Expected Guidance on 'Simplified' Diligence Likely to Closely Follow FATF's Lead
March 28, 2012 — MoneyLaundering.com
Washington, D.C.-based International Trade Group counsel Cari N. Stinebower speaks to MoneyLaundering.com about the guidance expected from the U.S. Treasury Department on how to ease compliance controls on certain low-risk accounts and products. The U.S. Treasury department is expected to take its queue from the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force's (FATF) call for jurisdictions to implement "simplified" customer due diligence procedures, which would allow financial institutions to relax the anti-money laundering controls commensurate with the lower risk of certain accounts and financial products.
According to the article, Stinebower said "The department is unlikely to veer from FATF's guidelines on simplified measures. U.S. officials could say that less due diligence is needed for accounts held for federal agencies, certain closed-loop prepaid products and small businesses that don't rely heavily on cash or have international ties."
DCAA Needs More Staff, Powers To Do Its Job
March 28, 2012 — Government Contracts Law360
Washington, D.C.-based chair of Crowell & Moring’s Government Contracts Group, Angela B. Styles, speaks to Government Contracts Law360 about the need to give the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) more resources to strengthen auditing of contractors.
According to Styles, "The agency already has subpoena authority over contractor records related to audits, and was shot down in court after an auditor sought to expand that authority to include income tax records and financial statements. The agency also already has its own general counsel, and separating it from the Pentagon is unnecessary." She also added that, "They're trying to make DCAA into something it was never intended to be," Styles said. "I'm not sure why you'd want it to be independent of the DOD."
Firing of Pregnant First-Year Employee Ruled Illegal
March 27, 2012 — InsideCounsel
Washington, D.C.-based Labor & Employment Group counsel Christopher Calsyn speaks to InsideCounsel about the 11th Circuit's ruling that even though employees are not eligible to take an unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) until they have worked for a company for a full year, their protection against retaliation starts as soon as they inform their employer that they will be taking leave.
According to the article, Calsyn advises in-house counsel to work with human resources and benefits coordinators to make sure they don't reject out-of-hand requests for leave. Calsyn said, "The FMLA is a hyper-technical statute. Even seasoned lawyers don't know every nook and cranny."
US Companies Lose as Sanctions Strangle Iran
March 20, 2012 — Reuters
Washington, D.C.-based International Trade Group counsel Cari N. Stinebower speaks to Reuters about how difficult it is for U.S. firms, large and small alike, to receive payment for products that they sold to Iran, even for medicines and other humanitarian exports explicitly allowed by the U.S. Treasury.
According to the article, Stinebower said, "Everything from aspirin to multivitamins - you name it - it's all jammed up."
Senators Propose Automatic Contractor Suspensions
March 19, 2012 — Federal Computer Week
A Crowell & Moring Government Contracts Legal Forum blog post, written by Washington, D.C.-based Government Contracts Group associate Alexina G. Jackson's, titled, "Attempting to Broaden the Mandatory Suspension & Debarment Net: McCaskill - Webb Senate Bill 2139" is cited in a Federal Computer Week article discussing four democratic senators' crackdown on defense contractors through automatic suspensions for allegations of bad behavior related to an overseas contingency operation.
According to Jackson's blog post, "The automatic suspension could cause the entire package to fail to get the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee's approval."
Pentagon Requires Signoff On $1M-Plus Commercial Buys
March 15, 2012 — Government Contracts Law360
Washington, D.C.-based Government Contracts Group associate Alexina G. Jackson speaks to Government Contracts Law360 about the U.S. Department of Defense's recent amendment of its acquisition rules to seek higher approval before purchasing more than $1 million in commercially available purchases.
According to Jackson, "They've reached a bunch of services that aren't usually considered suspect. The big question mark is, one, did you really mean to do this, and two, have you thought through how this will impact general day-to-day contracting?"
GAO Protests Reach New High In 2011 Despite Slower Growth
March 14, 2012 — Government Contracts Law360
Washington, D.C.-based Government Contracts Group partner Daniel R. Forman speaks to Government Contracts Law360 about the rising number of protests filed in the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), which reached a new high in 2011 but are beginning to level off from the increase between 2008 and 2010.
According to Forman, "The leveling off of the GAO's numbers was more than offset by rapid increases in the number of bid protests heard in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims (COFC). There were 98 protests filed in the COFC in 2011, up from 68 in 2005, and the court published 73 decisions in 2011."
DOJ’s New Criminal E-Discovery Protocol Places Cooperation Above Motion Filings
March 10, 2012 — Digital E-Discovery and E-Evidence Bloomberg BNA
Crowell & Moring counsel Justin P. Murphy, a member of the firm’s White Collar & Regulatory Enforcement Group and E-Discovery & Information Management practice, is quoted regarding his assessment of the new recommendations on electronically stored information (ESI) discovery production in federal criminal cases.
Global Insurers Targeted in Proposed Sanctions Against Iran
March 8, 2012 — Bloomberg News
Washington, D.C.-based International Trade Group counsel Cari N. Stinebower speaks to Bloomberg News about U.S. lawmakers' efforts to target global insurers as they seek to expand sanctions aimed at crippling Iran's economy and forcing its leaders to make concessions involving the country's disputed nuclear program.
According to the article, Stinebower said "U.S. insurers tend to be very careful about compliance."
Daniel Forman Appointed to Serve on the Law360 Government Contracts Editorial Advisory Board
March 5, 2012 — Government Contracts Law360
Government Contracts Group partner Daniel R. Forman has been appointed to serve on the editorial advisory board of Law 360 Government Contracts. As a member of the board, Forman will provide guidance on Law360's coverage and how best to shape future reporting of industry trends at the news outlet. Forman’s practice focuses on a wide variety of government procurement law, including bid protests, False Claims Act and qui tam litigation, investigations of potential civil and criminal matters, ethics and compliance, contract claims and disputes, GSA schedule contracting, and small disadvantaged business contracting.
New Accounting Rule Could Cost DoD Billions
February 27, 2012 — DefenseNews.com
Washington, D.C.-based Government Contracts Group partner Terry L. Albertson speaks to DefenseNews.com about an accounting rule that requires the U.S. government to reimburse its contractors to a far greater degree for their employee pension costs. The new rule stems from the 2006 Pension Protection Act, which set new accounting standards for companies to use in calculating their pension fund liabilities.
According to Albertson, "Contractors are required to fund their employee pension plans according to the federal Pension Protection Act standards. But until now, federal cost accounting rules have calculated pension costs at a lower rate, meaning contractors have been unable to recoup all those costs from the government."
2012 Defense Act Could Weaken Contractors' IP Rights
February 27, 2012 — Government Contracts Law360
Washington, D.C.-based Government Contracts Group partner John E. McCarthy, Jr. speaks with Government Contracts Law360 about Congress' effort to increase competition among defense contractors by giving the U.S. military more leeway to demand technical data that is used to design the weapons it purchases. However, the broad and ambiguous wording of the law could leave contractors scrambling to protect their intellectual property rights.
According to McCarthy, "Companies can spend millions of dollars on developing their intellectual property, and they want clarity on whether or not they can retain that IP. If the regulations attempt to push the envelope, it's going to be very troublesome for many contractors."
Crowell & Moring Featured in Law360's Largest Government Contracts Practice List
February 10, 2012 — Government Contracts Law360
The firm's Government Contracts Group, and chair Angela B. Styles, are featured in a Government Contracts Law360 article discussing the country's top Government Contracting firms. According to the article, "the practice group's size gives the firm considerable 'bench strength,' allowing Crowell & Moring the freedom to devote more government contract experts than most firms can muster, if the situation requires."
According to Styles, "A lot of time, there are cases that we need to bring a significant number of people to. If it's a bet-the-company protest, we're going to put 10 people on it. We have the bench strength to really cover everything."
S.E.C. Reaches Settlement in Bear Stearns Fraud Case
February 9, 2012 — The New York Times - DealBook
New York-based White Collar & Regulatory Enforcement Group partner Daniel L. Zelenko speaks to The New York Times "DealBook" about the Securities and Exchange Commission's settlement with two former Bear Sterns hedge fund managers that will avert a second trial over accusations that they had misled investors as the mortgage market was crumbling.
According to Zelenko, "The government clearly had the power to do this, but the more salient question is whether this was the best use of their resources. More than two years after a jury has already acquitted on substantially the same set of facts, it's not clear that it was."
Appropriations Act Will Shake Up Contractor Suspensions
February 3, 2012 — Government Contracts Law360
Washington, D.C.-based chair of Crowell & Moring's Government Contracts Group, Angela B. Styles, speaks to Government Contracts Law360 about the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2012. The Act will exclude companies from government contracts by preventing agencies from contracting with companies convicted of a crime unless they first formally consider using suspension or debarment tools.
According to Styles, "The statute applies to 'corporations,' not 'contractors,' opening up ambiguities about how it should be applied if a contractor's affiliated companies are the ones that are convicted." She also added that "the appropriations language for most of the affected agencies — but not the DOD — also triggers the ban if an 'officer or agent' of a corporation is convicted or owes taxes, adding another layer of ambiguity, as the executive branch works out how to define 'agent' in this context."
GCs Name A-Listers For Client Service
February 2, 2012 — Law360
Washington, D.C.-based Government Contracts Group partner Thomas P. Humphrey and San Francisco-based Litigation Group senior counsel Michael A. Kahn are mentioned in a Law360 article for their inclusion in the "2012 BTI Client Service All-Stars" report from The BTI Consulting Group Inc, which recognizes 30 attorneys who demonstrate an unmatched commitment to outstanding client service.
According to the article, the survey of world-leading corporate counsel recognizes superior client service leaders. BTI, in its annual survey, asks general counsel and their direct reports to name those attorneys who drive superior client relationships.
Government Contracts Group of the Year: Crowell
January 25, 2012 — Government Contracts Law360
Government Contracts Group attorneys, including Washington, D.C.-based chair Angela B. Styles, and partners Daniel R. Forman and Amy Laderberg O'Sullivan, speak to Law360 about the Group's numerous victories in 2011, as well as the very important, yet confidential, work the firm does for its clients behind the scenes.
According to Styles, "Fifty percent of what we do is work where there's never going to be a public decision or anything that enters the public record. There's a lot of work that we do for companies, in terms of suspension and debarment, that never hits the newspapers."
Regarding the strength of the Group, Forman notes, "We truly have experts in every substantive government contracts area, and I don't think any other
practice in the country can genuinely say that."
Q & A - What's Hot, What's Not: What practice area(s) is (are) expected to be driving next year’s business/growth? And which area(s) will be the most challenged?
January 23, 2012 — Orange County Business Journal
Partner Daniel A. Sasse, head of the firm's Orange County office and member of the Antitrust Group, talks to the Orange County Business Journal about the areas of the law that he anticipates will grow in 2012.
According to Sasse, "We expect government investigations to continue to play a significant and even increasing role in 2012. While always popular in Orange County, IP litigation and prosecution will continue to be strong practice areas. We have seen a significant increase in consumer class action suits challenging representations made by manufacturers and marketers, especially in the 'green advertising' arena."
$10 Million Tennis Facility to Open in Marshall Heights in September
January 22, 2012 — The Washington Post
Washington, D.C.-based Litigation Group senior counsel Peter B. Work, and Corporate Group counsel Todd D. Rosenberg and associate Jenny C. Cieplak, were mentioned in The Washington Post for their pro bono work successfully handling the financing of the Washington Tennis & Education Foundation facility in Southeast Washington, D.C.
According to the article, “The project is primarily funded by private grants, donations and loans from board members totaling $7.8 million…The remaining $2.2 million was from Capital One under the New Markets Tax Credit program, a federal program that aims to spur development in low-income areas."
Contractor Accountability: Attorneys Predict More Risk, Less Reward For Government Contractors in 2012
January 20, 2012 — BNA's Federal Contracts Report
Washington, D.C.-based Government Contract Group attorneys are quoted in BNA’s Federal Contracts Report’s coverage of a recent webinar conducted by the group titled, “What Will the New Year Bring for Government Contractors.”
According to senior counsel W. Stanfield (Stan) Johnson, “The procurement climate in 2012 will be marked by less business as program cuts and terminations grow. The contracts you get will be riskier. Firm-fixed price contracts will increase, while cost reimbursement contracts will decline.”
Additional Crowell & Moring attorneys cited in the article included Government Contracts Group chair Angela B. Styles, partners K. Chris Haile and J. Katherine Kunz, and counsel Robert J. Wagman.
Window For FAPIIS Objections Forces Contractors To Hustle
January 20, 2012 — Government Contracts Law360
Washington, D.C.-based Government Contracts Group counsel Peter Eyre speaks to Government Contracts Law360 about a new federal regulation through which government contractors will be allowed to preview and object to entries in the government's central contract performance database, making contractors worry that proprietary information may be revealed.
According to Eyre, "If there were some sort of detailed discussion of a defective pricing finding, you might see a situation where contractor's proprietary information could be contained in that description."
White Collar Group Of The Year: Crowell & Moring
January 19, 2012 — White Collar Law360
Los Angeles-based White Collar & Regulatory Enforcement Group chair Janet Levine speaks to Law360 about the strength of Crowell & Moring’s White Collar & Regulatory Group and its recent successes.
According to Levine, "I think what we do in white collar is so integral to what the firm does generally that building the firm requires an integrated white collar and regulatory group." She added that the firm has strong focuses in the areas of government contracts, antitrust, health care and environmental law. "You can't have those practices without having people in the firm who are experienced and focused on the potential white collar and criminal aspects. I think the firm recognizes how integral we are to what we are all focused on."
Some Expect to See SEC Lean Away from Courts Following Judge's Criticism
January 16, 2012 — Broker Dealer (BD) Week
New York-based Corporate Group partner Eden L. Rohrer speaks to Broker Dealer (BD) Week about the Security Exchange Commission's (SEC) recent announcement that it will no longer use the "neither admit nor deny" phrase in SEC settlements that deal with the same misconduct that plaintiffs were convicted of or to which they admitted to in criminal court.
According to Rohrer, "It's unclear whether the new policy will have an effect on whether the Commission will be more inclined to pursue administrative settlements."
FINRA Proposal Would Give Employees More Latitude in Court Challenges
January 16, 2012 — Broker Dealer (BD) Week
New York-based Labor & Employment Group co-chair Jeffrey W. Pagano speaks to Broker Dealer (BD) Week about a change that the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has proposed to its arbitration system that would assure employees have a right to file more claims in court, as opposed to being forced into arbitration. The change comes shortly after a similar, but broader, ruling was issued by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) regarding private employers that use arbitration programs.
According to Pagano, "The recent NLRB decision gives employees even broader latitude to file collective claims in court than FINRA's proposal does."
Crowell & Moring Snags Cravath Environmental Partner
January 12, 2012 — Law360
New York-based partner Jeffrey A. Smith has joined Crowell & Moring’s Environment & Natural Resources and Corporate groups in New York.
In an interview with The American Lawyer, Smith said that “he faced a ‘difficult choice’ about whether to leave Cravath, but that his ‘entrepreneurial spirit’ couldn't resist what he calls the ‘diversity of opportunity’ presented by Crowell's offer to join its corporate and environmental and natural resources practice groups.”
Placements announcing Smith's arrival have also included the New York Times, Reuters, Law360, ABA Journal, E&E News, Am Law Daily, New York Law Journal, and others.
Government Contract Reforms to Watch in 2012
January 1, 2012 — Government Contracts Law360
Washington, D.C.-based Government Contracts Group counsel Peter Eyre speaks to Government Contracts Law360 about the anticipated reform to conflict of interest laws in 2012 as the Department of Defense implements a personal conflict of interest rule, and the government chooses between two competing frameworks for overhaul of its organizational conflict of interest rules.
According to Eyre, “I don't think there's a consensus in the industry, and that's one of the things making it so difficult for the government to figure out a way forward.”
US, Canada and Mexico Officials Meet in New York
December 21, 2011 — Global Competition Review
New York-based Antitrust Group counsel Olivier N. Antoine talks to Global Competition Review about the recent meeting between antitrust agency heads from the US, Canada and Mexico, which focused on policy issues and cooperation between the four authorities.
According the Antoine, collaboration can sometimes have unwelcome consequences. "Cooperation can be a good thing, but it may lead to a lowest common denominator approach. We often see that multiple reviews lead to a lack of efficiency. We can only hope that these trilateral discussions take into account the timing and commercial realities of cross border transactions."
IP MVP: Crowell & Moring's Michael Songer
December 20, 2011 — IP Law360
Washington, D.C.-based Litigation Group partner and Trade Secrets team member Michael J. Songer was featured as one of IP Law360’s selected five “IP MVP” attorneys for his successful trial strategy in a trade secrets lawsuit that secured a $920 million jury verdict for client DuPont. In addition to his victory for DuPont, Songer also delivered CoStar Realty Information Inc. a win in its suit in Maryland federal court against individuals who used CoStar's subscription databases without authorization.
According to Songer, one of the major keys to his DuPont win was simply “letting the DuPont engineers tell their story…It's all about setting up the story you want to tell.”
New 'Adware' Apps Bug Facebook, Google
December 8, 2011 — The Wall Street Journal
Washington, D.C.-based partner, and member of the firm’s Intellectual Property Group, Terence C. Ross talks to the Wall Street Journal about the generation of controversial advertising software that is damaging the ad businesses of Web giants including Facebook Inc., Google Inc. and Yahoo Inc., inserting a layer of ads on websites or covering up other paying ads. The Internet companies are considering ways to address the situation, claiming that the advertising software is confusing to consumers since it appears that the ads are generated by the website.
According to Ross, “The strength of a legal case would depend on whether consumers are confused about the tradeoffs for downloading the software and also how the technology actually works to alter the websites people see.”
Litigators of the Week: Jan Handzlik of Venable and Janet Levine of Crowell & Moring
December 1, 2011 — AmLaw Litigation Daily
Los Angeles-based chair of Crowell & Moring’s White Collar & Regulatory Enforcement Group, Janet Levine, is featured in the American Lawyer Litigation Daily‘s “Litigators of the Week” for her success in vindicating Lindsey Manufacturing Chief Financial Officer by vacating previous convictions and winning complete dismissal of the indictment based on prosecutorial misconduct. The case had been the first-ever trial against a corporate defendant charged under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).
According to the article, Levine said “that her client and colleagues were thrilled that the judge had been willing to consider the government's actions over the entire course of the prosecution and ultimately ‘vindicate justice.’”
DOJ Went 'Badly Awry' In Lindsey FCPA Case: Judge
December 1, 2011 — White Collar Law360
Los Angeles-based chair of Crowell & Moring’s White Collar & Regulatory Enforcement Group, Janet Levine, is featured in Law360 for her role in successfully defending Lindsey Manufacturing Co. Chief Financial Officer Steve Lee against Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) allegations.
Face Time, Surveys Boost Client Service At 17 Firms: GCs
November 30, 2011 — Legal Industry Law360
Crowell & Moring is listed among 17 firms that received praise from corporate counsel for improving their client focus in the BTI Client Service A-Team 2012 report by the BTI Consulting Group Inc.
According to the article, “While many firms have been increasing their emphasis on client service to remain competitive, a few made strong pushes toward more in-person meetings, satisfaction surveys and follow-up calls this year, earning them the designation of most improved in a new survey of corporate counsel.”
DOD Revolving-Door Rule Could Lead To New FCA Claims
November 18, 2011 — Government Contracts Law360
Washington, D.C.-based Government Contracts Group counsel, Peter Eyre, speaks to Government Contracts Law360 about the finalization of the Department of Defense’s (DOD) rule requiring defense contractors to certify that any former DOD officials they employ are complying with federal revolving-door laws, a rule that could have implications for future False Claims Act (FCA) and bid protest cases. Under the new rule, contractors must represent that their employees are not violating any restrictions on their post-government employment.
According the Eyre, “The new rule doesn't change the restrictions themselves, but does put responsibility more squarely in the lap of defense contractors. Historically, this is an obligation that has focused on the individual [employees]. Now the companies really have a significant role to play because [the new requirement] is a corporate certification.”
How They Won It: Crowell Beats FLSA Suit At Trial
November 17, 2011 — Law360
Washington, D.C.-based Labor & Employment Group partner, Thomas P. Gies, is featured in Law360’s “How They Won It” column for his victory in an employee misclassification suit on behalf of firm client DeWolff Boberg & Associates (DB&A). Crowell & Moring counsel Christopher Calsyn and firm associate Arash Jahanian were also on the winning team that defended DB&A against a collective action in Texas federal court, which returned a favorable jury verdict in less than an hour of deliberation.
According to Gies, “Very, very early on the client determined that this was the place to fight the fight. The settlement demand was unrealistic, and their business model depends on these folks being classified as salaried exempt employees, so they needed to be vindicated. The case was filed in May 2010, and I told everybody on my team within the first month that we were either going to win on summary judgment or go to trial.”
Litigators in the Spotlight
November 2011 — American Lawyer
Washington, D.C.-based Litigation Group partner and Trade Secrets team member Michael J. Songer was photographed with McGuire Woods co-counsel in America Lawyer for their successful trial strategy in a trade secrets lawsuit that secured a $920 million jury verdict for client DuPont. The case against Kolon Industries Inc. was over DuPont’s Kevlar brand body armor product.
According the article, “Songer’s team uncovered a document suggesting that defendant Kolon Industries, Inc., was withholding evidence.”
Private Contractors Help Prosecutors Combat Health Care Fraud
November 14, 2011 — Los Angeles Daily Journal
Los Angeles-based White Collar & Regulatory Enforcement Group partner Christopher K. Lui talks to the Los Angeles Daily Journal about the U.S. government’s use of “data mining” as part of its crackdown on health care fraud.
According to Lui, "The Department of Health and Human Services and also the Department of Justice are focusing on using data and doing data analysis in ways that they haven't previously done."
DOD, Others Finalize Personal Conflict Rule For Contracts
November 2, 2011 — Government Contracts Law360
Washington, D.C.-based Government Contracts Group counsel Peter Eyre speaks to Government Contracts Law360 about a final rule published by the U.S. Department of Defense, the General Services Administration and NASA aimed at reducing the federal government's exposure to personal conflicts of interest that could arise from contractor support of government procurement functions.
According to Eyre, “This is a new requirement — and a substantially burdensome requirement. It's something that contractors will have to pay attention to."
U.S. Enforces Anti-Boycotting Laws
November 2011 — WorldECR
Washington, D.C.-based International Trade Group associate, David “DJ” Wolff, speaks to World Export Controls Review (WorldECR)about the recent slew of anti-boycott settlements announced by the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) for alleged anti-boycotting law violations. U.S. anti-boycott laws prohibit U.S. persons from acting with intent to comply with or support unsanctioned foreign boycotts. In the vast majority of cases, this means the boycott against Israel by the Arab League or other countries.
According to Wolff, “While larger companies fielding sophisticated compliance teams are on top of U.S. laws, dangers lurk for those smaller companies who may not know anything about the Arab League, the boycott, or the boycotting laws and run the risk of violating the sanctions without having any intention to ostracize Israel.”
How They Won It: McGuireWoods, Crowell Score For DuPont
October 18, 2011 — Intellectual Property Law360
Washington, D.C.-based Litigation Group partner and Trade Secrets team member Michael J. Songer speaks to Intellectual Property Law360 about the successful trial strategy that secured a $920 million jury verdict for Crowell & Moring client DuPont in a heated trade secret case with rival Kolon Industries Inc. over DuPont’s Kevlar brand body armor product. The joint efforts between McGuireWoods and Crowell & Moring resulted in one of the largest jury verdicts ever reached in the Eastern District of Virginia.
According to Songer, “We chose the unjust enrichment theory, that Kolon had avoided the expense of doing their own research and development. Then we had to demonstrate the amount of research that had gone into DuPont's technology over the years.”
GAO Advises Agencies On Upping Contractor Suspensions
October 7, 2011 — Government Contracts Law360
Washington, D.C.-based Government Contracts Group counsel Peter J. Eyre speaks to Government Contracts Law360 about the U.S. Government Accountability Office’s recent reports on wasteful contract spending and its research into the suspension and debarment processes at 10 agencies to learn why some agencies are more compliant and vigilant than others.
According to Eyre, “There is a clear suggestion that this is a tool that the government should use more often. And, because of the draconian nature of suspension and debarment, this is something contractors should be watching closely."
Crowell & Moring Scores for Coal Industry in Suit Against EPA over Mountaintop Removal Mining
October 7, 2011 — AmLaw Litigation Daily; September 16, 2011 — Environment & Energy News
Crowell & Moring's representation of the National Mining Association was featured in Environment & Energy News and AmLaw Litigation Daily when the federal district court in Washington, D.C. ruled on behalf of the mining industry in a decision that said the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency unlawfully blocked more than 70 mountaintop removal projects.
According to the AmLaw Litigation Daily, "Judge Reggie Walton granted partial summary judgment to the National Mining Association, which claimed that the EPA overstepped its authority under the Clean Water Act to block the dumping of debris from mountaintop removal projects into local waterways."
Litigation Funding Market Heats Up
October 3, 2011 — The Wall Street Journal Law Blog
Crowell & Moring is cited in an online story discussing the use of “alternative litigation funding,” also known as “third-party litigation funding.”
According to The Wall Street Journal Law Blog, “Crowell & Moring says it has used third-party funding in three cases, and has four more in the pipeline, including antitrust claims, international arbitration and international litigation.”
Turning the Tables: Corporate Legal Departments Pursue Profits Through Plaintiff Recovery Lawsuits
October 2011 — Inside Counsel
Washington, D.C.-based Antitrust and Complex Litigation group partner Jerome A. Murphy, and Orange County-based office head and Plaintiff Recovery Group partner, Daniel A. Sasse, talk to InsideCounsel about the advantages of plaintiff recovery lawsuits during a sluggish economy.
According to Sasse, "In a lot of these cases, there are tens of millions of dollars—sometimes hundreds of millions of dollars—at stake in the recovery action."
PILA Talks Pro Bono to Susie Hoffman, Partner at International Law Firm Crowell & Moring
September 21, 2011 — PILA Bulletin Online
Washington, D.C.-based Public Service partner Susan M. Hoffman was featured in the Public Interest Law Alliance Bulletin Online about the benefits of pro bono service, both in the United States and internationally.
According to Hoffman, “Lawyers benefit from involvement in pro bono work in many ways, which is one reason that firms with structured pro bono programmes attract high-quality recruits. Pro bono work often provides professional development opportunities for attorneys, particularly those attorneys who are in the early years of their practice.”
Minard Run Oil Co. and PIOGA v. U.S. Forest Service
September 2011 — Erie Times-News, Kane Republican, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Platts, United Press International and the Pittsburgh Post Gazette
On September 20, 2011, the Third Circuit affirmed a preliminary injunction against U.S. Forest Service interference with private mineral rights on split-estate lands in the 500,000-acre Allegheny National Forest ("ANF"). The opinion has significance for development of oil and gas (including Marcellus shale gas) in split-estate situations created under the federal Weeks Act and, more generally, for businesses seeking to preliminarily enjoin overreaching by federal agencies. Crowell & Moring Washington, D.C.-based Environment & Natural Resources Group partners R. Timothy McCrum and J. Michael Klise, and associate Daniel W. Wolff, represented the plaintiffs, including the Pennsylvania Independent Oil and Gas Association.
The case is Minard Run Oil Co. and PIOGA v. U.S. Forest Service.
Placements on this case win included the following media outlets:
“Ruling on Drilling in the Allegheny National Forest Upheld,” Erie Times-News (September 21, 2011).
“Ruling in Favor of Forest Drilling Upheld,” Kane Republican (September 21, 2011).
“Forest Drilling Procedures Upheld,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (September 21, 2011).
“U.S. Appeals Court Clears Way for Drilling in Pennsylvania National Forest,” Platts (September 21, 2011).
“OK to Drill in Pa. Forest, Court Rules,” United Press International (September 22, 2011).
“3rd Circuit Approves Allegheny Forest Drilling,” The Pittsburgh Post Gazette (September 26, 2011).
Three Lessons From DuPont Trade Secret Case: Digital mobility and globalization mean manufacturers need to be more vigilant regarding intellectual property
September 20, 2011 — Industry Week
On the heels of a trade secrets theft win for client DuPont Co. against Kolon Industries Inc., Crowell & Moring’s Trade Secrets team talks about the important steps manufacturers should take to reduce their vulnerability to information security leaks.
According to partner Michael J. Songer, manufacturers should take the following measures to protect their intellectual property: secure their computers but don't hinder employee productivity; protect sensitive information with technology that limits employee access to particular files; and make their expectations clear regarding private information upon an employee's exit.
DuPont Win Shows Importance of Trade Secrets Strategy
September 20, 2011 — Managing Intellectual Property
Washington, D.C.-based Litigation Group partner and Trade Secrets team member Michael J. Songer speaks with Managing Intellectual Property about the importance of trade secrets protection in this new age of an information society. Songer highlights how companies must be committed to protecting their R&D by seeing litigation through and also take the necessary steps with departing employees.
According to Songer, “recent high-profile trade secrets cases in the US have created more awareness among the general public about the importance of trade secrets to companies.”
Litigators of the Week: Brian Riopelle of McGuireWoods and Michael Songer of Crowell & Moring
September 15, 2011 — The AmLaw Litigation Daily
Washington, D.C.-based Litigation Group partner and Trade Secrets team member Michael J. Songer, and McGuireWoods co-counsel, are featured in The AmLaw Litigation Daily’s, "Litigators of the Week." On September 14, 2011, Songer and co-counsel obtained a successful $919.9 million verdict for DuPont in a trade secrets theft case involving the company’s Kevlar product. The jury awarded DuPont $919.9 million in this case.
Jury Awards DuPont $920M In Kevlar Trade Secrets Suit
September 14, 2011 — IP Law360
Crowell & Moring’s Trade Secrets Group is highlighted in IP Law360 as co-counsel for DuPont in their $919 million win against Kolon Industries.
According to DuPont Senior Vice President and general counsel Thomas L. Sager, “The size of this award is one of the largest in defense of business processes and technologies.”
Government Contractors Should Prepare For More Terminations, Attorney Tells BNA
September 9, 2011 — BNA Federal Contracts Report
Washington, D.C.-based chair of Crowell & Moring’s Government Contracts Group Angela B. Styles is highlighted in a BNA Federal Contracts Report feature Q&A on the uptick in contract awards and protests between now and the end of FY 2011. In the Q&A, Styles discussed her predictions that contract terminations will become more common in the coming era of supercommittees and sequestration, and her thoughts on how to best prepare.
According to Styles, “Terminations will have to rise. If you're talking about $100 billion in cuts next year at DOD, you have to terminate contracts and programs. There's no other way to find the money… We're trying to make sure they [clients] know how the process will work. There were few who knew much about sequestration when it happened before. We're trying to make sure we can inform them about what's going on so they know how to handle terminations—how the process works and how they can recover money the government still owes them.”
Common Problem…But Three-Way Solution May Draw Legal Attention
August 29, 2011 — Modern Healthcare
Washington, D.C-based Antitrust Group partner, and co-chair of the firm’s Health Care Group, Arthur N. Lerner talks about the antitrust implications surround the decision made by two Connecticut hospitals to form a three-sided joint venture with an investor-owned operator.
According to Lerner, “antitrust enforcers do take into account whether a deal brings benefits to consumers that might outweigh the lessening of competition. They are skeptical if the tie-up does little more than give the two hospitals more bargaining power against commercial health plans, because then the benefits accrue to the hospitals, rather than consumers.
Business Commend Treasury For Anticipated “Safe Harbor” of Employer Coverage Penalties
August 16, 2011 — Inside Health Policy.com
Washington, D.C. – based Employee Benefits Group partner Seth T. Perretta talks to Inside Health Policy about the Department of Treasury’s proposed employer “affordability safe harbor” that will shield them from the health reform law's penalties in certain cases if the coverage they provide is unaffordable.
According to Perretta, “for the average employee, their modified adjusted gross income is going to look similar to their W-2 wages or be higher because of other sources of income, such as investment income or other earned income… employers need to have sufficient information to determine whether they want to provide "affordable" coverage or pay a penalty.”
Sizing Up Health Care
August 12, 2011 — The Recorder
San Francisco, based Health Care Group partner William A. Helvestine is featured for his comments on the trend of health care attorneys and their practices gravitating towards large multi-practice firms. As the deals and litigation matters get larger and more complex, attorneys can best serve their clients at firms with deep resources in complex litigation, government investigations, and federal regulatory matters.
Nation's Infrastructure Still Vulnerable to Cyber Attack
August 4, 2011 — ABC News/Politics
Government Contracts Group partner and head of the firm’s Homeland Security practice, David Z. Bodenheimer, is featured for his comments on cyber security and the future of America’s critical infrastructure.
Bodenheimer believes that now is the time for action on cyber security legislation. "We have known about our vulnerabilities in our critical infrastructure for well over a decade, and while there has been some progress we are still remarkably exposed," he said.
Due to the large number of agencies in charge of infrastructure defense, there is a concern by some experts that departments will be confused on certain issues. According to Bodenheimer, “No doubt the responsibilities are fragmented… Proposed legislative solutions could empower the president to take more direct control in a crisis. But some critics have already objected to further consolidation and view cyber security reform as a massive overreach by the federal government.”
Convicted Killer Crosley Green in Search of Redemption: Firm Asks for Retrial in Brevard Man's 1989 Case
July 31, 2011 — Florida Today
Washington, D.C. – based Litigation Group partner Keith J. Harrison talks with Florida Today about his client, Crosley Green, an indigent, criminal defendant on death row in Florida whom the firm represents and has asked for a retrial on behalf of before a Florida state court. Since the firm’s work with Green started, he has been transferred off of Death Row and Crowell & Moring is continuing its efforts to secure his ultimate release through federal habeas corpus, state pardon, or parole.
According to Harrison, "I started looking at this case, and looked at it from a prosecutor's perspective…I kept looking for more evidence and there was nothing there."
U.S. Cuts About 100 Million Checks Per Month
July 29, 2011 — Reuters
Chair of Crowell & Moring’s Government Contracts Group, Angela B. Styles, is featured for her thoughts on government contractors facing a possible interruption in payment if the debt ceiling is not increased.
According to Styles, "When you sign up for a government contract, you have a duty to perform. And that's without regard to if the government is paying you."
Government Doubles Down on Healthcare Fraud
July 20, 2011 — Los Angeles Daily Journal
Los Angeles – based partner Christopher K. Lui is featured in the Los Angeles Daily Journal for his thoughts on the government’s crackdown on healthcare fraud, and the rise in Department of Justice and Department of Health and Human Services spending. This rise in spending reflects more aggressive investigations, larger and more complex cases, bigger civil and criminal fines, and the looming threat that more individual executives will be prosecuted.
According to Lui,"Focusing on individual executives is having the effect the government desired; it's making people look at their compliance programs and keep them up to date…Corporate America is responding to [the threat] in kind."
High Court Term Yields Mixed Rulings For Contractors
July 8, 2011 — Government Contracts Law360
Government Contracts Group partner John E. McCarthy, Jr. is featured for his comments on the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent rulings in Schindler Elevator Corp. v. United States ex rel. Kirk, The Board of Trustees of Leland Stanford Junior University v. Roche Molecular Systems Inc., and General Dynamics Corp. v. United States. These cases tackled a range of issues including, False Claims Act standing, contractor legal defenses that implicate state secrets privilege, and the Bayh-Dole Act as it relates to the ownership of inventions funded by federal money.
Addressing the Schindler case, McCarthy said, ‘The high court's decision barring an agency's response to a FOIA request from disclosure under the FCA clarified an issue that had divided the circuit courts…The Schindler case is a win for contractors…Presumably, for whistleblower suits you want people who are involved and have direct knowledge rather than people who are fishing around with FOIA requests.".”
In the Stanford case, McCarthy believes the outcome is a wakeup call for both universities and government contractors generally. He is “more inclined to agree with the dissent, noting the ruling meant that contractors should go over all their patent assignment agreements to make sure they have the strongest possible language.”
Lastly, in the General Dynamics case, McCarthy believes the decision will “likely apply only rarely to future cases as the high court focused on the specific issues in the case rather than dealing broadly with state secrets.”
Fashion Co. Freed from Prom Dress Copyright Suit
July 8, 2011 — IP Law 360
Crowell & Moring client Fiesta Fashions is featured for securing a dismissal in a copyright infringement lawsuit brought by Jovani Fashion Ltd. in New York federal court. Jovani Fashion Ltd. had brought the lawsuit against a slew of prom dress makers and retailers, but U.S. District Judge John G. Koeltl found that the dress the company was accused of replicating was not copyrightable. Crowell & Moring Intellectual Property Group attorneys Terence P. Ross and Jonathan J. Anastasia were counsel to Fiesta Fashions in the case.
Ross told IP Law 360, "This was an important case in the prom dress industry for one of the few remaining manufacturers that still makes its apparel in the USA. Judge Koeltl’s decision keeps the prom dress market open to free and fair competition."
Vendors Spend 11 Million Hours a Year to Satisfy Anti-Bias Rules
July 5, 2011 — Bloomberg Government
Labor & Employment Group counsel Rebecca L. Springer is featured for her comments in a piece about how U.S. federal contractors will face more scrutiny under the Labor Department’s new auditing process and comprehensive reviews. This comes as a result of the Obama Administration increasing the funding for the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs.
According to Springer, "The length of audits varies from several months to as long as 10 years. The audit length will probably grow under the Obama push as the office moves toward more onsite visits."
Champions & Visionaries
June 27, 2011 — National Law Journal/Legal Times
Crowell & Moring LLP Government Contracts Group partner George D. Ruttinger is featured among 10 attorney honorees as a “Champion” by the National Law Journal/Legal Times for his work on numerous pro bono fair housing and civil rights matters. According to the publication, “Champion” attorneys uphold the legal industry’s professional mission of public duty. They take on community causes, fight to protect civil liberties and work for ethics in government.
More Flexible OCI Rule May Benefit Contractors
June 14, 2011 — Government Contracts Law360
Government Contracts Group counsel Peter J. Eyre is featured in Government Contracts Law360 for his thoughts on the proposed reform of the organizational conflicts of interest (OCI) rule. Regulators are currently weighing a more flexible approach that prioritizes competitive fairness and protection of nonpublic information over safeguarding the government's interests.
According to Eyre, "It's an issue that is of terrific importance. It really goes to the fundamental framework of government procurements, which is competition."
Q&A With Crowell & Moring's Jack Thomas
June 7, 2011 — New York Law360, Insurance Law360, Class Action Law360, Financial Services Law360, and Corporate Finance Law360
New York-based Litigation Group partner Jack Thomas talks about his complex litigation practice and experience in New York Law360, Insurance Law360, Class Action Law360, Financial Services Law360, and Corporate Finance Law360, as part of the Law360 "Top Litigators Q&A Series." Questions ranged from discussing the most challenging lawsuit a particular attorney has worked on to describing their trial preparation routine.
Forging a New Partnership: How Law Firms Can Escape Commoditization
June 6, 2011 — The National Law Journal
In this two-part article, Crowell & Moring chairman Kent A. Gardiner addresses why law firms must reinvent relationships with clients in order to redefine the value they provide and avert the downward spiral of commoditization of their services. Gardiner writes, “We simply need to see this economic crisis as the opportunity it is, for the best law firms to rethink their business models, their talent-development models and their fundamental role as critical strategic advisers to, and advocates for, businesses they understand intimately.”
Part One: “Firms Need to Reinvent Relationships with Clients”
Part Two: “Reinvented Law Firms Emphasize Collective Knowledge”
Ch. 7 Rulings Won’t Fend Off Disparate Impact Claims
June 3, 2011 — Employment Law360
New York office Labor & Employment Group partner James E. Kellett is featured in Employment Law360 for his comments on three circuit courts chapter 7 rulings in the past six months that say the Bankruptcy Code does not bar private employers from refusing to hire a job candidate because they've filed for bankruptcy.
Of the three circuit court’s rulings, Kellett said, "They are clear and unambiguous in their findings, and their findings really stand up when viewed in terms of statutory construction principles… And while there's a strong basis for the Third, Fifth and Eleventh Circuit's decisions, prudent employers should be mindful of any potential disparate impact of refusing to hire people who have declared bankruptcy."
Kellet explains that risks could include triggering an EEOC investigation or setting the stage for a private class action.
Q&A With Crowell & Moring’s Bill McSherry
June 1, 2011 — New York Law360, Financial Services Law360, Intellectual Property Law360, Product Liability Law360, Securities Law360, and Corporate Finance Law360
New York-based Litigation Group partner William J. McSherry, Jr. is featured in New York Law360, Financial Services Law360, Intellectual Property Law360, Product Liability Law360, Securities Law360, and Corporate Finance Law360,as part of the Law360 "Top Litigators Q&A Series." Questions ranged from discussing the most challenging lawsuit a particular attorney has worked on to describing their trial preparation routine.
Q&A With Crowell & Moring's Doug Sullivan
June 1, 2011 — California Law360 and Corporate Finance Law360
San Francisco-based Litigation Group partner Douglas W. Sullivan is featured in California Law360 and Corporate Finance Law360 as part of the Law360 “Top Litigators Q&A Series.” Questions ranged from discussing the most challenging lawsuit a particular attorney has worked on to describing their trial preparation routine.
Nonprofit Health Care Market Concentration and the Public Interest
Summer 2011 — Inquiry Journal
Washington, D.C.-based partner and co-chair of the firm’s Health Care Group, Arthur N. Lerner, served as a panelist in the Inquiry Journal’s “Dialogue Series” that took place on April 18, 2011 about the current state of the health care market. Lerner was joined by a group of leading health care industry professionals to talk about issues surrounding the health care reform debate.
Q&A With Crowell & Moring's Jennifer S. Romano
May 26, 2011 — California Law360, Competition Law360, and Class Action Law360
Los Angeles-based Litigation Group partner Jennifer S. Romano is featured in California Law360, Competition Law360, and Class Action Law360, as part of the Law360 "Top Litigators Q&A Series." Questions ranged from discussing the most challenging lawsuit a particular attorney has worked on to describing their trial preparation routine.
Farmers Case Yields Big Fees; Class Action Could Generate $92 Million Split by Scores of Attorneys
May 23, 2011 — The National Law Journal
Litigation Group partner Andrew H. Marks is featured in The National Law Journal as co-lead class counsel in the Black Farmers discrimination litigation regarding those black farmers who missed out on a government loan discrimination settlement more than a decade ago. Among other rulings, in May 2011, U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman preliminarily approved the $1.25 billion black farmers' settlement and certified the class.
FAPIIS Rules Open New Front In Procurement Battles
May 18, 2011 — Government Contracts Law360
Government Contracts Group chair Angela B. Styles talks with Government Contracts Law360 about the new public federal database on government contractors, Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS), and what it means for contractors seeking government work. FAPIIS, which became public April 15, provides government contracting officers a single-source database for assessing contractors' level of integrity, past performance and responsibility. Many believe the database is a new potential battleground for procurement competition.
According to Styles, "In addition to a greater potential for bid protests, omissions in the self-reported data could expose a company to fraud suits under the False Claims Act, because new contracts will require certification that the company is in compliance with the FAPIIS reporting requirements."
Crowell & Moring Adds 2 Partners As M&A Work Grows
May 18, 2011 — Corporate Finance, California, and New York Law360
Crowell & Moring’s expansion on both coasts with the addition of two new partners in the firm’s Corporate Group was covered by Corporate Finance Law360. Paul J. Pollock joins the firm’s New York office, and Jeffrey C. Selman joins in San Francisco.
According to Crowell & Moring Corporate Group chair James R. Stuart, "Our growth is a reflection that the deal market is heating up, and Paul and Jeff will play an important role in helping our clients take advantage of new opportunities."
"Top 100 Women Litigators" Profile: Janet Levine
May 11, 2011 — Los Angeles Daily Journal
Los Angeles-based partner and chair of the firm's White Collar & Regulatory Enforcement Group Janet Levine has been named to the 2011 Daily Journal list of "Top Women Litigators."
As chair-elect of the American Bar Association’s criminal justice section, Levine's work includes forming a task force that will subsequently develop national standards for electronically stored information in criminal cases.
According to Levine, "Unlike the civil arena, there are no criminal ESI standards… But the volume of information is, like in civil cases, huge. The costs and complexities of subpoena compliance are overwhelming…Document preservation is crucial, with the concern, unique in criminal cases, that mishandling forensic collection and preservation of ESI could be constructed by law enforcement as an obstruction of justice."
Company Lawyers Sniff Out Revenue
May 11, 2011 — The Wall Street Journal
Crowell & Moring LLP is highlighted for its corporate plaintiff's recovery practice in this story about how in-house counsel are turning their legal departments into profit centers. Major companies, such as DuPont Co., Ford Motor Co., Tyco International Ltd., and Michelin SCA, among others, say their lawyers are devoting more time and effort to bringing in extra cash by thinking like plaintiffs.
Crowell & Moring chairman Kent A. Gardiner told The Wall Street Journal that the firm’s docket of such cases has doubled over the past five years. The firm’s recovery efforts for clients include a full suite of practice areas, ranging from tax and customs to intellectual property and antitrust.
Obama, DOD See Conflicts of Interest Differently
April 26, 2011 — Federal Computer Week and Washington Technology
Government Contracts Group counsel Peter J. Eyre is featured for his thoughts on the Obama administration's proposal on organizational conflicts of interest (OCIs) and how it differs from the Department of Defense's 2010 draft. According to the article, the Administration's potential rule on OCIs "allows the government to accept more risk and raises questions about conflicts among business affiliates… The White House kept the general framework of the DOD's proposed OCI rule with its preference for mitigation, but gives contacting officers more flexibility when faced with potential harm to the government and other vendors, according to the new proposal published April 26."
"Although the proposal's purpose is to avoid prejudicing companies from certain contracts, officials recognize that corporate structural barriers-such as independent directors or separate legal offices, for instance-might be enough to mitigate a conflict," said Eyre.
Budget Woes Delay Brazil's Antitrust Reform
April 11, 2011 — Competition and Corporate Finance Law360
New York-based Antitrust Group counsel Olivier N. Antoine talks about how new Brazilian competition legislation could impact antitrust enforcement in Latin America. Many had expected the legislation, which would mark the biggest change to the nation's current antitrust regime since it was established in 1994, to be passed by July. Now, due to budget worries, the legislation is likely on hold until as late as 2012.
According to Antoine, "Three years ago, antitrust enforcement in Latin America wasn't on the map. But those days are over." On the new competition law, "The way it was originally approved, it was all towards enforcement. An overlooked element of the new law indicates that regulators will, nevertheless, remain tough."
Rising Star: Crowell & Moring's Jennifer Devery
March 24, 2011 — Insurance Law360
Partner Jennifer R. Devery has been named one of Insurance Law360's five attorneys under 40 to watch. Devery's accomplishments include establishing Crowell & Moring's reinsurance practice and expanding it by acquiring new business and recruiting lateral attorneys. The scope of Devery's work at Crowell & Moring is focused on arbitration before reinsurance panels and insurance-related litigation.
Revising EU Trade Rules to Build a More United Europe
March 20-26, 2011 — New Europe
Laurent Ruessmann, Brussels-based partner and head the firm's European Trade practice, writes about building the unity of Europe through international trade.
According to Ruessmann, “the challenges for Europe brought on by the globalization of supply chains, the constant development of new products and technologies, and the changing policies of individual countries, are the same challenges that will provide important opportunities for building the unity of Europe in the domain of international trade.”
Attorneys Cite More OFCCP Enforcement, Question Lack of Compliance Guidance
March 18, 2011 — BNA's Federal Contracts Report
Labor & Employment Group co-chair and partner Kris D. Meade and counsel Rebecca L. Springer are featured for their thoughts on the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) increased scrutiny of contractors and the lack of compliance guidance.
Springer said the change in presidential administrations is partially responsible for the agency's increased enforcement activities. However, the OFCCP also has more resources than it did previously, including a bigger budget and significantly more auditors.
With respect to compensation guidance for contractors, Meade said, "even when the existing compensation guidance came out in 2006, the agency declined to describe at any length what it actually does with compensation data..the rescission of this guidance will mean more on-sight audits and more discrepancy in how different district or regional offices approach audit issues."
Interim Rule Allows Diclosure of Proprietary Data to Government Support Contractors
March 9, 2011 — BNA's Federal Contracts Report
Washington, D.C. – based Government Contracts Group partner John McCarthy talks about the interim rule that gives certain government contractors access to proprietary technical data that typically belongs to prime contractors and other third parties. The rule amends the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) to implement section 821 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010.
According to McCarthy, “It’s a great idea to have a single rule that applies uniform standards across DOD to this practice [of sharing propriety data], which has to happen.” According to the article, “McCarthy endorsed the requirement for individual support contractors to enter into bilateral agreements with owners of proprietary data.”
Intentional Infliction of Emotinal Distress Claims
March 2011 — DRI's "For the Defense"
Torts Group partners Clifford J. Zatz and Kevin C. Mayer write about the difficulties with defending “tort of outrageous conduct” cases (also known as intentional infliction of emotional distress) in the Defense Research Institute’s (DRI) For The Defense publication.
According to Zatz and Mayer, “defending these cases is treacherous. A finding of liability may keep your client from denying negligence in future personal injury cases, or it could guarantee an award of punitive damages.”
Government Contracts Group of the Year: Crowell
January 31, 2011 — Government Contracts Law 360
Government Contracts Law360 has named Crowell & Moring LLP as having one of their 2010 government contracts "Groups of the Year." Angela B. Styles, chair of the firm's Government Contracts Group, along with partners' Thomas P. Humphrey, and Daniel R. Forman are featured in the article, which looks at the group's 2010 case portolio and notable accomplishments.
"Fed Cracking Down on Discrimination by Federal Contractors"
January 25, 2011 — Compliance Week
Washington, D.C. – based Labor & Employment Group counsel Rebecca L. Springer is featured for her comments on the federal government changing case management procedures, signaling more aggressive and broader enforcement of anti-discrimination laws. In December 2010, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs announced that it was discontinuing its Active Case Management procedures that have been in practice since 2003, impacting government contractors accused of discriminatory practices.
According to Springer, “We’re seeing renewed vigor from the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs right now and a more aggressive agency than it has been in the past. The OFCCP wants the flexibility to go after alleged discrimination and not be tied down to a particular process.”
Contractor Accountability – Interim Rule Implements Requirement That Certain FAPIIS Information Be Public
January 24, 2011 — BNA Federal Contracts Report
Government Contracts Group counsel Peter J. Eyre is featured in BNA’s Federal Contracts Report for his comments on the interim rule that will make most information posted on the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS), with the exception of contractors’ past performance reviews, available to the public as of April 15, 2011. The rule is intended to notify contractors that, consistent with a provision in the fiscal year 2010 supplemental appropriations law, most information posted on FAIPIIS will be publicly available as of April 15.
According to Eyre, “It is too soon to determine exactly how publicizing FAPIIS data will affect contractors.” He continues by calling for a “ ‘balancing act’ between providing taxpayers with relevant information about contractors and ‘scaring companies out of the government marketplace’ by disclosing too much about civil and criminal proceedings, terminations for default, suspensions, debarments, and other sensitive issues."
False Claims Act – Special Report "Federal Procurement Trends for 2011": Practitioners Say Expansion of FCA Liability, Congressional Oversight Means 'Open Hunting Season' on Contractors
January 24, 2011 — BNA Federal Contracts Report
Government Contracts Group partner Robert T. Rhoad and White Collar & Regulatory Enforcement Group partner Kelly T. Currie are featured in BNA's "Federal Procurement Trends for 2011" special report in a piece about the controversy surrounding the governments effort to curtail waste, fraud, and abuse. For example, according to the article, "the False Claims Act is a primary tool for punishing those said to be guilty of overbilling or otherwise defrauding the federal government. But contracting practitioners (say) that recent efforts to increase the government's ability to recover under the FCA place unnecessary and detrimental risks on contractors. They predict that these risks will increase in the coming year as the government steps up its efforts to rein in fraud and collect much-needed funds for cash-strapped agencies.
According to Rhoad, "The government has used the FCA successfully since 1986 to recover money from contractors accused of fraud…With the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act of 2009 (FERA) amendments to the FCA, that trend will escalate."
According to Currie, "Congress is sending all kinds of signals that it’s going to apply close scrutiny because government spending is a big focus…I think there’s an overall tone in Washington that's calling for more oversight, so companies have to be prepared to defend themselves on multiple fronts."
GAO Task Order Protests Face Uncertain Future
January 21, 2011 — Government Contracts Law360
Government Contracts Group counsel Peter J. Eyre is featured for his comments on the extension granted by Congress that allows the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to have continued jurisdiction over task and delivery order protests. A provision in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011 would extend the GAO's authority to hear protests arising from task and delivery orders under indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contracts, slated to expire May 27, 2011.
According to Eyre, "I don't see an articulated rationale in the statute or legislative history for treating defense and civilian task order protests differently…The rationale behind the supplemental GAO jurisdiction was to increase competition and accountability…There are some very large orders being placed under these contracts, so it's essentially a way to give GAO a window into some of these large procurements."
From Hamburgers to Diamonds: Barbara Champoux Fills the City
January 12, 2011 — Real Estate Weekly
As past chair and president of New York Commercial Real Estate Women, Inc. ( NYCREW), New York-based Financial Services Group partner Barbara E. Champoux was recently featured in Real Estate Weekly in a piece about the long-term recovery of the real estate market in New York. In the article Champoux discusses her practice as well as some of the latest trends in the retail industry, which include innovations in social media marketing, pop-up stores, and non-traditional retail leases.
Two Theories on the Up or Down of Bid Protests
January 12, 2011 — Acquisitive Mind Blog, Federal Computer Week
Government Contracts Group partner Daniel R. Forman projects that the number of bid protest filings will increase in 2011. According to an article in Federal Computer Week, Forman offered two theories to support his claims; first, "as agencies make their cuts, they will spend less money and, as a result, award fewer contracts. With fewer contracts, there are fewer opportunities to file a bid protest. Ultimately, the number of bid protests will fall, if only slightly;" and second, "the budget cuts will increase the number of bid protests because each contract award will be more valuable to contractors, who are feeling the squeeze of their customers' tight budgets. A larger number of the companies that lose a competition will find protests worth the time and money. There's a chance an award would be overturned, which would give them another shot at winning the contract." Forman shared his thoughts during a webinar held by Crowell & Moring LLP on January 12, 2011 titled, "What Will the New Year Bring? Top Headlines, Headaches, and Legal Developments for Government Contractors to Watch in 2011."
Wanted in 2011: M&A, White Collar, Trade Secrets Attys
January 1, 2011 — Legal Industry Law360
Intellectual Property Group partner and co-head of the firm's TLD (Top-Level Domain) and Domain Name practice, John I. Stewart, is featured for his thoughts in a story about 2011 trends in trademark and domain name protection litigation. According to the article, "The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN, will finalize a program in 2011 that will allow companies to register new brand-specific, top-level domains, otherwise known as the part of the URL that comes after the dot, commonly .com or .net." Due to potential trademark disputes as a result of this new registry program, Stewart comments that this is, "a brand-new regime, one that affects a lot of brand owners."
Antitrust Regulators to Step Up in 2011
January 1, 2011 — Competition Law360
Antitrust Group partner Christopher E. Ondeck is featured for his comments on what we can expect to see in the competition arena from antitrust regulators in 2011. According to Ondeck, he believes that the Federal Trade Commission and the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice are, "going to take an even more active approach looking for Section 2 cases, particularly in the technology space."
MCCA's 2010 Best of the Best
December 1, 2010 — November/December, 2010 - Minority Corporate Counsel Association, Diversity and the Bar Magazine
The firm is featured by the Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA) at their 2011 "MCCA Diversity Honors Gala" for receiving the 2010 "Thomas L.Sager Award" for the Mid-Atlantic region. The prestigious diversity award is bestowed to one firm in each of MCCA's five regions that has demonstrated sustained commitment to improving the hiring, retention and promotion of minority attorneys and has created a more inclusive legal profession and working environment. The firm is represented in the piece by diversity counsel Monica G. Parham who talks about the firm's culture and how diversity is broadly defined within the firm.
Q&A with White Collar & Regulatory Enforcement Group Chair Janet Levine
October 18, 2010 — White Collar Law360
Crowell & Moring LLP Los Angeles office partner and chair of the White Collar & Regulatory Enforcement Group, Janet Levine, discusses her practice and insights into white collar legal trends. She also dishes out advice for new lawyers, saying, "First and foremost is always doing excellent work. Each and every engagement is important, and there is no substitute for excellent work. Second, become knowledgeable in the area. Read the important new decisions and follow the important investigations and prosecutions — even if you don't have a case that is directly related at the time."
Q&A with Litigation Group Chair Kathleen Sooy
October 7, 2010 — Class Action Law360
Crowell & Moring Litigation Group chair Kathleen Taylor Sooy discusses the top concerns facing her clients. She also shares some of proudest accomplishments, saying, "The greatest satisfaction in my legal career comes from watching the successes of other attorneys whom I've mentored. In particular, I love watching the development of our women attorneys into confident trial lawyers."
Q&A with Government Contracts Group Chair George Ruttinger
September 30, 2010 — Government Contracts Law360
Crowell & Moring LLP Government Contracts Group chair George D. Ruttinger shares about his practice and his most challenging case. He also addresses new changes in Washington, saying, “Recent legislative initiatives have been hostile to government contractors, including amendments to the False Claims Act that facilitate parasitic suits by whistleblowers based upon little more than conjecture regarding alleged fraud. If the pendulum does not swing in the direction of contractors, companies that are contemplating entering the government contracts market will be deterred from doing so, to the detriment of the U.S. government and the taxpayer.”
GAO bows to CIA decision to waive conflicts of interest: Decision indicates GAO will defer to agencies on waivers
September 3, 2010 — Federal Computer Week
Government Contracts Group counsel Peter J. Eyre talked with Federal Computer Week about the Government Accountability Office's ruling to defend the Central Intelligence Agency’s decision to waive a contractor's organizational conflict of interest (OCI).
According to Eyre, "GAO's ruling is evidence that it won't second-guess agency officials' decisions to waive OCIs."
The Filing Cabinet: Pay Disclosure and More for Government Contractors
August 5, 2010 — Compliance Week
Crowell & Moring LLP Government Contracts Group partner Catherine J. Kunz is featured for her comments on the interim rule requiring government contractors to disclose the compensation of their top five executives and the pay of executives at their first-tier subcontractors, as well as certain other details about those subcontracts. The rule implements part of the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006.
Attys Watch And Wait As Q2 Litigation Holds Steady
July 12, 2010 — Law360
Crowell & Moring LLP Environment & Natural Resources Group co-chair Chet M. Thompson is featured for his comments on the second quarter of 2010 increase in environmental litigation cases. According to Thompson, he attributed the spike in environmental filings to litigation over the April 20 spill, as well as challenges to the new rulemaking coming from the Obama administration.