NOTE: CASE RESULTS DEPEND ON A VARIETY OF UNIQUE FACTORS AND DO NOT GUARANTEE OR PREDICT SIMILAR RESULTS FOR FUTURE CASES.
FH+H Partner Milt Johns and a small team of attorneys represented a whistleblower in a significant and successful False Claims Act dispute with a large government contractor.
The Department of Justice intervened in the case, and eventually the matter settled for $2.6 million. The prosecution of the matter involved two successful arguments before the US 4th Circuit Court of Appeals.
“Contractors must be held accountable for their actions, especially when the safety of government personnel is at stake,” Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia (where the suit was filed), said in a WTOP article. “This settlement should remind contractors of the high value we place on safeguarding our personnel abroad.”
Mr. Johns and FH+H are leaders in the subject matter, representing whistleblowers and defending individuals and companies wrongly accused in False Claims Act cases.
After swiftly and aggressively pressing an infringement claim against the foreign owners of a mobile telephone application on behalf of a domestic client, FH+H Partner Craig Guthery successfully convinced the owners to remove their infringing app from the United States’ largest online app store.
Mr. Guthery’s vigorous efforts to protect the client’s intellectual property resulted in total and immediate compliance by the foreign infringing party without resort to litigation.
Partner Milt Johns, on behalf of GOV Services Inc., a small, disadvantaged business filed a bid protest suit in the Court of Federal Claims on Aug. 15. The suit alleges the National Institutes of Health (NIH) fabricated an emergency situation in order to improperly award janitorial services contracts to a corporation on a sole-source basis.
The NIH said it hired Akima Support Operations LLC on a sole-source basis to avoid a gap in service after another janitorial services company suddenly walked off the job. GOV Services argued the other company had been forced off the job by NIH, and thus the emergency was NIH’s own creation.
In just one of several disputes related to this issue, the Government Accountability Office found the NIH had wrongly delayed taking corrective action and should reimburse GOV Services for the costs of its initial protest at the GAO.
GOV Services is now asking the Court of Federal Claims for an order that it is entitled to bid for the disputed work under the Small Business Administration’s section 8(a) regulations.
“Our client simply wants a level playing field and an ability to compete for work according to fairly implemented procedures and regulations,” Mr. Johns said.
Counsel David Delaney Successfully Advises Government Contractor Working with Cyber Forensics CompanyJune 28, 2017
Working with a cyber forensics company, FH+H Counsel David Delaney helped a mid-sized government contractor assess and respond to an unauthorized disclosure of sensitive personal information. Specifically, he was uniquely capable of identifying the legal and regulatory requirements of the company in reporting and responding to an invasive ransomware attack.
Mr. Delaney focuses his practice on clients’ cyberspace needs and advises on a wide range of business issues arising under international, federal, and state law, including data security, privacy, breach response, product development, contracts, internal policies, and regulatory compliance.
Mr. Delaney can also advise officers and directors on strategic risk management, corporate governance, and leadership programs.
To read about our government contracts practice group, click here.
The bid protest, filed with the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), involved a U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) contract, worth over $100M, for knowledge-based services. An unsuccessful bidder protested the award at the GAO, challenging SOCOM’s evaluation of the proposals and its source selection decision. As counsel for the intervenor, Craig, Gross, and Ewald ensured the client’s interests were protected, to include arguing for the redaction of the client’s sensitive and proprietary information from the publicly-released version of the GAO decision. GAO’s denial of the protest cleared the way for the client to begin its work for SOCOM.
For more information on FH+H’s Government Contracts Practice, visit our website.
FH+H Partner Rich Gross, Associate Marzia Momen, and Paralegal Abby Cannon recently won an appeal at the Defense Office of Hearings and Appeals (DOHA), helping an active duty military service member recover more than $18,000.
The service member, through no fault of his own, had been overpaid in basic allowance for housing (BAH) funds over a three-year period because of an accounting error (an erroneous zip code for his duty location in the Defense Financing and Accounting Service, or DFAS, pay system). The service member had inquired about the zip code several times, and each time was assured the BAH was correct; however, DFAS went back and collected almost three years-worth of overpayments.
The service member sought a forgiveness of the debt on equitable grounds but was denied relief by both DFAS and DOHA. He retained FH+H to make his final appeal and won. Given that FH+H is a veteran-owned law firm, nothing is more gratifying than successfully assisting military service members and their families.
FH+H Partners Milt Johns and Rich Gross, along the FH+H government contracts team, successfully defended two protests on behalf of a service-disabled, veteran-owned small business (SDVOSB) corporate client.
The client had been awarded a contract for government support services in excess of $100 million. Competitor companies then lodged protests of the contract award with the Small Business Administration (SBA) based on the client's small business status and SDVOSB status.
The FH+H government contracts team answered and opposed the protests, both of which were then dismissed by the SBA. Dismissal of these protests now clears the way for the client to begin performance under the contract.
The FH+H Government Contracts Team assisted a Women-Owned Small Business to maintain its certification after it was denied by a third party certifier. The team worked with the client to understand the certification issues, and drafted an appeal letter to the third party certifier. Within a few weeks the denial was overturned and the client was certified once again as a WOSB.
The U.S. Court of Federal Claims ruled that National Air Cargo Group Inc. (NAC) has standing to sue the U.S. Transportation Command over adding United Airlines Inc. as a sixth and final contractor in a pool of awardees (that already included NAC) for cargo transportation orders, rejecting an earlier U.S. Government Accountability Office decision denying standing to NAC. FH+H Government Contracts Practice Chair, Milt Johns, argued the matter for National Air Cargo Group Inc.
The Court rejected the government’s argument that because selection as part of the indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract to transport U.S. Department of Defense and other government cargo only guaranteed each member of the pool $2,500, the dispute was only for that amount, rather than a larger chunk of the $296 million deal. The government had also argued that, in these circumstances, a company that received an ID/IQ award could not protest another award.
The matter continues now for a decision on the full merits of the case.
FH+H Partner Milt Johns and Associate Marlena Ewald successfully negotiated a settlement which allowed the client to obtain the relief it requested, with no liability, prior to trial. The client, a local business, was the plaintiff in a suit in Prince William County, and the defendant had counterclaimed for breach of contract damages. The FH+H litigation team was able to settle the matter so that the plaintiff received all of the relief it had requested, and the counterclaim was dismissed with prejudice with no payment made to defendant.