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Homer La Rue

Homer A. La Rue is an associate in the firm’s Washington, DC office and a former DCMA Corporate Administrative Contracting Officer. He is a member of the Government Contracts practice group.

A recent decision by the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals found the Navy liable to a commercial crane manufacturer for delay damages. In Konecranes Nuclear Equip. & Servs., LLC, ASBCA No. 62797, 2024 WL 2698011 (May 7, 2024), the Board reiterated the age-old lesson—you have to read the contract—and provided guidance about how to calculate the delay damages. Beyond that, the Board found apparent inspiration for part of its holding in an unlikely source: a classic song by the Rolling Stones.Continue Reading You Can’t Always Get What You Want: ASBCA Channels Rolling Stones and Awards Contractor $4.9 Million in Delay Damages

In keeping with the trend of increased attention on the False Claims Act’s (“FCA”) qui tam provisions, the Second Circuit recently weighed in on a seeming conflict between the statute and the relator’s obligations under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (“FCRP”). Under Rule 4(m) of the FRCP, the court generally must dismiss a complaint if the plaintiff fails to serve the defendant with a complaint and summons within 90 days of filing. Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(m). But a relator bringing suit under the qui tam provisions of the FCA may not serve a defendant until the complaint is unsealed and “until the court so orders.” 31 U.S.C. § 3730(b)(2). In cases brought under the qui tam provisions of the FCA, this creates the potential for questions regarding when the Rule 4(m) service-of-process clock begins to tick.

These questions seldom arise because courts ordinarily unseal a relator’s complaint and simultaneously order the relator to serve the defendant. In which case, the express order to serve the defendant plainly triggers the service-of-process clock under Rule 4(m). But what if the court unseals the relator’s complaint and then delays (or never issues) the order to serve the defendant? This was the question before the Second Circuit last month in U.S. ex rel. Weiner v. Siemens AG, No. 22-2656, 2023 WL 8227913, at 3 (2d Cir. Nov. 28, 2023).Continue Reading Tick-tock, the Court Starts the Clock: Deconflicting the FCA and Rule 4(m) of the FRCP