All I Want for Christmas

September 1, 2015

Antonio Johnson joined the U.S. Army in 1980. Before his discharge, he had achieved the rank of sergeant. While he was still enlisted and with three years left on his enlistment contract, disciplinary actions were taken against him, resulting in two reductions in rank. Ultimately he was honorably discharged in December 1988, but with a notation on his discharge papers of “Misconduct—Commission of a Serious Offense.”

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Less Than Special

August 28, 2015

Matthew T. Crumley began serving as a commissioned officer on active duty in the Air Force in 2000, eventually achieving the rank of Major in 2008. In November 2010, he was injured while serving as an Honor Guard Ceremonial Guardsman during a funeral ceremony. He sent an email to senior Air Force officials detailing the incident and asking the Air Force to address the situation. The Air Force sent him a formal letter of admonishment for sending this email, advising him that he had bypassed his normal chain of command and stating that had acted unprofessionally. Based on this email, Crumley later received an evaluation that included this negative email.

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Duck, Duck, Goose

August 25, 2015

Donald Woodruff, with the DuckeGroupe, LLC, and doing business as the Haven House for Homeless Veterans, filed a breach of contract lawsuit pro se in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, alleging that a change in the Department of Veterans Affairs’ policy was responsible for a sharp decrease in the number of veterans staying at DuckeGroupe’s veterans housing facilities. Because the VA paid DuckeGroupe per veteran, the decline in veterans also meant a decline in DuckeGroup revenue. Woodruff claimed that the Government owed him roughly $50,000 in contract breach damages. The Government moved to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction and for failure to state a legally cognizable claim for relief.

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Out of Left Field

August 24, 2015

In 2007, the Government awarded Agility Defense and Government Services a fixed price contract to dispose of surplus property at six military locations in Afghanistan, Kuwait, Al Asad, and Iraq. The contract was the first of its kind. The Government provided historical estimates of the amount of surplus generated at these locations, but Agility was responsible for disposing of all surplus–regardless of the quantity. Agility could recoup scrap proceeds, which as the U.S. Court of Federal Claims noted in its opinion, “offset at least some of the risk.”

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Raising the Ruble

August 21, 2015

In 1998, Nancy Zimmerman and her partner, Gabriel Sunshine, bought out Farallon Fixed Income Associated and renamed their new company as Bracebridge Capital, which eventually would become the management company for several interconnected hedge funds. By the end of its first year of operation, Bracebridge and its associated funds had approximately $600 million under management and today it has approximately $10 billion under management.

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F. Scott Fitzgerald and the U.S. Court of Federal Claims

August 20, 2015

One might think it impossible to use F. Scott Fitzgerald and the U.S. Court of Claims in the same sentence but a recent decision issued by the Court now allows one to do just that. The case involved a challenge to the Army’s decision to award four blanket-purchase agreements under its Aviation and Missile Life Cycle Command and Expedited Professional and Engineering Services Programs to the Intuitive Research and Technology Corporation. One of the unsuccessful bidders, Sigmatech, Inc., sued in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, challenging the awards. Because of the lawsuit, the Government terminated the blanket purchase agreements it had awarded, and moved to dismiss the lawsuit as moot. Sigmatech agreed to the dismissal.

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