Will DOJ’s False Claims Act ‘Voluntary’ Dismissals Accelerate Under Attorney General Barr?

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It has been a few months since the 2015 “Yates Memo” was updated by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s announcement in late November 2018, as reflected by our colleagues in our White Collar Group.  While the principles behind the earlier policy were laudable – objectionable behavior will be deterred better when individual managers are at risk of criminal liability and financial ruin – the revised policy may not have had a sufficient time “in force” to result in actual behavioral modification.  At least from our vantage point of the government contracts industry.  Keep in [...]Read more

GOVERNMENT CONTRACTORS BEWARE! New Definition of “Recruitment Fees” Clarifies What Constitutes Human Trafficking-Related Activities – And It May Not Be What You Think

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Can requiring that a job applicant obtain and pay for a passport photo make a U.S. government contractor run afoul of human trafficking rules? Potentially “yes” under a new final rule clarifying what constitutes human trafficking under the Federal Acquisition Regulation (“FAR”). Since 2015, the U.S. government has prohibited U.S. government contractors from engaging in human trafficking, including charging employees “recruitment fees,” via FAR 52.222-50. Previously, the U.S. government’s prohibition lacked a definition for the term “recruitment fees.” To provide clarity and [...]Read more

Looking into the GovCon Crystal Ball for 2019: Jeniffer Roberts and Katherine Veeder Discuss Supply Chain Management with Inside Defense

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Alston & Bird partner Jeniffer Roberts along with senior associate Katherine Veeder spoke with Inside Defense last month regarding potential hot topics in government contracting for 2019.  One such topic, as highlighted in the publication’s article, “Looking to 2019: Contracting advocates and experts lay out key issues in the year ahead” is supply chain management, including the new requirements and prohibitions that U.S. government contractors may need to flow down to their subcontractors.  As Jeniffer Roberts explained, “certain prohibitions, including those on the government [...]Read more

Chris Roux in U.S. News–Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” on the State of American Infrastructure

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Alston & Bird partner Chris Roux had his article, “Building Blocks: Everyone Agrees U.S. Infrastructure Is in Lamentable Shape,” published in the 2019 “Best Law Firms” edition of U.S. News–Best Lawyers.  The article evaluates the current condition of infrastructure in the United States and the extent to which Congress and the Trump administration can and/or will take action to remedy the problems.  Although there were high hopes, Congress has failed to pass major infrastructure legislation.  Roux evaluates the potential impact of public-private partnerships as a possible delivery [...]Read more

DOJ Advocates for Dismissal of False Claims Act Case, Urges SCOTUS Not to Clarify Escobar Materiality Standard

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In an unusual amicus brief, DOJ urged the Supreme Court of the United States not to grant certiorari in Gilead Sciences, Inc. v. United States ex rel. Campie because “continued prosecution of the suit is not in the public interest.”  DOJ argued that, should the case be remanded, it would ultimately seek dismissal itself under 31 U.S.C. § 3730(c)(2)(A). Presciently, Jeff Belkin and Mike Mortorano wrote for Law360 here about seeking DOJ dismissal of False Claims Act cases under that little-used provision, noting that DOJ may be sensitive to “closing off a legal theory of recovery in future [...]Read more

Jeniffer Roberts Quoted in Law360 Regarding Telecom Security Flaws

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Alston & Bird partner Jeniffer Roberts was quoted in Law360 on October 31, 2018 in the article, “Telecom Security Flaws Targeted With Bans, Compliance” The article takes a look at the telecom industry with a focus on cybersecurity threats on every level of communications networks.  It explains that uncertainly is rising over whether more aggressive rules may push smaller and new contractors to leave the telecom sector—which would have the effect of slowing overall network development.  Industry experts suggest that the telecom sector could see the most harm if the government imposes [...]Read more

Jeremy Silverman and Mark Wade, Jr. Published in the National Law Journal on Key Issues for Federal Contractor M&A Transactions

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Alston & Bird partner Jeremy Silverman and associate Mark Wade, Jr. were published in the November 2018 edition of The National Law Journal. Their article, “Three Hot Topics for Federal Contractor M&A Transactions,” takes a look at certain key legal and business issues that are unique in M&A transactions involving federal government contractors. Readers interested in how small-business considerations, audit risk, and foreign ownership considerations play a role in GovCon M&A transactions would find the insight provided in the article to be particularly relevant. The article [...]Read more

Alston & Bird 2018 GovCon Briefing and CLE: Washington, D.C.

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On October 24, the Government Contracts team at Alston & Bird hosted its inaugural briefing in Washington, D.C. discussing the latest developments and industry updates in the government contracts space.  Presenters included Jeff Belkin, Jeniffer Roberts, Jessica Sharron, Jeremy Silverman, Andy Howard, Mike Mortorano and Katherine Veeder. The topics addressed were a variety of industry developments and key areas that are particularly salient in the current GovCon market.  Jeremy Silverman and Jeniffer Roberts provided a valuable bridge between the GovCon world and the M&A market by [...]Read more

Jeniffer Roberts Quoted in Bloomberg Federal Contracting News Regarding Kaspersky Ban

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Alston & Bird partner Jeniffer Roberts was quoted in Bloomberg Federal Contracting News on October 1, 2018 in the article, “Defying Kaspersky Ban Could Trigger Plethora of Punishments.” The article takes a look at the effects that could impact federal contractors that don’t comply with the government-wide ban on Kaspersky Lab software. The ban is part of the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (Public Law 115-91), which is a result of the government concluding that Russia-based Kaspersky Lab could be used by the Russian government for cyber intrusion. “It is clear that based [...]Read more

DOJ Crackdown on False Certification for Small Business Set-aside Award

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As discussed in prior blog posts, the DOJ over the last few years has continued to crack down on small-business contracting fraud, including “pass through” and “sham” contracting schemes. This trend has continued, and the DOJ recently cracked down on a subcontractor’s false certification for a government small-business set-aside program. On May 3, 2018, the DOJ announced that MassTech Inc. (MTI) and its CEO and CFO agreed to pay the United States $1.9 million to resolve allegations that MTI falsely certified it was a small business concern in order to obtain a Small Business Innovation [...]Read more