NOTE: CASE RESULTS DEPEND ON A VARIETY OF UNIQUE FACTORS AND DO NOT GUARANTEE OR PREDICT SIMILAR RESULTS FOR FUTURE CASES.
FH+H Partners Tom Craig and Milt Johns and Associate Marzia Momen helped a defense contractor settle a case in which the client was accused of defrauding and overcharging the federal government, with FH+H's efforts leading to a recovery of the majority of the contested funds for the client.
The client operates several companies that were subcontracted to provide supplies to U.S. military abroad. The government to action to freeze more than $70 million of the client’s funds, alleging that the funds should be forfeited because of allegations that the client improperly received a disproportionate number of task orders and overcharged the U.S. for the associated work.
Through the efforts of FH+H, a settlement was reached that allowed the client to retain the majority of the contested $70M. The deal also favorably resolved a criminal case and False Claims Act allegation against the client.
FH+H has a robust Government Contracts practice group that is able to guide contractors through the maze of applicable rules and regulations to enable corporate success. Our team has the ability to counsel and represent clients in all stages of government investigation, such as the situation in the case above.
FH+H Partner Milt Johns and Associate Emily Spence intervened in two Government Accountability Office (GAO) protests on behalf of a client who was awarded a federal contract that was then challenged by multiple competitors.
The bid protests involved a federal government contract for information technology security services. Two unsuccessful bidders protested the award at the GAO, challenging the agency's evaluation of the proposals and source selection decision. As counsel for the intervenor, FH+H ensured the client's interests were protected, to include arguing for the redaction of the client's sensitive and proprietary information. GAO's denial of the pretest cleared the way for the client to begin its work for the federal government.
See information about FH+H's Government Contracts practice.
FH+H Partner Kevin Bynres and Associate Rachel Leahey successfully appealed a ruling by a Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) Administrative Judge excluding evidence of anti-military bias on the part of the employer, a ruling that resulted in the MSPB denying our client all relief.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit vacated the evidentiary ruling. Read the Court of Appeal's Opinion.
The military reservist was litigating several claims before the MSPB, including claims of non-promotion due to anti-military bias. Rather than admit all relevant evidence – as the Administrative Judge should have done – she repeatedly stopped counsel from discussing or questioning agency witnesses about a key piece of evidence. In the end, the Administrative Judge denied all claims – providing no relief.
The Federal Circuit agreed with the argument offed by Byrnes and Leahey that the evidence in question was relevant and its exclusion was an abuse of discretion by the Administrative Judge. Opinion, page 5.
The case will go back to the MSPB for further proceedings, where an Administrative Judge will be required to comply with the Federal Circuit's opinion, allow the introduction of all relevant evidence, and issue a new decision. Our client will get another – better – chance at justice.
“Unfortunately, both in the public and private sector, many military reservists face hostility, limited job prospects, and termination simply because of their commitment to our nation's Armed Forces,” Byrnes said. “This firm is dedicated to eradicating discrimination, retaliation, and reprisal against current and former members of the Armed Forces, and we will continue to strongly advocate their rights.”
Winning isn't easy, but skilled advocates make a difference. In line with FH+H's history and commitment to members of the Armed Forces, our firm has an extensive practice related to USERRA.
The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), is a federal law that protects employees from being discriminated against based on their current or prior uniformed military service.
Led by Byrnes, FH+H's USERRA practice group helps government and private sector employees who are current or past members of the Armed Forces on matters related to their employment.
FH+H Partner Dave Jonas and Senior Associate Samuel Adelmann helped a hotel management company reverse a five-figure fine after the client was accused of failing to obtain a permit for a project of which they were not the responsible party.
The client, a company that owns and manages a number of hotels nationwide, received a notice of failing to pay a fine from the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) for a cooling tower that was installed on the roof of one of its D.C.-area hotels without obtaining a permit.
The DCRA claimed to have mailed the client an initial fine of $4,000, and when the client did not respond, the DCRA mailed a notice that the fine tripled to $12,000. The client never received the initial notice, however, and they are not the party responsible for installing the cooling system for the hotel.
FH+H helped the client draft and file a motion for reconsideration, and the DCRA responded that they would not oppose the motion and agreed to withdraw the fine.
FH+H’s Litigation + Investigations group has experience conducting a wide-range of investigations and handles all aspects of professional dispute resolution, like this case. Read more about the practice group here, and contact one of our attorneys here.
FH+H litigated successfully on behalf of a small business after an individual posted defamatory statements about the company as Google, Yelp, and Facebook reviews. Most of the reviews were swiftly removed. Where defamatory reviews were not removed, FH+H successfully brought suit and the client was awarded compensatory and punitive damages.
After the insulting, false reviews were posted, the company reached out to the individual, who had never been a customer of its company, asking them to remove the statements, but the individual would not comply.
FH+H attorneys, including Partner Milt Johns and Associate Marzia Momen, filed a civil lawsuit on behalf of the company, arguing that the individual’s false reviews harmed the business’ reputation, would deter customers from using the business’ services, and hurt the business’ ability to hire employees.
The individual eventually admitted the statements they had posted were false, and a jury returned to FH+H’s client a five-figure award for compensatory and punitive damages.
FH+H Partner Kevin Byrnes and Senior Associate Samuel Adelmann successfully mediated the resolution of a dispute involving LLC members who had a falling out over the operation of a restaurant that had earned a national award for the authenticity of its food and decor.
In what could have been a contorted and prolonged case between former business partners, Mr. Byrnes and Mr. Adelmann were able to secure a favorable settlement in one day that ended an acrimonious dispute and allowed the litigants to go their separate ways while avoiding the time and expense of a protracted trial that could have jeopardized the continuity of the business. Instead, the parties concluded on a buyout that left the reputation and standing of the business intact, while allowing the minority member to have their interest purchased at an amount agreeable to them.
Both the mediator and the clients expressed gratitude for the efforts of FH+H lawyers. The managing members immediately commented that they felt a heavy burden had been lifted and were happy to put the matter behind them.
FH+H's Litigation team routinely handles similar business disputes and litigation before courts, mediators, and arbitrators in both state and federal court. Learn more about the team's capabilities here.
FH+H Partner Craig Guthery recently assisted a software developer in collecting payment for custom work performed after the client’s customer put off paying for nearly a year.
FH+H’s client assigned its developers to the customer under a master services agreement that required annual payments, but the customer had delayed the most recent payment for nearly a year — a few weeks at a time — using a variety of excuses.
The customer made the overdue payment after a single demand letter from Mr. Guthery, which saved our client from incurring any litigation fees or costs in resolving the dispute.
In the breach of contract action, the opposing party sought to have a judgement entered against a client of the firm without the benefit of a trial. The court found that material facts were still in dispute in the case, and the motion for summary judgment was denied.
A government contracting client received a CPARS rating from a customer that was unsatisfactory in several areas. FH+H assisted the client in crafting a response to the contracting officer, challenging these ratings and providing legal and factual basis to change the ratings.
As a result, the client's government customer changed the ratings in three of the four areas, and the client no longer had any unsatisfactory ratings in any category.