Sharpen your pencils

November 24, 2015

In two lawsuits filed in 2002 and 2005, Robert and Carol Mandich claimed that the IRS had improperly disallowed certain carryover credits in their partnership tax returns for 1984, 1990-1995, and had incorrectly disallowed the application of suspended losses for tax years 1993-1995. The Mandiches claim that they are entitled to a refund of tax and interest of $219,685.76, and sued in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. Both parties moved for summary judgment and after extensive briefing and two oral arguments, the Court issued its ruling in favor of the Mandiches in part and the Government in part.

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You’re It, Texas

November 23, 2015

During World War II, the corporate predecessors of Exxon Mobil Corporation contracted with the United States to produce high-octane aviation gasoline (superfuel) used by military aircraft during combat. In 2009, Exxon sued the United States in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims alleging that the Government had failed to pay or reimburse Exxon for its costs associated with contamination investigation and remediation at a site near Baytown, Texas, in violation of its contracts. A year later, Exxon filed another lawsuit in federal district court in Virginia, under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act. That case was transferred to the federal district court for the Southern District of Texas, the Houston Division. The CERCLA litigation in the Texas district court is still pending.

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Is 95 the new 40?

November 20, 2015

In August 2013, Government counsel took two full days of deposition of James Bancroft, a partner in Plaintiff Cedar Gardens Apartments, who at the time was 93 years old. During his deposition, Bancroft testified at length about the details of Plaintiffs’ claims in his individual capacity. Now, the Government wants discovery against the partnership under Rule 30(b) (6) on the same and a couple of additional topics, and Bancroft is the only surviving partner. The litigation involves a temporary taking claim brought by Anaheim Gardens et al., the owners of low-income housing who claim a taking of their contractual right to prepay government-insured mortgages on their respective housing projects under the Emergency Low Income Housing Preservation Act of 1987 and the Low Income Housing Preservation and Resident Homeownership Act of 1990 against the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

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The Price Wasn’t Right

October 14, 2015

On March 30, 2015, William Gerald Price sued in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims seeking $3 million in damages arising from two North Carolina state court proceedings. The gravamen of Price’s claim appears to be that he was prevented as a nonparty from addressing the court, but in his complaint he points to the government’s “gross negligence, inalienable rights deprivation, violations of regulations of executive departments, violations of acts of congress, constitutional violations, property rights violations, slander, humiliation, embarrassment, [and] defamation of character.”

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Class numerosity is just a number

October 7, 2015

In approximately 2009, Defendant, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, built a fence on land in Hidalgo County, Texas located along the border between Mexico and the United States. The border fence, a concrete structure about 13 feet tall with long steel bollards installed on top of the concrete base, was built for flood control of flows from the Rio Grande River and border security purposes. Six owners of land on which the fence was constructed, Gerald E. Bell and five other landowners (collectively “Bell”), brought an inverse condemnation lawsuit in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, claiming that the fence exceeds the scope of the flood control easements held by the United States.

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Rocky Road

September 21, 2015

In 2004, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awarded Weston/Bean Joint Venture a contract to dredge the Miami River channel. That channel was originally created between 1931 and 1933, and has not been dredged since. Under the contract, Weston agreed to remove and dispose of contaminated sediment, and to be paid based on a price per cubic yard of dredged material. Once the work began, Weston discovered that the materials to be dredged included significant quantities of rock. Weston claimed that although the contract was for “maintenance dredging” and disposal of “sediments,” it was entirely outside the contract to require Weston to dredge and dispose of rock.

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