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Judge Mary Ellen Coster Williams was appointed to the United States Court of Federal Claims (USCFC) in 2003. Prior to serving on the USCFC, Judge Williams served as an administrative judge on the General Services Administration Board of Contract Appeals, worked in private practice, and was an assistant United States attorney in the District of Columbia in the civil division. Judge Williams has taught intellectual property law, government contracts, and numerous courses on civil litigation, including litigation with the federal government.
Diane E. Ghrist served as a judicial law clerk to Judge Williams from August 2015 through March 2017, and she is currently serving as a judicial law clerk to Judge Jimmie V. Reyna, on the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The views expressed in this article are the personal views of the authors and should not be attributed to the court. This article is not citable as precedent.
Known as “the People’s Court,” the US Court of Federal Claims (USCFC) was created by Congress as a forum for suits against the government for monetary damages. The USCFC consists of 16 judges appointed by the president and confirmed by the US Senate for terms of 15 years. Appeals from the USCFC are resolved by the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The USCFC is unique in the federal trial court system in that it has nationwide jurisdiction, and hears a variety of claims against the US government for money damages, including patent and copyright infringement, government contract disputes, Fifth Amendment takings, tax refund claims, tribal claims, military and civilian personnel cases, and Vaccine Act appeals.