Aerospace & Defense

  • July 30, 2021

    Gov't Contracts Of The Month: Vaccines, Spacecraft, Crypto

    July saw a number of notable contracts including a new $1.3 billion order for COVID-19 vaccines, a $178 million deal with SpaceX to launch a spacecraft to Jupiter’s icy moon Europa, and a $6 million contract for managing seized and forfeited digital assets. These are Law360’s top government contracts from July.

  • July 30, 2021

    Judge Refuses To Delay 3M Bellwether After Plaintiff Switch

    A Florida federal judge has refused to delay an upcoming bellwether trial in sprawling multidistrict litigation over allegedly faulty combat earplugs, saying 3M should be ready to face a new plaintiff after another dropped his case.

  • July 30, 2021

    Biden Targets Cuban Police Force With New Sanctions

    The Biden administration piled new sanctions on Cuba Friday, targeting Havana's high-level police force and its leaders for enabling the "violent repression" of protesters across the island.

  • July 30, 2021

    Gov't Reaches Deal To End Trump-Era Trans Military Ban

    The Biden administration and transgender military members and advocacy groups told a federal court in Washington state that they've reached a settlement deal to end a lawsuit over a contentious Trump-era policy barring transgender people from joining or serving openly in the military.

  • July 30, 2021

    GAO Rejects Protests Over $2.9B SpaceX Lunar Lander Deal

    The U.S. Government Accountability Office has denied protests by Blue Origin and Dynetics over a $2.94 billion NASA lunar lander contract awarded to SpaceX, saying the agency was not required to make more than one contract award.

  • July 30, 2021

    11th Circ. Says VA Benefits Law Doesn't Nix Negligence Claim

    The Eleventh Circuit partly revived a veteran's allegations that Georgia doctors failed to properly diagnose and treat his throat cancer, holding that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs can't duck medical negligence claims under a law protecting its benefits decisions from court review.

  • July 29, 2021

    Top 5 Gov't Contracts Cases To Watch: Midyear Report

    The second half of 2021 could see courts weigh in on significant issues for government contractors, such as when they have waived their right to protest, as well as a wave of litigation related to COVID-19 relief funding. Here are five cases that government contractors should watch closely during the remainder of the year.

  • July 29, 2021

    Biden Says Federal Workers Must Get Vaccinated Or Mask Up

    President Joe Biden on Thursday unveiled additional measures to encourage more Americans to get vaccinated, including directing millions of federal employees to get fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or wear a mask on the job and comply with regular testing.

  • July 29, 2021

    SEC Accuses Broker-Dealer Of Violating 'Short Tender Rule'

    Brokerage firm Lupo Securities violated the "short tender rule" and acquired more shares of Leidos Holdings than it was entitled to during Leidos' 2016 spinoff from Lockheed Martin Corp., the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission alleged in a suit filed Thursday.

  • July 29, 2021

    Biden Pulls Back Veil On Trump-Era Trade Security Probes

    The Biden administration formally closed the book on a series of Trump-era trade probes Thursday, publishing months-old reports that outlined the U.S. Department of Commerce's assessments on the national security threats posed by various imports.

  • July 29, 2021

    4th Circ. Revives NC's Air Emissions Fee Suit Against Feds

    The Marine Corps can't dodge a civil penalty imposed by North Carolina for violating emissions caps at one of its coal-fired boilers in the state, the Fourth Circuit ruled, determining the Clean Air Act waives sovereign immunity for penalties.

  • July 29, 2021

    NTIA Holds Firm On Ligado Despite Switch In Administrations

    The National Telecommunications and Information Administration is holding strong on its position that the Federal Communications Commission messed up when it greenlighted Ligado Networks' plan to build out a broadband network in the L-band satellite airwaves for mobile transmissions, even though there's a new administration in town.

  • July 29, 2021

    Senate Dems Push For Federal Consumer Loan Rate Cap

    Senate Democrats are renewing an effort to curb high-cost lending with consumer advocate-backed legislation that would set a national 36% interest rate cap on consumer loans, drawing pushback from Republicans and industry representatives on Thursday.

  • July 28, 2021

    Top 6 Gov't Contracts Policies To Watch: Midyear Report

    The U.S. Department of Defense is expected to finalize a major overhaul to cybersecurity requirements for contractors in the second half of 2021, while contractors keep a close eye on proposed False Claims Act changes. Here are six government enforcement priorities and pending policy moves that federal contractors should watch during the rest of the year.

  • July 28, 2021

    Northrop Grumman Must Face Manager's Sex Harassment Suit

    A Kansas federal judge on Tuesday said defense contractor Northrop Grumman must face a former manager's lawsuit alleging four male co-workers, including her supervisor, created a hostile work environment that resulted in her sexual harassment, discrimination and retaliation, finding that the woman had sufficiently alleged her firing was pretextual.

  • July 28, 2021

    Biden To Create Cybersecurity 'Goals' For Critical Sectors

    President Joe Biden on Wednesday ordered federal agencies to create cybersecurity "performance goals" for the energy, water and chemical industries in a bid to boost defense standards within critical infrastructure months after a cyberattack hit one of the nation's largest fuel pipelines.

  • July 28, 2021

    FCC Urged To Match, Not Exceed, Global 24 GHz Standards

    The Federal Communications Commission should decline requests for stricter rules guarding against interference with weather forecasting probes in the 24 GHz band, members of the mobile industry told the agency this week, urging it to simply bring its compliance guidelines on par with global standards for the band.

  • July 28, 2021

    4 Firms Seek To Lead Virgin Galactic Investor Suit

    Four law firms are competing to represent a proposed class of investors who claim the space tourism enterprise Virgin Galactic failed to explain the classification of certain investment instruments after it combined with a special purpose acquisition company in October 2019.

  • July 28, 2021

    Biden Judicial Noms Draw Rare GOP Praise, Unlike DOJ Pick

    President Joe Biden's selections for the Fourth Circuit and district courts in Connecticut and Virginia drew unusual bipartisan accolades at a Senate confirmation hearing Wednesday, although some Republicans did lambaste a former Boies Schiller partner tapped for a top post at the U.S. Department of Justice.

  • July 28, 2021

    DHS Approves Border Wall Remediation Projects

    U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas approved a group of projects to restore power, address safety risks and otherwise mitigate the environmental damage related to the Trump administration's U.S.-Mexico border wall.

  • July 28, 2021

    Judge O'Malley To Retire, Giving Biden 2nd Fed. Circ. Seat

    Federal Circuit Judge Kathleen O'Malley will be retiring in March, according to a federal judiciary posting, giving President Joe Biden a chance to name a second judge to the appeals court.

  • July 27, 2021

    Former Gov't Contractor Gets 45 Months For Classified Leaks

    A former National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency contractor who leaked classified defense documents to the media was sentenced to nearly four years in prison on Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Justice announced.

  • July 27, 2021

    FCA Overhaul Bill May Miss Mark On Reining In Fraudsters

    A proposed Senate bill aimed at strengthening the government's enforcement actions under the False Claims Act could have the opposite effect with conflicting and potentially unconstitutional language that may elevate a defendant's position.

  • July 27, 2021

    Biden Seeks Fast Asylum Processing In Immigration Blueprint

    The Biden administration intends to speed up asylum processing at the U.S.-Mexico border, including by allowing asylum officers to decide claims for protection, according to a Tuesday blueprint outlining the next steps of President Joe Biden's immigration agenda.

  • July 27, 2021

    2nd Circ. Rejects Hezbollah Agent's Ineffective Counsel Claim

    A split panel of Second Circuit judges rejected a Hezbollah member's attempts to undo his convictions on terrorism charges, though one judge objected to his 40-year prison sentence, which would span most of the man's adult life.

Expert Analysis

  • Tide Is Turning Against FCA Case Dismissals

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    The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision not to resolve a circuit split over the proper standard for deciding government motions to dismiss whistleblower suits is a Pyrrhic victory for potential defendants, given bipartisan pressure in the Senate and from the White House to reign in such dismissals, say attorneys at McGuireWoods.

  • Law Firms, Know Who's Responsible For Your Cloud Security

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    Lawyers generally know that files go into the cloud and that the files are then secured and protected, but it's necessary for firms to take a closer look at their cloud supply chain and then come up with a responsibility matrix that helps mitigate any potential risks or weaknesses, says Martin Ward at iManage.

  • Benefits For Law Firms Venturing Into New Services

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    By offering more services, law firms can deepen and strengthen their client relationships and truly become an extension of their clients' teams while generating new revenue streams, and while there are risks associated with expanding into consulting, they may be worth it, says Lou Ramos at Major Lindsey.

  • How Anti-Corruption Push Affects US Cos. Operating Abroad

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    A recent Biden administration memo, and an anticipated increase in enforcement related to transnational fraud, money laundering and corruption, means that U.S. companies and financial institutions with operations abroad should take concrete steps to stave off U.S. Department of Justice scrutiny, says Andrey Spektor at Bryan Cave.

  • Series

    Embracing ESG: Exelon GC Talks Diversity Initiatives

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    Executing a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion programming, through recruitment, inclusive legal pipelines and community empowerment via pro bono efforts, can ensure a strong environmental, social and governance proposition, says Gayle Littleton at Exelon.

  • Rebuttal

    FCA Relator Pursuit Of DOJ's Declined Cases Is Vital

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    While a recent Law360 guest article suggests that the U.S. Department of Justice consider dismissing all False Claims Act cases it declines, that policy would undermine the FCA's broad remedial purpose of empowering private citizens to combat fraud against the government, say Jacklyn DeMar at Taxpayers Against Fraud Education Fund and Renée Brooker at Tycko & Zavareei.

  • Revamping Law Firm Marketing Lists — With Partner Buy-In

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    Jackson Lewis’ Paige Bowser shares lessons from the firm's recent overhaul of an outdated email marketing database, including tips for getting partners on board, ensuring compliance with privacy laws and augmenting outreach strategies.

  • Gov't Contractor Input Vital After Biden Cybersecurity Order

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    The Office of Management and Budget's upcoming recommendations for improving U.S. cybersecurity defenses, following President Joe Biden's recent executive order, could create burdensome obligations for government contractors, so it's important for the government to actively engage with the industry during the rulemaking process, say executives at Leidos.

  • The Murky World Of Legal Rankings Gets Some Clarity In NJ

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    New Jersey's new, stringent approach to legal rankings will make accolade advertising more transparent, benefiting both attorneys and clients and offering legal marketers a new set of best practices amid evolving standards, say Penny Paul at Lowenstein Sandler and Susan Peters at Greybridge.

  • Subcontractor Affiliation Pitfalls For SBA Graduates To Avoid

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    A recent U.S. Small Business Administration size appeal decision highlights compliance traps for unwary SBA graduates that continue to perform set-aside work as subcontractors to SBA program participants, and shows that competitors may try to use the ostensible subcontractor rule against graduates and their partners, say Jonathan Shaffer and Daniel Ramish at Smith Pachter.

  • Series

    Embracing ESG: Cigna Counsel Talks Employee Wellness

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    Building employee well-being into corporate environmental, social and governance priorities required our legal team to focus more closely on cross-functional collaboration within the company and increased communication with our board of directors and shareholders, says Julia Brncic at Cigna.

  • 5 Steps For Legal Teams To Mitigate Industrial Cyber Risk

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    While cyberattacks on critical infrastructure and other industrial systems present distinct legal risks from traditional enterprise cybersecurity, legal teams can draw upon familiar risk management practices to strengthen their industrial cybersecurity posture, say Stephen Lilley and Veronica Glick at Mayer Brown and Ben Miller at Dragos.

  • Hybrid Work Models Are Key To Gender Parity In Law Firms

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    To curb the historically high rates of attrition among female lawyers, Roberta Liebenberg at Fine Kaplan and Stephanie Scharf at Scharf Banks suggest firms must normalize hybrid work schedules, and they recommend best practices to promote engagement among all attorneys, regardless of where they work.

  • Digging Into FCA Stats: Litigation's Return On Investment

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    The outsized cost of False Claims Act cases shows why the U.S. Department of Justice should increase its monitoring and dismissal of weaker, declined qui tam cases to maximize its return on investment and minimize the impact on industry and courts, says Ralph Mayrell at Robbins Russell.

  • 3 Keys To Winning Your Next Oral Argument

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    To leverage the unique opportunity oral arguments provide to talk directly to judges and contribute to their decision making, attorneys must mind the three hallmarks of persuasiveness: projecting credibility, exuding likability and gaining the listener's trust, says Daniel Karon at Karon LLC.

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