All posts by DuaneMorris3

Duane Morris’ Michael J. Schrier to Speak at ABA Section of Public Contract Law Annual Meeting

Duane Morris special counsel Michael J. Schrier of the firm’s Washington, D.C. office will present on the “Prevailing Wage Requirements in Government Construction Contracts” during the American Bar Association (ABA) Section of Public Contract Law Annual Meeting on Friday, August 5, 2016, in San Francisco, California. Mr. Schrier’s presentation will take place from 7:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

For more information on this program, please see the event listing on DuaneMorris.com.

McDonnell Decision and the FCPA

On June 27, 2016, in the last decision of the 2015–2016 term, the U.S. Supreme Court, in McDonnell v. United States, No. 15-474, narrowed the type and character of “official acts” that could underpin corruption charges against a public official. Federal prosecutors contended that former Governor of Virginia Robert McDonnell was guilty of a variety of corruption charges for accepting $175,000 worth of loans, gifts and other benefits in exchange for what the government termed “official acts.” After being found guilty by a jury, McDonnell’s conviction was upheld on appeal, but ultimately reversed by the Supreme Court, which held that the jury instructions too broadly defined “official acts” as “acts that a public official customarily performs.” Instead, the Court concluded that it is impermissible to accept payment only for an “official act,” which it defined as a “decision or action” on a pending “question, matter, cause, suit, proceeding, or controversy,” and not a routine political action, such as setting up a meeting, call or event. The Court’s decision provides much-needed clarification to politicians and stakeholders alike regarding the scope of federal anti-corruption law.

To read the full text of the Alert, please visit www.duanemorris.com.

U.S. Supreme Court Unanimously Holds That Veterans Are Entitled to Full Set of Competitive Bidding Opportunities Congress Enacted in 2006 Veterans Act

In a ruling affecting billions of dollars of government contracts, and impacting tens of thousands of veteran-owned small businesses across the United States, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously upheld expanded competitive bidding opportunities for veteran-owned small businesses in Kingdomware Technologies v. United States, 14-916.

To read the full text of this Duane Morris Alert, please visit www.duanemorris.com.

U.S. Supreme Court Concludes That Implied False Certification Is Allowed but Limited; FCA Liability Is Expanded

A business may now not know whether it committed fraud until the government chimes in. There are thousands of regulations with which businesses need to comply. If you recklessly (or perhaps worse, intentionally) miss one—regardless of which one—and it proves to be material to the government’s decision to pay you, you might be on the hook for fraud. The analysis used to turn on whether the government had labeled that regulation a “condition of payment.” However, with today’s Supreme Court’s decision in Escobar, the analysis has shifted to whether there was an intent to mislead and whether it was material to the government’s decision to pay. In its unanimous decision, the Supreme Court concluded that what matters is not what label the government attaches to a particular requirement, but whether a party knowingly violated a requirement they know to be material to the government’s decision to pay.

To read the full text of this Duane Morris Alert, please visit www.duanemorris.com.