Federal Government Contract Claims and Dispute Lawyers
Despite trying your best to please the federal government, you might find yourself filing contract claims against the federal government. Some agencies pay government claims while others completely deny the claim. There are common reasons for denial that you can avoid.
Other reasons can be avoided if you have an experienced government contract claims and dispute attorney on your team.
SOLVING PROBLEMS & OFFERING SOLUTIONS
Many government contractors are vaguely familiar with the regulations for government contract claims and disputes. As a result, the contracting officer may deny the claim due to failure to comply with CDA certification laws, failure to notify the agency in a timely manner or even signing the waiver of a claim that generally precludes you from bringing other claims against the federal government. At Watson & Associates, LLC our federal government contract dispute lawyers can help.
WHAT WE DO
When it comes to the basics of how to file a claim on a government contract, you cannot make many mistakes. At Watson & Associates, LLC, our government attorneys provide legal assistance about federal contract claims avoidance to small businesses and larger DOD contractors across the United States and overseas.
With law offices in Washington DC and Colorado, the federal government contract dispute lawyers at Watson & Associates, LLC have successfully resolved claims against the federal government for our clients. This includes small businesses and larger defense contractors. As contractors claim attorneys We have also achieved favorable outcomes for our clients.
We get involved at the performance stage all the way to claims and dispute litigation at the various courts such as the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals, Civilian Board of Contract Appeals, Court of Federal Claims and U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
- Nationwide and overseas representation
- Prompt turnaround
- Careful assessment of the legal merits of your case
- We try to resolve matters without litigation but we are not afraid to go to the courts
GOVERNMENT CONTRACT CLAIMS SERVICES & CONTRACT DISPUTES ACT APPEAL ATTORNEYS
If you decide to sue the government for denying federal procurement claims or need help with alternative dispute resolution, call our government contract claims lawyers and at 1-866-601-5518 for a FREE Initial Consultation.
EXPERIENCE WITH VARIOUS FEDERAL CONTRACT DISPUTE LAWS
When it comes to federal government contract claims and disputes, our law firm has former government personnel and lawyers that understand the rules and how the Contract Disputes Act works. We know that to resolve not so common issues may require us to understand various federal procurement laws. We bring over 20 years of experience in federal procurement law. We litigate federal contract cases at the various courts.
Do Have a Valid Contract Disputes Act (CDA) Claim Against the Government?
Whether you are appealing the contracting officer’s denial of your claim or you are appealing a lower court’s adverse decision against your company, the ultimate issue usually turns to whether you had submitted a valid claim under the CDA.
Under the Contract Disputes Act, your company must submit a “valid claim,” which is defined as a :
demand 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 the contract.” M. Maropakis, 609 F.3d at 1327 (quoting 48 CFR 33.2013).
The Contract Disputes Act does not provide a legal cause of action to which money damages may accrue; it is the claim asserted pursuant to the CDA that is the source of potential damages and review by the trier of fact. See Northrop Grumman Computing Sys., Inc. v. United States, 709 F.3d 1107, 1112 (Fed. Cir. 2013) (explaining the prerequisites for a valid claim brought under the CDA, which is a jurisdictional requirement to obtain relief).
Can the CO Deny a Normal Meritorious Claim When the Claim Does not Meet Contract Disputes Act Requirements?
Not only can the CO deny what would normally be a viable claim, but they also do it quite often. This leaves you to figure out how to deal with and correct the problem. The CDA requirements can be very tricky. Courts often spend a lot of time and resources to interpret what is or is not a valid claim. In some cases, the CO may simply state that after careful review, he or she has denied the claim. At the end of the day, especially at the appellate stage, you find out that the CO denied the claim because it did not meet the CDA requirements.
What Happens When the Contracting Officer Fails to Specify the Reason for Denying the Claim? Is this By Itself Grounds for Filing an Immediate Appeal?
No. Many Contracting Officer Final Decisions (COFD) do not articulate the details and reasons for denying government appeals. You are now left with trying to figure it out. Do you just file an immediate appeal?
Maybe not. You may want to look at the initial claim to see it meets the CDA requirements. If it did not, then the appellate court may agree with the government’s motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction. When you get a COFD that is vague, you may want to have your lawyer first see if your initial claim met the Contract Disputes Act legal requirements. This might be a huge trap lying in wait for you.
If Your Claim is Not Properly Certified, Does it Mean That an Appellate Court Cannot Hear Your Case?
The facts of every case drive the outcome. Federal contractors must make sure that when they hire an appellate lawyer to litigate the matter at the federal circuit that the application of the Contract Disputes Act is on point. The trial court record would have to show a serious error. The general rule is as follows:
A federal government contractor seeking payment on a government contract claim must submit a claim to the contracting officer. 41 U.S.C. § 7103(a)(1). However, when the claim is for more than $100,000, on an individual authorized to bind the company/contractor must certify that:
- the claim is made in good faith;
- the supporting data are accurate and complete to the best of the contractor’s knowledge and belief;
- the amount requested accurately reflects the contract adjustment for which the contractor believes the Federal Government is liable; and
- the certifier is authorized to certify the claim on behalf of the contractor.
Does a Defective or Improperly Certified Claim Deny a Court or Agency Board Jurisdiction to Hear the Contract Claim on Appeal?
No. “[a] defect in the certification of a claim does not deprive a court or an agency board of jurisdiction over the claim.” 41 U.S.C. § 7103(b)(3). If there is a defective certification, the Appellate Court of Agency Board shall require that defective certification to be corrected.” Id.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit found that the statutory guidelines do not allow for an exception to having government contract claims certification corrected.
There was language before that limited your right as a government contractor to correct a defective claim certification if the initial certification was made with “intentional, reckless, or negligent disregard for the applicable certification requirements.” However, Congress expressively removed this language from the statute.
The Federal Circuit Court of Appeal ruled that a statute should not be read to implicitly include language specifically rejected by Congress. See DAI Global, LLC fka Development Alternatives, Inc. v. Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, No. 2019-1330 (Dec. 27, 2019) (Citing I.N.S. v. Cardoza-Fonseca, 480 U.S. 421, 442 (1987).
GOVERNMENT CONTRACT DISPUTE LITIGATION AND APPEALS IN VARIOUS FEDERAL COURTS
As federal government contract dispute lawyers, we represent government contractors with litigation at the various courts including the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals (ASBCA), Civilian Board of Contract Appeals (CBCA) and the United States Court of Federal Claims (COFC) and appeals to the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
GOVERNMENT CONSTRUCTION CLAIM DISPUTE
When you experience differing site conditions, experience unexpected delays or somehow find yourself harmed on a federal construction project, filing a claim against the federal government might be the answer.
Small businesses performing federal construction contracts especially find themselves at odds when the Contracting Officer Representative (COR) or some other government official directs them to perform additional work or scope changes. Watson’s federal construction contract claims lawyers frequently help companies with:
- Construction delays
- Differing site conditions
- Preparing constructions claims that comply with the Contract Disputes Act
- Appeal denial of contract claims by the contracting officer
- Help with disputes in contractor release of claims
Our government contract dispute lawyers understand that submitting construction claims against the federal government and be tricky and that the facts of each case are critical to the outcome. The government contract claims lawyers at our firm can assist with constructive changes, the scope of work changes under federal contracting laws, liquidated damages, implied in fact contract matters, requests for equitable adjustment, government contract litigation support services, and differing site condition claims.
NATIONWIDE AND OVERSEAS HELP – CALL A GOVERNMENT CLAIMS ATTORNEY TODAY
For immediate help with a government contract claim or dispute, help with appealing the contracting officer’s decision to the ASBCA, CBCA or US Court of Federal Claims (COFC) please call the federal contract disputes attorneys at Watson & Associates, LLC. call Toll Free 1-866-601-5518.
Get a FREE CONSULTATION
- Download a Free Copy of the Claims Checklist
- GAO Says No Additional Strengths Warranted in Technical Proposal Protest
- Government Contract Protest Tips Your Competitors Know About Protesting Federal Government Contract Awards
- The Best Way to Attack Contractor Past Performance Evaluation Criteria in Bid Protests
- Important New SBA HUB Zones Subcontracting Compliance Amendments for Small Business Subcontracts
- Federal Circuit Court of Appeals CAFC Rules Against COFC On REA Claims for Increased Cost – Negligent Estimate
- Federal Government Construction Contracts Lawyers | Construction Claims (video)