Civil Procedure Government Contracting

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Escobar's Impact: Recent Application of "Materiality" in Ninth Circuit

Last year, a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court decided Universal Health Services, Inc. v. United States ex rel. Escobar (Escobar), 136 S.Ct. 1989 (2016), creating important implications for Federal False Claims Act (FCA) cases...more

CBCA Affirms It Cannot Direct an Agency to Revise a CPAR

The Civilian Board of Contract Appeals (CBCA) recently affirmed that it would follow the Court of Federal Claims (COFC) and Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals (ASBCA) in refusing to direct an agency to revise a Contract...more

The Siege Continues: The Justice Department is Investigating Four Additional Medicare Advantage Plans

In our prior blog post, we reported that, at the request of the federal Department of Justice, the FCA qui tam whistleblower lawsuit in the case of United States ex rel Benjamin Poehling v. United HealthGroup, Inc., et. al....more

Federal district court interprets Stark Laws writing requirement

On March 15, 2017, the US District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, ruling on cross motions for summary judgment in U.S. ex rel. Tullio Emanuele v. Medicor Associates Inc. et al., provided the first...more

Agape Take Two - 4th Circuit Court of Appeals Rules on FCA Statistical Sampling Case

Last May, we reported on a False Claims Act (FCA) case pending in the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals regarding a claim brought in the U.S. District Court in South Carolina against a network of 24 nursing home providers...more

Timing is Everything – GAO Refuses to Apply Jurisdiction Retroactively

As we previously reported here and here, between October 1 and December 14, 2016, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) lacked jurisdiction to hear most civilian agency task order protests (its jurisdiction over protest...more

DC Federal Court Grants Summary Judgment to Halliburton in Important FCA Case

On March 14, U.S. Federal Judge Royce Lamberth granted Halliburton’s motion for summary judgment and dismissed Mr. Barko’s claims against Halliburton, filed under the False Claims Act (FCA), which, along the way, resulted in...more

False Claims Act Dangers on Display in Ruckh

A recent jury verdict in an FCA lawsuit pending in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida resulted in a not-so-subtle reminder of just how high the stakes can be in such litigation....more

Health Care FCA Decisions Applied to Criminal Case

False Claims Act (“FCA”) cases involving medical necessity continue to receive great attention. A March 7, 2017 opinion that overruled a jury’s criminal fraud conviction of a cardiologist demonstrates the broader implications...more

February 2017 Protest Roundup

In February 2017, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) publicly released notable decisions addressing (1) the effect of the temporary lapse in GAO’s civilian task order jurisdiction; (2) discussions, clarifications, and...more

Federal Court in Oklahoma Rules that Bond Issued on a Sovereign Tribal Construction Project is Not a Miller Act Bond Even Though...

United States ex rel. J.A. Manning Constr. Co. v. Bronze Oak, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6054 (N.D. Okla. Jan. 17, 2017) - In May 2014 the Cherokee Nation issued a bid notice for bridge and roadway construction in Mayes...more

Taking Shape: Influential D.C. Circuit Court Continues the Expansion of Escobar’s “Materiality” Standard

In June 2016, the Supreme Court’s decision in Universal Health Services, Inc. v. United States ex rel. Escobar confirmed the viability of the “implied false certification” theory of liability under the False Claims Act (FCA)....more

A Parallel Universe: Navigating Discovery in Concurrent Civil and Criminal Proceedings

As criminal law has expanded into almost every sector of the American economy, one byproduct is the rise of "parallel proceedings"—lawsuits that proceed concurrently in criminal and civil court based on largely the same...more

Vavra Decision Highlights Avenues for Potential Anti-Kickback Act Liability

On February 3, 2017, the Fifth Circuit decided US ex rel Vavra v. Kellogg Brown & Root, No. 15-41623, 2017 WL 473873 (5th Cir. 2017), determining that defendant KBR could be held vicariously liable under the enhanced penalty...more

Federal Court in Idaho Rules That a Government Contractor May Recover Consultant Fees, So Long as Those Fees Were Incurred in...

The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (the “VA”) contracted with Sygnos, Inc. (“Sygnos”) for improvements to the electrical system at a VA hospital in Boise, Idaho. Sygnos subcontracted a portion of the work to...more

New Medicare Fraud Defense: “My Mom Made Me Do It!”

Charged with 33 counts of Medicare fraud netting some $45 million in false claims, Richard Tinimbang invoked a novel defense: “My mom made me do it!” That, according to Law360, is the gist of the opening statement of...more

What’s Past is Prologue: How The FCA’s Eventful Year in 2016 Will Affect Government Contractors

2016 was a big year for the False Claims Act (FCA). Total government recoveries were up; total new matters filed were up; and total new government-led FCA matters were up. The Supreme Court issued multiple decisions...more

DC Circuit Enforces Escobar’s Materiality Requirement

This week, the D.C. Circuit added to the post-Escobar, materiality jurisprudence with its opinion in United States ex rel. McBride v. Halliburton Co., No. 15-7144 (Feb. 17, 2017). In its decision, the court affirmed the...more

Missouri appellate court opens the door to Spearin claims by contractors against public entities

A Missouri appellate court has for the first time recognized that a construction contractor may pursue a breach of contract claim against a public entity owner based on the “Spearin doctrine,” meaning the contractor may...more

Improvidently Granted Appeal Statistically Yields Sampling Uncertainty

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed in 2015 to hear an interlocutory appeal of a district court’s decision to prohibit a qui tam relator from using statistical sampling to prove liability and damages in a False Claims...more

Supreme Court Applies Escobar to Reinstate Implied Certification Suit Against Bank Based on Compliance With Fed Rules

On Tuesday, February 21, 2017, the Supreme Court summarily vacated the judgment in Bishop v. Wells Fargo & Co. and remanded the case to the Second Circuit in light of the Court’s recent decision in Universal Health Servs. v....more

Proof by Proxy in FCA Suits? District Court Says It Depends

Admissibility of statistical sampling to prove liability in FCA suit is fact dependent. In a February 14, 2017 decision, the Fourth Circuit declined to rule on the question of whether statistical sampling can be used to...more

Fourth Circuit Takes a Pass on Statistical Sampling, Finds DOJ's Settlement Veto Authority Unreviewable

After granting the relators’ petition for an interlocutory review of the district court’s rejection of the use of statistical sampling to establish FCA liability, the Fourth Circuit ultimately declined to reach that issue in...more

DC Circuit joins other circuits in enforcing Escobar's strict materiality requirement: key takeaways

The DC Circuit has affirmed summary judgment against the relator in United States ex rel. McBride v. Halliburton Company, et al, a False Claims Act (FCA) case alleging defendants-appellees (collectively, KBR) inflated...more

Fourth Circuit Permits DOJ to Reject an FCA Settlement, But Punts Decision on Statistical Sampling

In a closely watched False Claims Act (“FCA”) case, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals decided that the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) has an unreviewable right to object to a proposed settlement agreement between a relator...more

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