The Washington, D.C., Chapter of the INBLF (International Network of Boutique Law Firms) hosted its 11th Annual Black Tie Weekend in the nation’s capital on October 9-12, 2014. The Black Tie Dinner was held at the United States Supreme Court’s Great Hall with Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr. as guest of honor. Appearing as guest speaker, Kenneth Feinberg, the “Master of Disaster,” spoke of his work as special master for victims’ compensation funds.

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The General Services Administration awarded a contract to Carotex Development, Inc., to design, build, and then lease to GSA an office building in Lake Charles, Louisiana for use by the Social Security Administration.  The contract set forth six steps for the design and construction of the building, and following incorporation of the final design intent drawings, and set forth a 180-day timeframe for construction and delivery of the building.

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Shakespeare on the Recovery of Pain and Suffering

October 21, 2014

In the opening scene of a recent decision issued by the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, the court quotes from Othello:

Who steals my purse steals trash; ‘tis something, nothing;

‘Twas mine, ‘tis his, and has been slave to thousands;

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A Bridge Not Far Enough to Reach Fairness

October 16, 2014

In Cherokee Nation Technologies, LLC v. United States, the Bureau of Indian Affairs awarded an information technology services contract to Cherokee Nation Technologies.  But the incumbent contractor, Chenega Federal Systems, LLC, filed a protest with the General Accounting Office, and the BIA ultimately responded by terminating the contract with Cherokee Nation and dismissing the bid protest.

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Section 1500 Reform Finds Support in the Senate

October 15, 2014

On July 31, 2014, Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS), and co-sponsors, Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Jon Tester (D-MT), introduced a bipartisan bill “amending the prohibition on the exercise of jurisdiction by the United States Court of Federal Claims of certain claims pending in other courts.”  That prohibition, 28 U.S.C. § 1500, deprives the U.S. Court of Federal Claims (CFC) of jurisdiction over claims that, when filed, are based on the same operative facts as claims pending in a district court.  Both the American Bar Association and the Administrative Conference of the United States have recommended that Section 1500 be repealed.  At its February 2013 mid-year meeting, the ABA passed Resolution 300, stating that “the American Bar Association urges Congress to repeal 28 U.S.C. § 1500 and replace it with a presumptive stay as recommended by the Administrative Conference of the United States.”

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Between a Rock and a Hard Place

October 14, 2014

In 1983, Theodore Simonson located 21, 40-acre placer mining claims in Kern County, California in accordance with the 1872 General Mining Law.  Drilling confirmed the presence of a pumicite deposit that was 14 feet thick in some locations, extending to 28 feet thick in others.  Later, an additional two mining claims were located. In 1987, Simonson and his partner, doing business as Reoforce, Inc., submitted a Plan of Operations to the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to mine approximately 100,000 tons of pumicite from the mines, which was later amended to increase mining activities. Despite these plans, the actual mining operations were slow to commence.

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