Contract Claims and Disputes Lawyers
Avoid Delays and Maximize Contract Claims
Call Experienced Government Contract Law Attorneys – 202-827-9750 or 1-866-601-5518.
When you submit a contract claim to a government contracting agency, disagreements and the agency’s failure to properly compensate you for worked performed often results in appeals being filed at the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals (“ASBCA”) or the United States Court of Federal Claims (“COFC”).
Learning to submit properly prepared contract claims can reduce delay and impact to your business’ day-to-day operations. This is especially true for federal construction claims. Having a government contract claim and dispute attorney that understands the process can avoid hardships to small businesses and large DOD contract dispute.
With law offices in Washington, DC and Colorado, Watson & Associates’ contract claims attorneys have developed a reputable record of resolving disputes at the Agency level and at the appeal level. The firm’s attorneys bring decades of actual hands-on government contracting experience to the table. Our approach is to utilize the least costly approach to resolving federal contract disputes and claims. See Samples of Representative Cases.
Regardless of your industry, you more than likely will have to analyze or decide how you want to proceed. Our Washington government claims service lawyers stand ready to guide you through the laws and regulations that govern.
- Cost disallowance
- Recovery services
- Defective pricing
- Breach of contract
- Change orders
- Constructive changes
- Equitable adjustments
- Work done by order of the COTR
- Construction performance and scope changes
- Contract terms disputes
- Formation mistakes
- Non-payment of invoices
- Performance disputes
- Contract modifications
- Constructive and formal change orders
- Consequential damages
- Liquidated damages
- Service contracts
- Construction claims
- Surety Bond Claims for Federal Contracts
Legal definition of a government contract claim. The FAR defines a claim as “a written demand or written assertion by one of the contracting parties seeking, as a matter of right, the payment of money in a sum certain, the adjustment or interpretation of contract terms, or other relief arising under or relating to a contract.” FAR 2.101(b) and FAR 52.233-1(c). Having a contract claims lawyer to help you avoid technical delays in payment can improve the flow of company revenues.
- Agencies often reject contract claims for failure to meet FAR requirements
- If you file a claims appeal and you have not met the legal definition, your case will be dismissed.
When you have a contract dispute of a contract claim, the government is not obligated to give your relief until you comply with the Contract Disputes Act of 1978.and the “Disputes” clause. The law requires that you must:
- submit in a claim in writing to the Contracting Officer for a decision;
- All contractor claims over $100,000 must be certified (contract claims cases have been dismisses for lack of certification.)
- there must be a demand for payment in an amount certain (do not approximate); and
- Demand a final decision from the Contracting Officer.
Your immediate goal is to resolve the dispute at the lowest possible level. This starts with understand the claims process and Contract Disputes Act requirements. This is but one reason why you should consider retaining a contract claims lawyer. The rules are very tricky and confusing.
Prepare your contract claim with proper certification. A claim that exceeds $100,000 must be certified and must contain specific certification language. Without proper certification, your claim can be rejected and cause additional delay in payment. At the appeals level, a court can waive the claims certification requirement so long as the deficiency is cured before the final decision.
- Contracting Officers should advise you of the deficiency.
- Contact a government contract law attorney before submitting your claim.
You must always get a Contracting Officer’s Final Decision. Under the Contact Disputes Act (41 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) and FAR 33.211, a contracting officer who receives a claim of $100,000 or less must issue a contracting officer’s Final Decision within 60 days after receiving a written request that a decision.
- If the claim is for more than $100,000, the contracting officer is required to issue a Final Decision within 60 days after receiving a certified claim; or
- Notify you within that period of a date certain when a final decision will be issued provided that
- The decision is within a reasonable time period.
Call a government contract claims and dispute attorney if the Contracting Officer fails to issue a Final Decision within the required time period. Oftentimes the Contracting Officer delays the decision process. This puts undue hardship on small businesses and large contractors with high-valued claims. You can file an appeal with the ASBCA or the COFC.
- The agency’s failure to issue a timely decision is “deemed denial” of the claim.
- Before filing a contract claims appeal, it is strongly recommended that your seek legal advice or help from a government contracts attorney.
Avoid preparing a claim with insufficient information. Choosing to prepare a claim by yourself can gravely impact timely payment of your invoice. Thus, causing yourself financial hardship. You cannot file a claims appeal simply because the contracting agency seeks additional information. The Contract Disputes Act is very specific and you must adhere to the claims submission rules.
- You must always respond to the agency’s request for additional information.
- The Contracting Officer can deny your claim for failure to provide requested information.
Even if you have a dispute, you must still continue to perform. Failure to continue performance could lead to a termination for default. This incurs additional damages unless you have an allowable legal excuse to prevent performance. Have a government contract claims lawyer to guide you through the process.
Tip: When the contacting officer responds, ensure that she is not inserting language of negotiation, or stating that she needs to understand the basis of your claim. This is not a final decision.
Appeal to Board of Contract Appeals (BCA)
There are eleven agency BCAs, which have been established to hear and decide contract disputes between government contractors and agencies under the rules and regulations of the CDA. You can have your government contract claims attorney to initiate an appeal to the appropriate BCA.
- File a “Notice of Appeal” within ninety days of receipt of the CO’s final decision.
- Failure to file within this 90 day period, waives your right to proceed.
- Under the standard BCA rules, your attorney must file a complaint within thirty days of the docketing notice.
- The contracting agency then has thirty days to file its answer.
Tip: The Board of Contract Appeals cannot order specific performance on a contract or injunctive relief (See. Appeal of Sabba Corp., V.A.B.C.A. No. 5557 et al.)
Tip: Never rely on e-mails or correspondence to the Contracting Officer to surmount to a claim. It should be specific and concise, leaving no room for ambiguity.
Appeal to the COFC
You can also appeal a claim against the government by initiating proceeding at the Court of Federal Claims (COFC) by filing a complaint within one year after you contractor receives the CO’s final decision.
- Failure to file the complaint within this twelve-month period will result in dismissal. COFC litigation process has more formal procedures.
- A decision of the COFC is rendered by a single judge presiding over the case. That judge’s decision may be appealed to the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals.
Preserve your rights to appeal. Government contractors should seek legal advice early. You want to ensure that the initial claim contains all relevant facts and evidence. Your contract lawyer generally cannot raise new issues at the appellate level.
Contact one of our lawyers to see if your situation warrants a CDA claim. Call 202-827-9750 or Toll Free 1-866-601-5518 for immediate help.
Colorado and Washington DC Contract Dispute Lawyers Focusing on Results
Our Washington DC government contract attorneys have gained favorable results at both the agency level or appeal at the board of contract appeals level. Many of our cases have settled because we help you to balance the cost of litigation against the difference in the amounts owed. You make the decision.
Have you filed at the proper time? One of the most important things you must understand is that a government contract claim is only valid for work that is properly performed. A dispute as to whether contract work is properly performed does not generally give rise to filing a dispute. Our team will help you to analyze whether your case is ripe for submission. There may be some additional things you can do to solidify your case. If nothing else, you must start gathering any supporting documentation for your package.
Nationwide and Overseas Contract Claims Litigation
Watson & Associates LLC offer government contract claim and dispute attorneys for companies in Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico, Kansas and Nebraska, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Illinois, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Arkansas, Denver, Colorado Springs, Utah, California, Oklahoma, Ohio, Maine, Florida, Texas, Nevada, Las Vegas, Georgia, Hawaii, Alaska, Washington D.C., West Virginia, Florida, Indiana, Washington, Mississippi, Tennessee, Miami, Virgin Islands, Rhode Island, Vermont, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Missouri, Delaware, Washington State, Connecticut, Arizona, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Montana.
We offer contract dispute litigation and defense services in Anchorage, AK; Atlanta, GA; Austin, TX; Chicago, IL; Colorado Springs, CO; Dallas, TX; Denver, Colorado; Indianapolis, IN; Las Vegas, NV; Los Angeles, CA; Miami, FL; Philadelphia, PA; San Antonio, TX; San Diego, CA; San Francisco, CA; San Jose, CA; Santa Clara, CA; and Tampa, FL.
Call Us Today
To avoid denial of critical company revenues, appeal a contract claims denial, call our government contract law attorneys or contact us online today. Call Watson & Associates toll free today at (866)601-5518 or 202.827-9750 in Washington, DC.