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Webinar: Practical Guidance for Federal Contractors Navigating a COVID-19 Environment

Smith Pachter McWhorter, Jackson Lewis and BDO will host a webinar on "Practical Guidance for Federal Contractors Navigating a COVID-19 Environment" on Tuesday, April 7, 2020, 1:00 - 2:15 p.m., addressing important issues related to stay-at-home mandates, non-essential business closures and restrictions, and orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic impacting employers.  Federal government contractors face additional challenges with agency, contract or site-specific closures or restrictions impacting their ability to continue work as usual.  At the same time Congress is enacting laws expanding paid and unpaid leave for certain workers, directing federal agencies to consider reimbursement of paid leave for certain government contractors, and providing additional unemployment benefits, loans and tax incentives. Panelists will address questions on these and other issues impacting contractors.

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COVID-19 Client Alert: CARES Act and Implications for Government Contractors

President Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the "CARES Act") into law on March 27, 2020, the largest stimulus act in the history of the United States, amounting to a staggering $6.2 trillion. In addition to direct cash payment to citizens, the majority of the stimulus package is aimed at assisting businesses weather COVID-19's economic fallout. With government response changing and developing rapidly over the coming months, Smith Pachter McWhorter will provide additional guidance and analysis for contractors as the CARES Act and other response legislation is implemented.

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Daniel A. Solomon Joins Smith Pachter McWhorter as a Member of its White Collar Practice

Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC is pleased to announce that corporate and government investigation, compliance and white collar defense attorney Daniel A. Solomon has joined the firm as partner.  Dan adds extensive experience in a broad range of internal investigations, international regulatory compliance matters, trade compliance issues, and commercial transactions.

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OMB Guidance Urges Flexibility in Management of Government Contracts During Pandemic - Practical Tips for Contractors

The COVID-19 epidemic is creating uncertainties for contractors performing government contracts due to, among other things, changes in facility access, new health rules, and an evolving situation.  In apparent response to industry concerns, the Office of Management and Budget ("OMB") issued Memorandum M-20-18, “Managing Federal Contract Performance Issues Associated with the Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19)” dated March 20, 2020.  OMB states that the purpose of the memorandum is to identify steps to help ensure contractor health and safety while maintaining continued contract performance in support of agency missions consistent with precautions issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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COVID-19 Client Alert: Overview of the Defense Production Act and Implications for Government Contractors

By Executive Order dated March 18, 2020, the President invoked wartime powers authority provided in the Defense Production Act ("DPA") to direct private industry in the interests of the national defense. See, 50 U.S.C. Ch. 55; The Defense Production Act of 1950: History, Authorities, and Considerations for Congress (CRS Report No. R43767). The definition of "national defense" is expansive and extends to domestic preparedness, response and recovery from natural hazards, terrorist attacks, and other national emergencies. 50 U.S.C. § 4552(14). The President's authority includes the ability to prioritize government contracts over competing customers for goods and services and allocate or control materials, services, and facilities necessary to promote the national defense. 

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DOJ Prioritizes Fraud Investigations Related to Coronavirus Outbreak and Response

The Department of Justice has mobilized prosecutors and investigators to look for fraud related to the current COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak.   On Monday, March 16, 2020, Attorney General William Barr directed all U.S. Attorneys nationwide to prioritize the detection, investigation, and prosecution of criminal conduct related to the current pandemic.

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Notice Regarding COVID-19 Response and Smith Pachter McWhorter Business Operations

Notice Regarding COVID-19 Response and Smith Pachter McWhorter Business Operations: In response to the COVID-19 virus, we have moved to remote working. We are committed to continuation of high-level service, mindful of the safety needs of our personnel. Our attorneys and staff have full capacity to work remotely. We will operate with a reduced staff to ensure continuation of essential functions. We will continue to be fully responsive to client needs.   

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Know Your Rights: Potential Impacts of COVID-19 on Construction Projects

The COVID-19 (Coronavirus disease) outbreak, and the resulting emergency declarations and quarantines in various cities and countries has the potential to negatively impact construction projects.  The extent of the potential impacts on construction projects is unknown, but forward-looking contractors are already planning for possible labor shortages, material delays or unavailability, disruption to supply chains, and other impacts.  Although contractors’ positions will be dependent on specific contract clauses, it is critical that contractors understand their options and review their contracts and form a plan to deal with possible impacts of the global spread of COVID-19. 

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Smith Pachter Members Announce Publication of 4th Edition of the Virginia Construction Law Deskbook

Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC is pleased to announce the publication of the 4th Edition of the Virginia Construction Law Deskbook© Virginia CLE Publications.  Brian J. Vella, Jennifer A. Mahar, and Edmund M. Amorosi, served as Co-Editors of the 4th Edition.

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Federal Bar Association Qui Tam Conference Highlights Developments in False Claims Act Enforcement

The Federal Bar Association recently hosted its annual Qui Tam Conference, bringing together panelists and attendees from the government, relators’ bar and the defense bar to analyze developments in the False Claims Act (FCA) enforcement arena.  Several distinguished speakers presented at the panel, including Joseph H. (Jody) Hunt, Assistant Attorney General - DOJ Civil Division, and Michael Granston, Deputy Assistant Attorney General – DOJ Civil Division. 

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Edmund M. Amorosi Elected as Chair of the VBA Section on Construction and Public Contracts Law

Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC is pleased to announce that Edmund M. Amorosi has been elected as Chair of the Virginia Bar Association’s Section on Construction and Public Contracts Law at the 130th Annual Meeting of the Virginia Bar Association in Williamsburg, Virginia on January 24, 2020.

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Armani Vadiee Moderating Panel on Other Transaction Authority Procurements at the ABA Section of Public Contract Law Federal Procurement Institute

Armani Vadiee Moderating Panel on Other Transaction Authority Procurements at the ABA Section of Public Contract Law Federal Procurement Institute: "Contracting for Innovation: Leveraging Alternative Procurement Vehicles to Deliver Capability at the Speed of Relevance,” at the ABA Section of Public Contract Law 26th Annual Federal Procurement Institute (FPI) on March 13, 2020, in Annapolis, MD. 

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John Pachter to Present at Transatlantic Conference on Public Contract Administration

John S. Pachter will be a panelist at the Transatlantic Conference on Public Contract Administration on March 18, 2020, at the University of Warsaw. Mr. Pachter’s panel will discuss effective contract dispute resolution systems (including ADR methods) in advancing innovative and environmentally sustainable procurement.

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John Pachter to Present at the King’s College London – GWU Law School Annual Transatlantic Symposium on Public Procurement Law

John S. Pachter will present as a panelist at the King’s College, London – George Washington University Law School Annual Transatlantic Symposium on Public Procurement Law on March 16, 2020, at King’s College in London. The conference will focus on “Conflicts in Public Contract Administration:  Shared Lessons.” Mr. Pachter will be speaking on a panel entitled, the “U.S. Experience:  Linking Contract Award to Performance Through Standardized Clauses and Dispute Resolution — and Fraud.”

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Stephen D. Knight Moderating Judges Panel at FEI Conference on Government Business

Smith Pachter McWhorter attorney Stephen D. Knight will moderate a judges panel on “The Legality of Cost and Audit,” at the Financial Executives International (FEI) Conference on Government Business on February 4, 2020, at the District of Columbia Bar in Washington, D.C.

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John Pachter Presents on Most Important Government Contract Decisions of the Year at ABA Public Contract Law Section Panel

John S. Pachter will be presenting as a panelist at the ABA Public Contract Law Section - Contract Claims & Disputes Resolution Committee Annual Meeting on the Most Important Government Contract Decisions of the Year on Wednesday, January 8, 2020, in Washington, D.C.

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Ashley Amen and Daniel Ramish to Present on Prime-Subcontractor Disputes at ABA Public Contract Law Section Meeting

Ashley Barbera Amen and Daniel Ramish will present on the topic of Prime-Subcontractor Disputes: How to Avoid Them, and How to Resolve Them, on Wednesday, December 11, 2019 in Washington, D.C., at a panel hosted by the ABA Section of Public Contract Law, Contract Claims and Dispute Resolution and Subcontracting, Teaming, and Strategic Alliances Committees. 

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Update Regarding DOJ’s FCPA Priorities

Keeping abreast of developments in the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) arena, Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC attorneys have been presenting at and attending ACI’s International Conference on the FCPA, which is took place this week near Washington, D.C.  Notably, one of the keynote speakers was Assistant Attorney General Brian Benczkowski, who leads the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division.  Benczkowski spoke and then responded to a question-and-answer session.  The substance of Benczkowski’s remarks are published on DOJ’s website.  Several comments are notable for our clients and potential clients.

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Six Smith Pachter Attorneys Listed in Who’s Who Legal 2019

Six Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC members were selected for the 2019 Who's Who Legal list in the areas of Construction, Government Contracts, and Mediation.

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Legal Developments Alert: SBA OHA Holds Three-Year Period for Calculating Receipts Continues to Apply

The Small Business Runway Extension Act of 2018 ("Runway Act") extended the period for calculating a business' receipts to determine size status from three years to five years.  Although the legislation became law in December 2018, the Small Business Administration ("SBA") did not issue proposed regulations adopting the new standard for notice and comment until June 24, 2019 and has not issued a final rule as of this date.  In the interim, SBA maintains that the five-year period established by the Runway Act is not binding until a final rule goes into effect.  The inconsistency between the Runway Act and regulations left contractors in doubt as to the proper period for calculating receipts in determining their size status.  Some clarity came in a decision last month by SBA's Office of Hearings and Appeals ("OHA") in Cypher Analytics, Inc. dba Crown Point Systems, SBA No. SIZ-6022 (2019).

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Legal Developments Alert: DOJ Launches Procurement Collusion Strike Force (“PCSF”) to Investigate and Prosecute Antitrust Crimes in Government Contracting

On November 5, 2019, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced a new Procurement Collusion Strike Force, to be called “PCSF,” for the purpose of investigating collusion and anti-competitive conduct involving government procurement, grant, and program funding. The PCSF will be focused on antitrust crimes including bid-rigging agreements and other fraudulent conspiracies.  We understand that the strike force will train and educate federal, state, and local procurement officials as well as auditors and investigators across the country to recognize anti-competitive or collusive behavior in government funding processes. The officials will also be trained to identify and report potential concerns in the process of awarding contracts and grants. In addition, prosecutors and investigators from the various agencies will work together to investigate and prosecute cases that result from these targeted outreach efforts.

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SPM Attorneys to Conduct a CLE Webinar on Organizational Conflict of Interest (OCI) Issues

On November 12, 2019, Smith Pachter McWhorter attorneys Jonathan D. Shaffer and Todd M. Garland will present a webinar on organizational conflicts of interest (“OCIs”).

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DOD Releases Rule Significantly Limiting LPTA Procurements

LEGAL ALERT: On September 26, 2019, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) published a Final Rule limiting the use of lowest-price technically-acceptable ("LPTA") source selections for DOD procurements.  

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SPM Attorneys to Present a CLE on a Recent Supreme Court Decision Involving the Freedom of Information Act, Food Marketing Institute v. Argus Leader Media

On October 1, 2019, Thompson Reuters’ West LegalEd Center will broadcast a webinar featuring Smith Pachter McWhorter attorneys Edmund M. Amorosi and Daniel H. Ramish in which they will discuss an important Supreme Court decision affecting government contractors

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Richard F. Smith Named 2020 Arbitration “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers®

Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC is proud to announce that Richard F. Smith was named 2020 Arbitration “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers® in Washington, D.C.  Mr. Smith was also selected for recognition in The Best Lawyers in America© 2020 Edition for his work in Arbitration, Mediation and Construction Law.

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Val S. McWhorter Named 2020 Mediation “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers®

Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC is proud to announce that Val S. McWhorter was named 2020 Mediation “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers® in Washington, D.C.  Mr. McWhorter was also selected for recognition in The Best Lawyers in America© 2020 Edition for his work in Arbitration, Mediation and Construction Law.

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Course on Government Contract Claims

On October 22-23, 2019, Smith Pachter McWhorter attorney Edmund M. Amorosi will teach a course entitled, "Preparing and Defending Government Contract Claims" hosted by Federal Publications Seminars, Inc. in the Washington, D.C. area. 

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Legal Developments Alert: Temporary General License for Export to Huawei Extended, with More Restrictions Introduced

On August 19, 2019, the U.S. Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) issued a Final Rule (the “August TGL”) extending the Temporary General License (TGL) it previously granted to Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. (Huawei) and 68 of its affiliates in May 2019 (the “May TGL”).  Besides extending the TGL by another ninety (90) days up to November 18, 2019, the BIS added numerous changes and clarifications that in effect further narrowed the already narrow scope of permissible transactions.  Furthermore, the BIS changed the certification requirements by requiring Huawei to provide certification statements vouching and demonstrating compliance with the TGL.  The burden to prepare those statements had previously been on the exporters/re-exporters/transferors.  Finally, the BIS concurrently issued another final rule adding an additional forty-six (46) Huawei affiliates to the Entity List, making the total number of listed Huawei entities 115.

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Smith Pachter Attorneys Named to 2020 Best Lawyers® List

Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC is pleased to announce that seven attorneys have been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2020 Edition. Lawyers are selected for inclusion based on an exhaustive peer-review process. In addition, Val S. McWhorter was named 2020 Mediation “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers® in Washington, D.C. 

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Government Contracting Small Business Trends: Business Issues, Protests and Appeals

On September 10, 2019, Smith Pachter McWhorter attorney Jonathan Shaffer will present a panel/webinar on federal small business contracting issues at the District of Columbia Bar.

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Elizabeth N. Jochum has Joined Smith Pachter McWhorter as a Member of its Government Contracts Group and Haris Hadzimuratovic and Jacob Bolinger Have Joined the Firm as Associate Attorneys

NEW ATTORNEY ANNOUNCEMENT: Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC is pleased to announce that experienced government contracts attorney Elizabeth N. Jochum has joined the firm as a partner.  Ms. Jochum augments the firm’s existing capabilities, adding extensive experience in bid protests and other government contracts litigation, as well as government contracts-related investigations and white collar defense.

Smith Pachter McWhorter is also pleased to announce the addition of two associate attorneys: Haris Hadzimuratovic and Jacob Bolinger. 

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Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business recognizes 7 Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC lawyers and lists practice area groups as leaders in their field in its 2019 edition.

Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business recognizes 7 Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC lawyers and lists practice area groups as leaders in their field in its 2019 edition.

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Legal Developments Alert: U.S. Supreme Court Decision Enhances Protections for Confidential and Proprietary Information under FOIA

In 1974, the D.C. Circuit adopted a standard requiring a party to show that "substantial competitive harm" would result if records a party submitted to the government were released to the public under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)."  In an important case decided on June 24, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court, by a 6-3 vote, discarded the substantial competitive harm test, holding that "where commercial or financial information is both customarily and actually treated as private by its owner and provided to the government under an assurance of privacy, the information is 'confidential' within Exemption 4's meaning."  

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Iris Bennett Speaking at NACDL 2019 West Coast White Collar Conference

White Collar Partner Iris Bennett is scheduled to speak at the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers 2019 West Coast White Collar Conference on June 20, 2019, in Santa Monica, CA. 

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The National Contract Management Association (NCMA) DC Chapter recently named Smith Pachter McWhorter attorney Dan Ramish first place winner of its 2019 Outstanding Academic Achievement Award (OAAA)

The National Contract Management Association (NCMA) DC Chapter recently named Smith Pachter McWhorter attorney Dan Ramish first place winner of its 2019 Outstanding Academic Achievement Award (OAAA). 

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Legal Developments Alert: U.S. Companies Caught in Limbo as Huawei and Sixty-Eight of Its Subsidiaries Were Added to the Entity List, Causing China to Retaliate

On May 16, 2019, the U.S. Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) issued a final rule amending the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to add Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. (Huawei) and its sixty-eight non-U.S. affiliates to the Entity List.  Five days later, on May 20, 2019, BIS issued another final rule granting a 90-day Temporary General License (May 20, 2019 through August 19, 2019) for four categories of EAR-regulated transactions involving existing and fully operational networks/systems, handsets made available to the public on or before May 16, 2019, and 5G standardization.  China countered by furious rhetoric and threats of counter measures including an “Unreliable Entity List” targeting persons and companies stopping or disrupting supply to Chinese companies like Huawei “for non-commercial reasons.”  This article discusses the risks U.S. exporters may face in the context of the regulatory clash between the two economic giants and some of the coping strategies in light of regulatory uncertainties affecting the feasibility of ongoing business relationships with Huawei.

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Legal Developments Alert: White House Announces Tariffs on All Imports from Mexico

On May 30, 2019, President Trump announced that “the United States will impose a 5% Tariff on all goods…from Mexico...” Certain FAR clauses permit price adjustments for new duties imposed after award (e.g., FAR 52.229-3) or if specified contingencies occur (see FAR 16.203-1(a)).  

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Construction Executive Magazines Ranks Smith Pachter in Top 50 Construction Law Firms List

Construction Executive magazine, the official publication of the Associated Builders & Contractors (ABC), has ranked Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC in the Top 50 Construction Law Firms rankings for 2019, recognizing the firm as 26th nationwide by number of construction attorneys. 

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LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS ALERT: DCAA Issues Revised Audit Guidance on Expressly Unallowable Costs

On May 14, 2019, the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) issued Memorandum for Regional Directors (MRD) No. 19-PAC-002(R), revising DCAA’s “guidance” on identifying expressly unallowable costs.  The revised guidance attempts to correct MRD Nos. 14-PAC-021(R) and 14-PAC-022(R) – MRDs that were inherently flawed as highlighted by recent Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals (ASBCA) decisions.  The MRD includes an updated listing of Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 31 and Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) 231 cost principles that DCAA continues to assert, incorrectly in many instances, meet the definition of expressly unallowable costs that are subject to penalties.  Contractors should review DCAA’s updated list, as the release of the revised MRD may indicate that DCAA intends to refocus its audit efforts in the penalties arena.

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LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS ALERT: Supreme Court Addresses False Claims Act Statute of Limitations

The U.S. Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision in Cochise Consultancy, Inc., et al. v. United States ex rel. Hunt, addressing conflicting decisions on the False Claims Act statute of limitations and expanding the time allowed for private party relators to file whistleblower lawsuits.  The decision increases the risk that government contractors may be subject to qui tam claims brought as many as ten years after the alleged violation, including by relators who may have chosen not to act on their own knowledge, provided that the relator can prove that government agent had or should have had knowledge of the alleged false claim.

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Vincent Li has joined Smith Pachter's White Collar Practice Group

NEW ATTORNEY ANNOUNCEMENT: Vincent Li has joined Smith Pachter McWhorter’s White Collar Practice Group

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LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS ALERT: DOJ Issues Guidance on False Claims Act Matters

On May 7, 2019, the Civil Division of the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) released guidance to its litigators related to the False Claims Act (“FCA”).  This guidance establishes DOJ policy regarding credit to defendants cooperating during an FCA investigation and is included in the Justice Manual at Section 4-4.112.  The new policy sets forth the factors long relied on by DOJ, describing voluntary disclosure, cooperation with a government investigation, and remedial action as the primary means through which an FCA defendant can obtain credit.  For government contractors that find themselves potentially subject to FCA liability – whether identified through an internal investigation or receipt of a subpoena – the guidance provides a useful framework to think through potential responses.
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Event: NCMA DC Special Programs: Price/Cost Realism in Federal Procurement

On Tuesday, May 28, 2019, Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC Member Armani Vadiee, Esq. and Todd M. Garland, Esq. will present at the National Contract Management Association, Washington D.C. chapter event regarding price/cost realism evaluations and preparing successful proposals.

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Smith Pachter Attorneys Selected to 2019 Virginia Super Lawyers List

Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC congratulates eight attorneys who have been selected for inclusion in the 2019 Virginia Super Lawyers® and Rising Stars list for their achievements and expertise in their areas of practice.

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LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS ALERT: John S. Pachter and Todd M. Garland Submit Amici Curiae Brief to Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals on Behalf of Professional Services Council and National Defense Industrial Association

LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS ALERT: John S. Pachter and Todd M. Garland authored an amici curiae brief on behalf of the Professional Services Council and National Defense Industrial Association, urging the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals to reconsider its decision in Kellogg Brown & Root Services, Inc., ASBCA No. 57530, 19-1 BCA ¶ 37,205.
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LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS ALERT: OFCCP Announces 2019 Contractor Compliance Audits

LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS ALERT: OFCCP Announces 2019 Contractor Compliance Audits

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LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS ALERT: U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Case Involving FOIA Exemption for Commercial and Proprietary Information

LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS ALERT: U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Case Involving FOIA Exemption for Commercial and Proprietary Information
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LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS ALERT: U.S. Attorney Jessie Liu Appointed Chairwoman of the Attorney General's Advisory Committee

LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS ALERT: U.S. Attorney Jessie Liu Appointed Chairwoman of the Attorney General's Advisory Committee
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LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS ALERT: Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski Promotes Transparency with the Business Community

LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS ALERT: Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski Promotes Transparency with the Business Community

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Government Contracting Small Business Trends: Business Issues, Protests and Appeals

On May 7, 2019 Smith Pachter McWhorter attorney Jonathan Shaffer will present a panel/webinar on federal small business contracting issues at the District of Columbia Bar.

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LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS ALERT: DOD Issues Several Memos on Cybersecurity Compliance

LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS ALERT: DOD Issues Several Memos on Cybersecurity Compliance
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LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS ALERT: GAO Issues Report on DCAA and DCMA Business System Audits

LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS ALERT: GAO Issues Report on DCAA and DCMA Business System Audits

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LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS ALERT: Presidential Executive Order on Strengthening Buy American Preferences for Infrastructure Projects

LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS ALERT: Presidential Executive Order on Strengthening Buy American Preferences for Infrastructure Projects

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Michael Lowman has joined Smith Pachter McWhorter’s White Collar Practice Group

NEW ATTORNEY ANNOUNCMENT: Michael Lowman has joined Smith Pachter McWhorter’s White Collar Practice Group. 

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LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS ALERT: New Law Revises Small Business Size Formula

LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS ALERT: New Law Revises Small Business Size Formula

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LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS ALERT: DOJ Provides Guidance on Corporate Compliance Programs and Monitorships

LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS ALERT: DOJ Provides Guidance on Corporate Compliance Programs  and Monitorships

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LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS ALERT: Petrobras Reaches Global Settlement with U.S. and Brazilian Authorities

On Thursday, September 27, Brazil’s state-owned-and-controlled oil and gas company Petrobras and U.S. authorities announced a settlement to resolve U.S. government investigations into violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

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Iris E. Bennett, Jennifer Mattis, Brenda Morris, and Catherine Kane Ronis to present on Ethics Issues in Internal Investigations and in Responding to Government Investigations at the 2018 Women, Influence & Power in Law Conference in Washington, D.C.

SPM Member Iris Bennett to be on CLE panel on Ethical Issues in Internal Investigations and in Responding to Government Investigations at the 2018 Women, Influence & Power in Law conference, held in Washington, D.C. 

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LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS ALERT: Second Circuit Rebuffs DOJ’s Long-Held Theory on the Reach of Conspiracy Law to Prosecute Non-U.S. Persons Under the FCPA

Second Circuit Rebuffs DOJ’s Long-Held Theory on the Reach of Conspiracy Law to Prosecute Non-U.S. Persons Under the FCPA

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CLIENT ALERT: Seventh Circuit Dismisses False Claims Act Suit Arising From Alleged Non-Compliance with the Trade Agreements Act

Seventh Circuit dismisses False Claims Act suit arising from alleged non-compliance with the Trade Agreements Act

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Smith Pachter Attorneys Named to 2019 Best Lawyers® List

Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC is pleased to announce that six attorneys have been selected for inclusion in the The Best Lawyers in America© 2019 Edition. Lawyers are selected for inclusion based on an exhaustive peer-review process.

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CLIENT ALERT: ASBCA: Government is Held to Commercial Computer Software License Not Reviewed or Approved by Contracting Officer

The recent ASBCA decision in CiyaSoft highlights the government’s responsibility to inquire about licensing terms and use reasonable measures to protect commercial software. However, it is still best practice to avoid such disputes by obtaining express agreement to licensing terms.

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John Pachter quoted in Bloomberg Federal Contracts Report

John Pachter quoted in article in Bloomberg Federal Contracts Report about U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

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CLIENT ALERT: DCAA Claims Progress In Reducing Audit Backlog

CLIENT ALERT: On March 31, 2018, the Defense Contract Audit Agency ("DCAA") issued its Fiscal Year 2017 Annual Report to Congress, made public on May 21, 2018. The FY 2017 Report sets forth DCAA’s audit performance, recommendations to improve the audit process, and industry outreach activities.

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CLIENT ALERT: Department of Transportation Issues Final Rule to Encourage Public-Private Partnerships and Private Investment

CLIENT ALERT: On May 30, 2018, the Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration  published a final rule creating new Private Investment Project Procedures (“PIPP”). The final rule, effective June 29, 2018, allows recipients of federal funding for public transportation capital projects to request a waiver or modification to FTA regulations.

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CLIENT ALERT: SBA Prepares for Upcoming Subcontractor Past Performance Pilot Program

CLIENT ALERT: In April, the Small Business Administration published a notice and request for comments on the new Subcontractor Past Performance Pilot Program.

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EVENT: Government Contractors Forum: A Roadmap for Managing DCAA Audits

SPM's Stephen D. Knight will present at the Association of Corporate Counsel NCR Government Contractors Forum: A Roadmap for Managing DCAA Audits.  

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Chambers USA 2018: 8 Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC lawyers ranked as leaders in their practice areas

Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business recognizes 8 Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC lawyers and lists practice area groups as leaders in their field in its 2018 edition.

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Smith Pachter McWhorter Announces Cormac Connor Joins White Collar Practice

SPM is pleased to announce that experienced white collar defense and government investigations attorney Cormac T. Connor has joined the firm as a partner.

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CLIENT ALERT: Mayberry Enterprises, LLC v. Dep't of Energy

The Civilian Board of Contract Appeals' recent decision in Mayberry Enterprises, LLC is a reminder that separate claims under the certification threshold may be presented to the government together in a single document without aggregating the claims and requiring certification.  
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SPM attorney winner of ABA Forum on Construction Law Trial Academy Writing Competition

SPM's Erica J. Geibel wins the ABA Forum on Construction Law Trial Academy Writing Competition and SPM's Todd M. Garland selected as a finalist.   

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CLIENT ALERT: NIST Releases Cybersecurity Framework Version 1.1 with Important Updates

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (“NIST”) released a new version of the Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity with important updates.

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EVENT: The World Bank Group and the Global Fight Against Corruption: Sanctions, Monitoring and Compliance Mentoring

SPM's Iris Bennett will speak at a DC Bar panel on World Bank sanctions, monitoring, and compliance mentoring on May 9, 2018.

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Government Contracts Basics: Bid Protests Course - May 16, 2018 at DC Bar

SPM attorneys will teach a course at the DC Bar that addresses the procedural and substantive rules and practices governing bid protests.

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Smith Pachter Attorneys Selected to 2018 Virginia Super Lawyers List

Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC congratulates seven attorneys who have been selected for inclusion in the 2018 Virginia Super Lawyers® and Rising Stars list for their achievements and expertise in their areas of practice.

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CLIENT ALERT: DoD Increases the Micro-Purchase Threshold, Simplified Acquisition Thresholds, and Special Emergency Procurement Authority

Client Alert:  DPAP issued a Class Deviation affecting the Micro-Purchase and Simplified Acquisition Thresholds, as well as associated Special Emergency Procurement Authority, for the Department of Defense.

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Stirring the Muddy Waters: The Federal Circuit's Decision in Securiforce Thickens the Confusion Surrounding Maropakis and Upsets Settled Law on Nonmonetary Claims

SPM's Richard C. Johnson and Ashley N. Barbera Amen discuss the Federal Circuit's recent decision in Securiforce in the March 13, 2018 Bloomberg BNA Federal Contracts Report.

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John Marshall Cook inducted into the American College of Construction Lawyers

SPM congratulates John Marshall Cook on being inducted as a Fellow of the American College of Construction Lawyers.
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CLIENT ALERT: The GSA Releases Final Rule Concerning Unenforceable Terms in Commercial Supplier Agreements

Client Alert: The GSA published a final rule to rectify inconsistencies and ambiguities when contractors use Commercial Supplier Agreements.

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SPM Attorneys Present Panel to the DC Bar

SPM attorneys Dan Rounds, Owen Walker, and Ashley Amen presented a panel on Government Contract Basics: Claims and Disputes to the DC Bar.   

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FCPA Compliance and Enforcement Trends Annual Guide: January 2018

SPM's FCPA Compliance and Enforcement Trends Annual Guide: January 2018.

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CLIENT ALERT: Department of Defense issues Final Rule on Commercial Item determinations and price reasonableness.

Client Alert:  Department of Defense issues Final Rule on Commercial Item determinations and price reasonableness.  

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Client Alert: GSA Finalizes Rule for Off-Schedule Acquisitions

GSA publishes a new rule for off-schedule acquisitions under existing Federal Supply Schedule contracts. 

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Client Alert: GSA Proposes Cybersecurity Rules for 2018

GSA publishes plan to implement cybersecurity regulations governing information system security and cyber incident reporting.  

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Law360 Features Kelsey Wilbanks’ Expert Analysis on 3D Printing and ITAR Case Defense Distributed

Law 360 has featured Kelsey Wilbanks’ expert analysis on Defense Distributed, a Fifth Circuit decision discussing 3D Printing and ITAR regulations.

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CLIENT ALERT: FY 2018 NDAA Acquisition Reform Highlights

Client Alert: Fiscal Year 2018 NDAA Acquisition Reform Highlights. Each year, Congress specifies the annual budget, establishes funding levels, and sets spending policies for the Department of Defense (DoD) though the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

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SPM's Kelsey Wilbanks Quoted in Bloomberg Law Article on 3D Printing ITAR Case

Smith Pachter McWhorter attorney Kelsey Wilbanks was asked by Bloomberg Law to comment on a legal case involving 3D printing and its petition for certiorari to the Supreme Court.  

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Right of First Refusal: Smith Pachter McWhorter Successfully Represents Contractor in Breach of Contract Claim.

Right of First Refusal: Smith Pachter McWhorter Successfully Represents Contractor in Breach of Contract Claim. 

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NIST Publishes Guidelines for CUI Cybersecurity Compliance

NIST Publishes Guidelines for CUI Cybersecurity Compliance - On November 28, 2017, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (“NIST”) released a draft special publication on “Assessing Security Requirements for Controlled Unclassified Information.”

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Smith Pachter McWhorter Successfully Represents Five Individuals in Air Force Suspension and Debarment Proceedings

Smith Pachter McWhorter Successfully Represents Five Individuals in Air Force Suspension and Debarment Proceedings
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Discussion on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act at the 2017 Women, Influence & Power in Law conference, held in Washington, D.C.

Iris E. Bennett, with co-panelists, will lead a discussion on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act at the 2017 Women, Influence & Power in Law conference, held in Washington, D.C.  

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Richard F. Richard F. Smith Named 2018 Mediation “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers®

Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC is proud to announce that Richard F. Smith was named 2018 Mediation “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers® in Washington, D.C.  Mr. Smith was also selected for recognition in The Best Lawyers in America© 2018 Edition for his work in Arbitration, Mediation and Construction Law.

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Smith Pachter Attorneys Named to 2018 Best Lawyers® List

Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC is pleased to announce that six attorneys have been selected for inclusion in the The Best Lawyers in America© 2018 Edition. Lawyers are selected for inclusion based on an exhaustive peer-review process.

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Iris Bennett will serve as Chair of the Public International and Criminal Law Subcommittee for the D.C. Bar, International Law Community

Iris E. Bennett will serve as Chair of the Public International and Criminal Law Subcommittee for the District of Columbia Bar, International Law Community, for 2017-2018.  

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Federal Court Overturns 15-Year Debarment Arising from Affiliate’s Alleged Misconduct  

Federal Court Overturns 15-Year Debarment Arising from Affiliate’s Alleged Misconduct. The United States District Court for the District of Columbia recently overturned the Defense Logistics Agency’s (the “Agency’s”) 15-year debarment from federal contracting of a Houston-based food exporter and its affiliates. 

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Dorothy E. Terrell named among Virginia’s Best Women Lawyers in a list adapted by Virginia Living magazine from The Best Lawyers in America 2017.

Dorothy E. Terrell named among Virginia’s Best Women Lawyers in a list adapted by Virginia Living magazine from The Best Lawyers in America 2017.

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Ninth Circuit Issues Expansive Reading of Escobar

Ninth Circuit Issues Expansive Reading of Escobar - The broad reading of Escobar’s requirements reflects the increased risk for companies doing business with the government to be subject to FCA liability on an “implied certification” theory in the post-Escobar era.
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OMB Releases Guidance Requiring Agencies to Report “Buy American” and “Hire American” Compliance by September 2017

OMB Releases Guidance Requiring Agencies to Report “Buy American” and “Hire American” Compliance by September 2017
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Smith Pachter McWhorter/Association of Corporate Counsel, National Capital Region, Government Contractors Forum presentation on government investigations: July 12, 2017 12-2pm, at SPM Offices

Smith Pachter McWhorter/Association of Corporate Counsel, National Capital Region, Government Contractors Forum presentation on government investigations: July 12, 2017 12-2pm, at SPM Offices
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Supreme Court Limits Powerful SEC Enforcement Tool, Holding that Disgorgement is Subject to Five-Year Statute of Limitations

Supreme Court Limits Powerful SEC Enforcement Tool, Holding that Disgorgement is Subject to Five-Year Statute of Limitations

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Chambers 2017 has ranked Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC amongst the Top Tiers for Government Contracts and Construction law.

Chambers 2017 has ranked Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC amongst the Top Tiers Nationwide for Government Contracts and in Virginia for Construction law.  

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SPM conducts Anti-corruption Compliance Workshops in Brazil

SPM's White Collar practice group conduct anti-corruption compliance workshops in Sao Paulo, Brazil and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, May 23-25, 2017,

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NIST Proposes Updates to Cybersecurity Framework

NIST Proposes Updates to Cybersecurity Framework - On May 16, 2017, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) held a workshop discussing the proposed updates and feedback for version 1.1 of the federal Cybersecurity Framework – a set of industry standards and best practices developed to protect complex critical infrastructure from cybersecurity threats and infiltration.  

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Smith Pachter Attorneys Selected to 2017 Virginia Super Lawyers List

Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC congratulates three attorneys who have been selected for inclusion in the 2017 Virginia Super Lawyers® and Rising Stars list for their achievements and expertise in their areas of practice. 

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President Trump Signs Executive Order Amending “Buy American” and “Hire American” Rules Applicable To Federal Procurements

Trump Signs Executive Order Amending “Buy American” and “Hire American” Rules Applicable To Federal Procurements

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Cost Allowability Course - April 19 and 20, 2017 at SPM

Cost Allowability - Join highly experienced faculty for this practical and informative two-day program focusing on cost allowability, allocability, and reasonableness under the Federal Acquisition Regulation.

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President Trump Expected To Sign Executive Order Amending “Buy American” and “Hire American” Rules Applicable To Federal Procurements

President Trump Expected To Sign Executive Order Amending “Buy American” and “Hire American” Rules Applicable To Federal Procurements

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Smith Pachter McWhorter is participating in the 2017 Legal Food Frenzy

Smith Pachter McWhorter is proud to participate in the 2017 Legal Food Frenzy, a food and fund drive sponsored by the Attorney General of Virginia, the Young Lawyers Division of The Virginia Bar Association, and the Federation of Virginia Food Banks. 

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Trump Rescinds Controversial

Trump Rescinds Controversial “Fair Pay Safe Workplaces” Regulations -

On March 27, 2017, President Donald Trump signed a Congressional Review Act resolution permanently rescinding the “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces” regulations, dubbed the “blacklisting rule” by opponents..

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The Government Audit Process: Limitations and Considerations

The Government Audit Process: Limitations and Considerations presented by the Government Contracts Section of the Fairfax Bar Association

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SPM Secures Major Victory for Bechtel National, Inc. in Virginia State Court Litigation with Parsons Government Services, Inc.

On behalf of Bechtel National, Inc., Smith Pachter McWhorter, prevailed in an $80 million dollar lawsuit brought by Parsons Government Services

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Jonathan Shaffer named to Law360's Government Contracts Editorial Advisory Board.

SPM member Jonathan Shaffer has been named to participate on Law360's 2017 Government Contracts Editorial Advisory Board. 

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SPM Attorneys to Speak at Jackson Lewis Government Contractor Employment Law Symposium

Government Contractor Employment Law Symposium March 16, 2017. SPM Attorneys John Cook, Erica Geibel, Armani Vadiee, and Owen Walker and Will be Guest Speakers at Jackson Lewis Government Contractor Employment Law Symposium

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Board of Contract Appeals Bar Association, Inc. presents: The Executive Policy Forum on E-Discovery

Smith Pachter McWhorter hosts BCABA members for a conversation addressing current issues in E-Discovery at the Boards, including preservation responsibilities and the proportionality of discovery requests.

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Final Rule Amends Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Regulations to Incorporate Preliminary Injunction; New Paycheck Transparency Requirements Take Effect January 1, 2017

Final Rule Amends Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Regulations to Incorporate Preliminary Injunction; New Paycheck Transparency Requirements Take Effect January 1, 2017
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New Final Rule Requires Compliance of Contractors Handling “Controlled Unclassified Information.”

New Final Rule Requires Compliance of Contractors Handling “Controlled Unclassified Information.”

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DFARS Update Provides Contractor Compliance Extension to December 31, 2017, but Reporting Obligations Persist Until Then.

DFARS Update Provides Contractor Compliance Extension to December 31, 2017, but Reporting Obligations Persist Until Then.

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New FAR Final Rule Requires Compliance of Contractors Handling “Federal Contract Information.”

New FAR Final Rule Requires Compliance of Contractors Handling “Federal Contract Information.”

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Texas judge issues preliminary injunction on implementation of “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces” Regulations

Texas judge issues preliminary injunction on implementation of “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces” Regulations. 

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Government Contractors Forum: Safe Passage or Stormy Seas - Managing Risk in Prime-Subcontract Disputes Involving Pass-Through Claims

Government Contractors Forum: Safe Passage or Stormy Seas - Managing Risk in Prime-Subcontract Disputes Involving Pass-Through Claims

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Texas Lawsuit Challenges Constitutionality of “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces” Regulations - By Kristin Tisdelle

Texas Lawsuit Challenges Constitutionality of “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces” Regulations. 

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Val S. McWhorter Named 2017 “Lawyer of the Year” in Construction Law by Best Lawyers®

Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC is proud to announce that Val S. McWhorter was named 2017 “Lawyer of the Year” in Construction Law by Best Lawyers® in Washington, D.C.  Mr. McWhorter was also selected for recognition in The Best Lawyers in America© 2017 Edition for his work in Arbitration, Construction Law and Mediation.
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Iris E. Bennett, panellist on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act at the 2016 Women, Influence & Power in Law conference, held in Washington, D.C.

Iris E. Bennett, panellist on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act at the 2016 Women, Influence & Power in Law conference, held in Washington, D.C.

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DOD Issues Guidance Memorandum Regarding Commercial Item Determinations and the Determination of Price Reasonableness for Commercial Items

DOD Issues Guidance Memorandum Regarding Commercial Item Determinations and the Determination of Price Reasonableness for Commercial Items

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Smith Pachter Attorneys Named to 2017 Best Lawyers® List

Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC is pleased to announce that five attorneys have been selected for inclusion in the The Best Lawyers in America© 2017 Edition. Lawyers are selected for inclusion based on an exhaustive peer-review process.

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Course: Price and Cost Realism in Government Contracting

Course: Price and Cost Realism in Government Contracting - Instructors Armani Vadiee of Smith Pachter McWhorter and Robert Craig of BDO.

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FAR Final Rule on Cybersecurity Safeguarding Requirements

FAR Cybersecurity Final Rule - On May 16, 2016 DoD, GSA, and NASA issued a long anticipated Final Rule on cybersecurity, by adding a new subpart 4.19 and contract clause 52.204-21, "Basic Safegaurding of Covered Contractor Information Systems".

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Gregory A. Smith to teach Seminar in Federal Government Contracts law at UVA.

Gregory A. Smith was recently appointed to be a Lecturer, and adjunct member of the faculty at UVA.

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Smith Pachter Attorneys Selected to 2016 Virginia Super Lawyers List

Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC congratulates three attorneys who have been selected for inclusion in the 2017 Virginia Super Lawyers® list for their achievements and expertise in their areas of practice. 

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SPM Presentation - Top 10 Things You Should Know About Government Contracts

SPM Presentation - Top 10 Things You Should Know About Government Contracts. The federal government is unlike any other customer that a company can have.  Not only must contracts with the federal government contain specific clauses promulgated as regulations, but those clauses provide the federal government with rights that would be labeled “breach” in commercial contracts.

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SPM Presentation: Forming Government Contracts: Understanding the Players and the Process

SPM Presentation - Forming Government Contracts: Understanding the Players and the Process. Smith Pachter McWhorter's Jonathan D. Shaffer presents this new class which focuses on the statutes and regulations governing the government’s ability to contract; the authority of the contracting officer; the IFB (invitation for bid) and RFP (request for proposal) process; organizational conflicts of interest; role of bid protests; and responsibilities of the contractor. 

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Jonathan Shaffer named to Law 360's Government Contracts Editorial Advisory Board.

Jonathan Shaffer named to Law 360's Government Contracts Editorial Advisory Board.

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PRICE AND COST REALISM IN GOVERNMENT CONTRACTING

Price and Cost Realism in Government Contracting - December 8-9, 2015, Denver, CO. 

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Richard F. Smith Named 2016 Arbitration “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers®

Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC is proud to announce that Richard F. Smith was named 2016 Mediation “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers® in Washington, D.C.  Mr. Smith was also selected for recognition in The Best Lawyers in America© 2016 Edition for his work in Arbitration, Mediation and Construction Law.
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Client Alert: New DoD DCMA Instructions on Counterfeit Part Mitigation Procedure

Client Alert: New DoD DCMA Instructions on Counterfeit Part Mitigation Procedure 

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Client Alert: DFARS Final Rule - Network Penetration Reporting and Contracting for Cloud Services

DFARS Final Rule: Network Penetration Reporting and Contracting for Cloud Services

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Smith Pachter Attorneys Named to 2016 Best Lawyers® List

Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC is pleased to announce that five attorneys have been selected for inclusion in the The Best Lawyers in America© 2016 Edition. Lawyers are selected for inclusion based on an exhaustive peer-review process.

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Client Alert: FAR acquisition-related thresholds have been increased.

Client Alert: FAR acquisition-related thresholds have been increased as of July 2, 2015.

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Government Contractors Forum: Contracting With State and Local Governments - Navigating the Patchwork Quilt of Rules and Regulations

Government Contractors Forum: Contracting With State and Local Governments - Navigating the Patchwork Quilt of Rules and Regulations

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Proposed FAR Amendments Aim to Increase Small Business Opportunities

Proposed FAR Amendments Aim to Increase Small Business Opportunities

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Proposed FAR Rule: “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces” FAR Case 2014-025, Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces

Proposed FAR Rule: “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces” FAR Case 2014-025

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Richard Johnson and Armani Vadiee present on “Afghan Taxes, Business Registration, and Cost Recovery – A Step-by-Step Guide” Webinar

Richard C. Johnson and Armani Vadiee will be presenters on a webinar entitled, “Afghan Taxes, Business Registration, and Cost Recovery – A Step-by-Step Guide” which will take place on June 3 at 1:00 p.m. EDT. 

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Remarks of John S. Pachter at the Federal Circuit Bar Association Government Contracting Summit; Panel Topic: Implied Duty of Good Faith and Fair Dealing

Remarks of John S. Pachter at the Federal Circuit Bar Association Government Contracting Summit; Panel Topic: Implied Duty of Good Faith and Fair Dealing

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