DOJ Affirms Cooperation Principles in Government Contract Fraud Investigations

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Those of us who have had more than a few discussions with the Civil Fraud Section of the Department of Justice (DOJ) over the years about federal procurement and grant fraud have come away with a clear enough understanding of a few basic principles of cooperation. First, while it is cliché to say that the “multiple” on single damages that the DOJ might demand in settlement of a civil False Claims Act (FCA) case varies depending on the circumstances, the general understanding is that if a defendant settles at or before the time the DOJ must file its complaint, then the DOJ may be more willing [...]Read more

Alston & Bird Construction & Government Contracts Group Honored by Chambers USA

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We are excited to announce that our Government Contracts Group has earned recognition in the 2019 edition of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business. We are also proud of our Construction colleagues, some of whom focus on public construction. Government Contracts Nationwide: Recognized Practitioner Construction California: Band 3 Georgia: Band 2 The groups had a total of eight individuals recognized, including Jeff Belkin, Debbie Cazan, John Hanover, Bill Hughes, Mike Shanlever, Jessica Sharron, John Spangler, and Chris Roux. We are proud of our recognition, [...]Read more

Alston & Bird Partner Jeniffer Roberts Appointed to Law360’s 2019 Government Contracts Editorial Advisory Board

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We are excited to announce that Law360 appointed Alston & Bird Government Contracts partner Jeniffer M. De Jesus Roberts to its 2019 Government Contracts Editorial Advisory Board. The appointment is a testament to Jeniffer’s keen insight into, and understanding of, the key issues that government contractors face on a day-to-day basis. Jeniffer will help guide Law360’s coverage to include the news that matters most to our government contracts clients. In this role, Jeniffer will utilize her vast knowledge and expertise in the field of government contracting as well as the experience gained [...]Read more

Wrapping Up Another Great Year at the Thomson Reuters Government Contracts Year-in-Review Conference

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The Alston & Bird Government Contracts team just wrapped up another fantastic year at the annual Thomson Reuters Government Contracts Year-in-Review Conference in Washington, D.C. this week.  Despite a brief snow interlude, foreign to Alston & Bird’s Los Angeles, Dallas, and Atlanta-based members but all too familiar to its D.C.-based team, the conference was a four-day whirlwind through the latest developments in regulatory, bid protest, and dispute issues applicable to government contractors. Of the most interesting developments discussed this year were the Kaspersky Ban, [...]Read more

Alston & Bird Team Headed to D.C. for the Thomson Reuters Government Contracts Year-in-Review Conference

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The Alston & Bird Government Contracts team is excited to be at the annual Thomson Reuters Government Contracts Year-in-Review Conference in Washington, D.C. this week.  The conference is being held at the Omni Shoreham Hotel which, for the next four days, will be the epicenter of government contracts discussions and debates. There will be hundreds of attorneys, executives, and government officials participating in expert briefings on the past year’s legal developments affecting government contracts.  This week will prove to be an excellent opportunity to connect with colleagues, clients, [...]Read more

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