreign Military Sales
Pseudo-foreign military sales are a vital component of government contracts. These transactions are complex and require compliance with strict regulations, including arms control regulations. That’s why it’s important to pay careful attention to the sale process. In addition, sometimes problems arise with lack of payment during these sales, and it is vital to have legal representation.
“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.
United States Court of Federal Claims as a Venue for Government Contract Disputes
What is now known as the Court of Federal Claims has decided thousands of cases awarding billions of dollars against the federal government. The Rules of the Court of Federal Claims have been adapted from the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and apply in cases there. 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.
Meet with Us Wherever You Live
You do not need to come to our offices. Our attorneys can meet with you by video call. Anything that needs to be signed or reviewed can be done online.
Justice at the United States Court of Federal Claims in Government Contract Cases
Question: “How can I get justice from a court that is 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.
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 lawyers 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’s success.
Our Government Contracts Attorneys
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The attorneys at mctlaw 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.
Content Reviewed by Jennifer Maglio – Appellate Lawyer
Ms. Maglio began her legal career in the public sector as an Assistant County Attorney for Sarasota County, Florida. At Sarasota County, Ms. Maglio litigated a variety of matters including land use, civil rights, and employment law actions. As part of her duties in the County’s litigation section, Ms. Maglio prepared appellate amicus briefs for the Florida Association of Counties and Sarasota County on local government issues being argued before the Florida Supreme Court.
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