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DC Bar Panel Program: Preserving Client Privileges and Confidences During Internal Investigations

Iris E. Bennett and Cormac T. Connor will be speaking at the upcoming DC Bar Panel Program webinar, "Preserving Your Client’s Privileges and Confidences During Internal Investigations," on Wednesday, June 3, 2020. Panel speakers include: Allison Barlotta, Booz Allen Hamilton; Iris Bennett, Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC; Cormac Connor, Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC; and Courtney Edmonds, Leidos.

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ARTBA 12th Annual Virtual Law & Regulatory Forum: Recent Developments in Construction Law

Brian J. Vella, Kathryn T. Muldoon Griffin, Jacob B. Bolinger and Max G. Terhar will be presenting on the topic of "Recent Developments in Construction Law" at the upcoming American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) 12th Annual Virtual Law & Regulatory Forum held live online June 3-4, 2020.

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John Pachter Speaking on Panel at ABA Debarment & Suspension Committee Meeting

Smith Pachter McWhorter member John S. Pachter will be a panelist at the upcoming American Bar Association Section of Public Contract Law Debarment & Suspension Committee meeting presenting on the topic of "Ins & Outs of Affiliation & Imputation Principles,” held on Friday, May 22, 2020.

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Federal News Network Interviews Edmund Amorosi on Emergency Procurement on Federal News Radio, WFED, 1500AM

Federal News Network interviewed Edmund Amorosi on the Federal Drive with Tom Temin on Federal News Radio, WFED, 1500AM: "Procurement rules can trip up agencies in emergencies, but permissions exist," which aired on May 13, 2020.

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Smith Pachter Attorneys Selected to 2020 Virginia Super Lawyers and Rising Stars List

Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC congratulates seven attorneys who have been selected for inclusion in the 2020 Virginia Super Lawyers® and Rising Stars list for their achievements and expertise in their areas of practice. Super Lawyers recognizes no more than five percent of attorneys in each state and the Rising Stars list recognizes no more than 2.5 percent attorneys in each state. 

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FAR 2020 Part 19: Small Business Programs Webinar Features Speakers Zachary Prince and Daniel Ramish in Get FAR Sighted Series

Zachary D. Prince and Daniel H. Ramish served as guest speakers on the FAR 2020 - Part 19 - Small Business Programs program as part of the "Get "FAR" Sighted In 2020" weekly webinar series hosted by federal procurement consultants Jennifer Schaus & Associates, based in Washington, D.C. 

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New Executive Order Seeks to Secure Nation’s Power Grid from Foreign Cyber Attacks

On May 1, 2020, President Trump signed an Executive Order (“EO”) intended to protect the nation’s power grid from foreign cyber attacks. The EO declared foreign cyber threats to the U.S. electricity grid a national emergency, and accordingly ordered action in the form of procurement and trade regulation to defend the grid against foreign attack. The EO establishes a task force to protect the power grid from attacks and share risk information and risk management practices. 

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Recent CBCA Decision Highlights Hurdles Faced by Construction Contractors Seeking Compensation for COVID-19 Impacts

A recent and curiously-timed decision from the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals ("CBCA") demonstrates the significant challenges a contractor faces when trying to recover increased costs incurred as a result of an epidemic.  This article summarizes the decision and outlines the ways a contractor may distinguish this decision from the current COVID-19 epidemic as part of its efforts to seek compensation for the project impacts of the virus.
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Chambers USA 2020 Recognizes Smith Pachter McWhorter as a Leading Law Firm

Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business recognizes seven Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC lawyers as leaders in their field in its 2020 guide. Chambers USA 2020 has also ranked the firm’s government contracts and construction practice groups. Chambers USA is the preeminent legal ranking of attorneys and law firms with regional and national rankings driven by independent interviews of clients and peers.

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Updated COVID-19 Handbook for Government Contractors During the Coronavirus Pandemic

UPDATED COVID-19 Handbook for Government Contractors: The COVID-19 pandemic has presented unique challenges for companies performing federal government contracts. The operating landscape is constantly shifting and the communication and directives from federal agencies and state and local governments are often vague and contradictory.

In response to a flood of COVID-19 communication from federal agencies and state and local governments, including advisories, memoranda, and alerts, Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC has issued an updated handbook for government contractors covering topics in a Q&A format to address pressing issues and provide answers to inquiries our attorney response team is receiving from the industry. 

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Law 360 Expert Analysis: Avenues For Fast-Tracking Gov't Procurement In Emergency

Law360 features Expert Analysis by Edmund M. Amorosi, Stephen D. Knight, Jonathan D. Shaffer and Daniel H. Ramish on fast-track emergency procurement methods in the article "Avenues For Fast-Tracking Gov't Procurement In Emergency."

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Five Smith Pachter Attorneys Named in Who’s Who Legal Awards 2020

Who's Who Legal 2020 has selected five Smith Pachter McWhorter members in the areas of Construction, Government Contracts, and Mediation in 2020. Nominees are selected based upon comprehensive, independent surveys with both general counsel and construction and government contract lawyers in private practice worldwide.

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Smith Pachter Attorneys Selected to 2020 Washington, DC Super Lawyers and Rising Stars List

Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC congratulates seven attorneys who have been selected for inclusion across a range of the firm’s practice areas to the 2020 Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers® and Rising Stars list for their achievements and expertise in their areas of practice. Super Lawyers recognizes no more than five percent of attorneys in each state and the Rising Stars list recognizes no more than 2.5 percent attorneys in each state. 
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ENR Publishes Article on U.S. Dept. of Defense Changes for Cyberattack Certification

ENR recently published an article in its Law & Risk Management Today I April 2020 issue on the Department of Defense (DoD) changes for its Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) program by Smith Pachter McWhorter attorneys Elizabeth N. Jochum and Zachary D. Prince.  

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Jonathan Shaffer and Todd Garland to Conduct Federal Publications Seminars® Webinar on Federal Bid Protest Mitigation: Avoidance and Defenses

On May 28, 2020, Smith Pachter McWhorter attorneys Jonathan D. Shaffer and Todd M. Garland will present a CLE webinar on “Federal Bid Protest Mitigation - Avoidance and Defenses,” highlighting government procurement issues that result in protests and provide lessons learned from recent bid protest decisions.

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Richard Smith Presents on ABA Professors' Corner: The Gap Between Construction Law Practice and Scholarship

Richard F. Smith will be presenting on an American Bar Association (ABA) webinar entitled, "Professors' Corner: The Gap Between Construction Law Practice and Scholarship" on April 14, 2020. The Professor's Corner Webinar is sponsored by the Joint Legal Education and Uniform Laws Group of the ABA Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law. 

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COVID-19 Client Alert: Preparing for Increased CARES Act Oversight

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”) will provide more than $2 trillion in relief to those hardest hit by the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the CARES Act, the federal government will provide checks to an estimated 150 million American households, set up loan programs for businesses, increase unemployment insurance programs, provide funds to hospitals and local governments, among other actions.  As the largest economic stimulus package in history, there is a natural focus in the CARES Act on making sure that funds are used for their intended purpose, thus creating three new oversight bodies: the Office of the Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery within the Treasury Department (“SIGPR”); the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee (“PRAC”); and a Congressional Oversight Commission. Businesses benefiting from the much-needed relief the CARES Act provides should take the opportunity now to prepare for the increased scrutiny of a special Inspector General.  Both during the pandemic response and after it subsides, we can expect that the SIGPR will probe how CARES Act funds were deployed with the full benefit of hindsight. 

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Fast-Track Emergency Procurement Methods Available to Agencies and Contractors to Support Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

Government contractors are playing a critical role providing essential goods and services to aid the Government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  This client alert provides an overview for contractors and agency procurement officials of the most significant acquisition changes for sourcing goods and services more quickly given the urgent situation, which include increased simplified acquisition thresholds, pre-established commercial item status for specified goods and services essential to the pandemic response, relief from competition requirements, and easing of some administrative requirements for doing business with the federal government.  There are also special avenues for contributing to the relief efforts, including the National Disaster Registry and a program granting state and local governments access to GSA and VA schedules for emergency relief.

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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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Federal Publications Seminars Features Stephen Knight on Podcast Series: Defense Production Act and DPAS

Federal Publications Seminars featured Stephen Knight on its FPS Podcast Series,Podcast #1: "Defense Production Act of 1950 Explained." The Defense Production Act of 1950 has been dormant for decades. In this FPS Podcast Stephen Knight, Partner at Smith Pachter McWhorter, explains what DPAS is and it's impact to contractors as it related to COVID-19, three executive orders and the meaning of a "rated" contract. 

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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 international regulatory compliance matters, in particular, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), corporate and government investigations, economic sanctions and export controls, and commercial transactions. 

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COVID-19 Q&A: A Handbook for Government Contractors During the Coronavirus Pandemic

COVID-19 Government Contractor Handbook. SPM has issued a handbook for government contractors covering topics in a Q&A format to provide simple answers addressing some of the pressing issues and questions we are seeing from the industry. Topics include: recent federal agency guidance, the Defense Production Act and DPAS rated orders, contractor immunity and government indemnity, work site access, force majeure and excusable delays and changes, supplier management, suspension of work and stop work orders, employee notification under the WARN Act, communication with the customer, and maintaining documentation. 

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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: 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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Briefing Papers Features Article on the Most Important Cost Cases of the 2010s - Decade in Review

Briefing Papers recently published an article on the most noteworthy government contract cost accounting and pricing cases of the last decade by Smith Pachter McWhorter attorneys Richard C. Johnson, Ashley N. Amen, Daniel H. Ramish, and Zachary D. Prince. 

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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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FCPA and Corporate Compliance Best Practices: Frequently Asked Questions Primer

Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC presents FCPA compliance resources in multiple languages including FAQs regarding FCPA compliance available in English, Mandarin, Portuguese, and Spanish. 

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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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Smith Pachter McWhorter False Claims Act Practice Guide: 2020

Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC is pleased to present the 2020 edition of its False Claims Act Practice Guide. This Guide is intended to serve as a practical reference tool, providing general guidance about False Claims Act (“FCA”) legal standards, required elements of proof, common issues that give rise to FCA liability, and recent legal and enforcement developments.

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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 to be held on September 20, 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 Named in Who’s Who Legal Awards 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. John M. Cook, Val S. McWhorter and Richard F. Smith have been named as Thought Leaders in the 2019 Who's Who Legal Thought Leaders in Construction. 

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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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Article Focuses on Suspension and Debarment Rules in Virginia Public Procurement

The Virginia Bar Journal recently published an article on suspension and debarment in Virginia public procurement by Smith Pachter McWhorter attorneys Edmund M. Amorosi and Daniel H. Ramish.

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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 2019 Recognizes 7 Smith Pachter McWhorter Lawyers and Lists Three Practice Groups as Leaders in Their Field

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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Daniel Ramish Receives ABA Public Contract Law Journal Writing Award

Smith Pachter McWhorter's Daniel Ramish recently tied for first place in the American Bar Association's 2018 Public Contract Law Journal (PCLJ) Writing Competition, Division II (LLM and Young Lawyers).

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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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Recent Decisions Bode Well For False Claims Act Defendants

In two articles, John S. Pachter and Todd M. Garland discuss recent False Claims Act trends.

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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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Smith Pachter McWhorter's False Claims Act Practice Guide: 2019

Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC is pleased to present the 2019 edition of its False Claims Act Practice Guide. 

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

Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC is pleased to announce that experienced white collar defense and government investigations attorney Michael K. Lowman has joined the firm as a partner in our White Collar defense, investigations and compliance counseling practice group. Mr. Lowman augments the firm’s existing capabilities, adding deep experience in SEC investigations, securities litigation and counseling, and complex litigation.

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LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS ALERT: New Law Revises Small Business Size Formula

On December 17, 2018, President Trump signed the Small Business Runway Act of 2018 (“SBRA”), which revises the formula for calculating revenues to determine eligibility for small business set-asides to use a five-year average instead of a three-year average.

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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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Law360: A Defense Counsel's Guide To New DOJ Manual

SPM's Cormac Connor and Iris Bennett provide expert analysis of DOJ's recent revisions to the United States Attorneys’ Manual in Law360.

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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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3D Gun Legality After Defense Distributed Settlement, Ruling

SPM's Kelsey Wilbanks discusses 3D Gun Legality After Defense Distributed Settlement, Ruling 

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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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INSIGHT: GAO Reminds Pentagon: Use of OTAs Not Unfettered

SPM's Jonathan Shaffer and Todd Garland discuss a recent GAO decision sustaining a protest that challenged an award by the Department of Defense under its “other transaction” authority.

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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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The Federal Government’s Other Transaction Authority

SPM's Armani Vadiee and Todd M. Garland discuss the Federal government’s “other transaction” authority in the April 2018 issue of Briefing Papers. 

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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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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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Contractors Beware: Disqualification When Key Personnel Become Unavailable

SPM's Todd M. Garland discusses recent bid protest decisions permitting agencies to reject proposals with key personnel become unavailable in the Washington Contractor annual awards issue. 
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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 six 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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But I Thought I Won: Procurement Cancellation Under the Virginia Public Procurement Act

The Virginia Public Procurement Act (VPPA) includes a unique provision that differs substantially from the federal standard.  - Jonathan D. Shaffer and Todd M. Garland discuss procurement cancellation under the VPPA.

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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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Luna Innovations, Inc.: A Questionable ASBCA Decision On Stock Option Costs

Luna Innovations, Inc.: A Questionable ASBCA Decision On Stock Option Costs - Richard C. Johnson and Ashley N. Amen review the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals’ recent decision in Luna Innovations, Inc.

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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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Fifth Circuit Decision Reinforces Need for Anti-Kickback Act Compliance

Fifth Circuit Decision Reinforces Need for Anti-Kickback Act Compliance. By Smith Pachter McWhorter's John Pachter and Todd Garland. 

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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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Smith Pachter McWhorter's False Claims Act Practice Guide: 2017

Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC is pleased to present the 2017 edition of its False Claims Act Practice Guide

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Fifth Circuit Reverses $663 Million Judgment Against Government Contractor Based on Escobar’s Demanding and Rigorous Materiality Standard.

Fifth Circuit Reverses $663 Million Judgment Against Government Contractor Based on Escobar’s Demanding and Rigorous Materiality Standard. A recent Fifth Circuit decision applying the False Claims Act’s (“FCA”) materiality requirement reinforces the “demanding” standard established by the Supreme Court in Universal Health Services, Inc. v. United States ex rel. Escobar, 136 S. Ct. 1989 (2016).  In United States ex rel. Harman v. Trinity Industries Inc., 2017 WL 4325279 (5th Cir. Sept. 29, 2017), the government’s continued payment despite knowledge of alleged regulatory violations resulted in dismissal for want of materiality.
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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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Performance Evaluations: Leveling the Playing Field

Performance Evaluations: Leveling the Playing Field – Smith Pachter McWhorter’s Kathryn Griffin, Erica Geibel, and Todd Garland summarize recent developments in contractor performance evaluation challenges.
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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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