Government Contracts Appeals, Small Business Appellate Cases, Contract Bid Protests, Contract Disputes Act Appeal Lawyers
At Watson & Associates, LLC, with law offices in Washington DC and Colorado, our federal appeal lawyers offer legal services to government contractors and small businesses who are doing business with the federal government.
As federal contractors, you may often find that you received an unfavorable ruling from either the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, ASBCA, CBCA or some other lower trial court. Unfortunately, lower courts do commit a legal error that sometimes can be reversible if you can catch the error in time to meet the appeal deadlines. By bringing your case to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC), you can show why your case was wrongly decided.
Whether you are appealing a bid protest decision from the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, a Contract Disputes Act case from ASBCA or Civilian Board of Contract Appeals, or a small business adverse decision, our United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit lawyers can help.
Different Level of Skill Required Than at Trial Court
Federal appellate practice at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit demands a different level of thinking skills and analysis than those involved at the lower court. As the party appealing the case, it is important to fully understand that this level of appellate practice is not in place to retry the case. Instead, filing an appeal requires a more narrow analysis of finding error through carefully critiquing the trial court record to see if the court committed reversible error.
Not all proven error at the trial court is reversible. This is important when trying to conclude what results you are seeking to get. Appealing cases involving government contracts, procurement and small business matters, involve a deep understanding of the substantive issues before the court. This is important because your federal circuit appellate attorney must be able to craft the proper argument on a level that convinces the federal court judges to agree with you and hopefully reverse the lower court’s decision.
Government Contracting and Types of Appellate Cases We Litigate
Our experienced trial attorneys and circuit court lawyers represent our procurement and government contract clients in complex litigation matters including:
- Bid protest appeals at the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
- Contract Disputes Act appeals
- Contract termination for default appeals
- Federal construction claims appeals
- Applicable Court of Appeals rules
- Federal government small business and SBA affiliation matters
- Contract claims and disputes
- SBA Small Business Programs (E.g. HUBZone and 8(a) Business Development Program matters.
- Various procurement law appellate matters
Since Time is of the Essence When Filing an Appeal, Call us Today for a Free Initial Consultation at 1-866-601-5518.
How Do We Move Forward in Representing You?
After you decide to file an appeal at the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, our government contract appellate attorneys start by developing the critical issues for appeal, we also then conduct the legal research to apply prior rulings to the facts in your specific case. In federal government contracting, there are also a myriad of regulations that are highly relevant and must also be reviewed.
- The goal is to promptly develop a persuasive legal brief that concisely outlines the issues before the judges.
- One the critical tasks involved is for us to consult with the company decision makers to discuss the process and the pros and cons of filing an appeal.
A commonly missed consideration by contractors is important of rule-making and procurement policy considerations required to be prepared for questions posed by the circuit court judges.
At Watson & Associates, the goal of our federal circuit court appeal lawyers is to develop a sound and persuasive appellate brief for submission to the court. Unfortunately, this takes a considerable amount of time and effort.
Drafting an appellate brief is the bedrock of your appellate case because the judges will review and discuss the briefs internally. The brief will also set the tone for the credibility of the lawyer and also create questions from the circuit court judges.
The bedrock of litigating a case at the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit is to be prepared for oral argument. A panel of three judges will preside over the oral argument hearing. In a government contracts and federal procurement appeals case, there can be a series of questions posed by the judges. Therefore, the time and effort that goes into representation and legal preparation is substantial.
With regards to the process of preparing for oral arguments, response must be filed by each counsel who will argue on behalf of each party in the case. The principal counsel in the case must sign the response.
Total argument time (including rebuttal time) is limited to 15 minutes per side for panel hearings and 30 minutes per side for en banc hearings, unless otherwise directed by order of the court.
If one counsel is arguing on behalf of multiple parties, counsel must include the names of all parties being represented at argument in the Party Arguing on Behalf of a portion of the response form.
To be effective at the oral argument stage, our federal appellate lawyers understand that the focus must be balanced between answering the judges’ questions in addition to making any adjustments to pursued the court that your position best reflects that law and more importantly the court ruling that the lower court has in fact erred in its decision.
Help for Medium and Large Federal Contractors and Small Businesses Nationwide and Overseas
When it comes to circuit court appellate practice, Watson & Associates has extensive experience counseling government contractors and small businesses nationwide and overseas on how to address appeal cases at the Federal Circuit Court and how to navigate through the appellate process.
- To effectively litigate federal government contracting issues, we understand that it takes more than just being an appellate attorney to litigate at the federal circuit. Instead, one needs an attorney that also understands the substantive matters at the agency level and to be able to argue what the lower court did wrong.
- Looking at the record at the lower court takes time and procurement experience. Some of our appeal lawyers have actually worked for federal contracting agencies and are in a better position to make a case.
As frequently practice at the various courts that hear issues pertaining to federal contracting and SBA small business issues as well as bid protest appeal cases from the Court of Federal Claims.
As federal appellate lawyers, we also represent companies by carefully assessing the risk of appealing their cases to the Federal Circuit Court or helping them to preserve their rights to appeal at the lower court level.
What Outcome Do You Want? Why is the Question Important at the Beginning?
This is one of the most important questions that a contractor or appellant should ask before filing an appeal at CAFC. Unless the appellate process and get you a chance to reach the outcome you need, then appealing your case to the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals Washington DC may not always the best choice. We believe that besides dealing with the disappointment of getting an adverse ruling at the lower court, you must also start from what end result your company is looking for.
- When the stakes are high, each federal appellate lawyer at our firm will put together a team of professionals and litigators that can take the government on head-on.
What is the Legal Standard of Review for the U.S. Court of Appeals to Hear Your Appellate Case From the Court of Federal Claims?
When you appeal a government contracting case to the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals from the United States Court of Federal Claims, the appellate court will look at legal conclusions de novo (totally new) and COFC’s factual findings for clear error. See John R. Sand & Gravel Co. v. United States, 457 F.3d 1345, 1353 (Fed. Cir. 2006), aff’d 552 U.S. 130 (2008).
This is important when filing a case to a federal appellate court because many cases get thrown if the correct standard is not properly presented and argued to the court. “A finding may be held clearly erroneous when the appeals court is left with a definite and firm conviction that a mistake has been committed.” Ind. Mich. Power Co. v. United States, 422 F.3d 1369, 1373 (Fed. Cir. 2005).
Can The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit Hear Government Contract Cases from the Various Boards of Contract Appeals?
Yes. In addition to filing an appeal from the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, government contractors can also appeal cases from the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals and Civilian Board of Contract Appeals to the U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals.
What Happens if the Lower Court Rules that it Has No Jurisdiction to Hear Your Appeal?
The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals will look into the matter once your appellate attorney properly alleges that the lower court was in error. There are many appellate cases where the central issue is whether the trial court had jurisdiction to hear the case. More and more cases are being filed with this very question. The Federal Circuit Court of Appeal will always look at this question of law de novo. See Agility Logistics Servs. Co. KSC v. Mattis, 887 F.3d 1143, 1148 (Fed. Cir. 2018).
When Does the Federal Circuit Set Aside Either ASBCA or CBCA Factual Findings On Appeal?
Appealing a decision from ASBCA or CBCA to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit can be somewhat tricky. Remember that filing an appeal to this court does not serve as another trial. Instead, you have to show some level of error at the trial court.
As Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and CAFC attorneys serving contractors nationwide, we understand that the court will only set aside the lower court’s factual findings when they are fraudulent, arbitrary or capricious, so grossly erroneous as to necessarily imply bad faith, or not supported by substantial evidence. Laguna Constr. Co., Inc. v. Carter, 828 F.3d 1364, 1368 (Fed. Cir. 2016); Rockies Exp. Pipeline LLC v. Salazar, 730 F.3d 1330, 1335 (Fed. Cir. 2013) (citing 41 USC 7107(b)(2)).
United States Federal Circuit Court CAFC Lawyers Serving Washington DC and Nationwide
As federal appeal lawyers to the federal circuit courts, we understand the substantive areas and united states Circuit Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit rules involved in federal procurement including bid protests, Contract Disputes Act, the Court’s jurisdiction and disputes regarding claims and small business matters.
As your appellate attorney, our goal is to keep cost down while developing a strategic plan of action that can convince the federal circuit court judges to rule in your favor. Contact one of our lawyers today
Call a Federal Appellate Lawyer Today for Immediate Help
If you are a federal government contractor and have recently received an adverse decision from the Court of Federal Claims (COFC); ASBCA or CBCA, call the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit law firm at Watson & Associates, LLC. We put together teams that can pursue the complex legal issues involved in federal procurement litigation.
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