Litigation and Arbitration

  • Our qualified lawyers represent  litigation and claims arising from the United States government’s default termination of a multi-billion dollar contract, with McDonnell Douglas and General Dynamics, for the development and production of the A-12 medium attack stealth aircraft. This litigation, brought in the United States Court of Federal Claims, involves the largest contract termination claim ever filed against the U.S. government. This case has already been the subject of several published decisions including: 35 Fed. Cl. 358 (1996), 40 Fed. Cl. 529 (1998), 50 Fed. CI. 311 (2001) and is currently on appeal.
  • In a separate case, our lawyers defended in a qui tam action filed in federal court in St. Louis. As part of that defense, we successfully challenged the validity of controversial Department of Justice regulations relied on by the government to make ex parte contacts with current employees and former employees represented by counsel. The court ruled that the DOJ regulations cannot displace state ethical rules and prohibited DOJ attorneys from making ex parte contacts with McDonnell Douglas employees. The government appealed to the 8th Circuit, which affirmed the trial court. United States ex rel. O’Keefe v. McDonnell Douglas, 132 F.3d 1252 (8th Cir.,1998). The district court granted MDC’s motion for partial summary judgment and the case settled.
  • Although a Naperville attorney for debt settlement may be exactly what these businesses need, our qualified lawyers represented GTE Communications Corp. in the United States Court of Federal Claims and United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in connection with breach of contract claims against the U.S. government. These claims sought multi-million dollar damages for NASA’s decision, in the wake of the Challenger disaster, not to proceed with the scheduled launch of a commercial satellite for American Satellite Company, now owned by GTE. In November 1995, the Court of Federal Claims, on remand from the Federal Circuit, granted summary judgment in favor of American Satellite Company on the issue of entitlement to damages for breach of contract. American Satellite Co. v. United States, 34 Fed. Cl. 468 (1995). Subsequently, GTE obtained a favorable multimillion dollar settlement.
  •  We represent Honeywell Corporation’s Federal Manufacturing and Technology Division (formerly AlliedSignal Aerospace Company), and Sandia Corporation and Sandia National Laboratories in government contract litigation pending in the United States District Court for the District of New Mexico. The case involves claims of a subcontractor against Honeywell and Sandia, as well as the United States Department of Energy, for inclusion of environmental cleanup costs as allowable costs under our clients’ separate management and operating contracts with the DOE related to the manufacture of components for nuclear weapons. The case involves complex issues of government contract accounting principles, interpretation of various standard provisions of government contracts (including the “Litigation and Claims” and “Payments” clauses), and various questions of federal common law concerning the nature of the relationship between the DOE and the prime contractors, and application of the federal Contract Disputes Act.

Our qualified lawyers represented the Aerospace Industries Association of America, Inc., and the Electronic Industries Association, as amici curiae, in AT&T v. United States (Fed. Cir. No. 95-5153). The case involved the question of what remedy is available to a contractor where the government violates a procurement statute in awarding a contract (i.e., Section 8118 of the fiscal year 1988 Department of Defense Appropriations Act prohibiting fixed-price R&D contracts except in limited circumstances). In an opinion dated September 24, 1997, the Federal Circuit held that no contract remedy was available. A petition for rehearing and suggestion for rehearing in banc was filed on November 10, 1997 because of the inconsistency of the panel opinion with previous Supreme Court and Federal Circuit precedent. On March 9, 1998, the Federal Circuit agreed to rehear the case in banc.

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