Public Contract Law Journal

Termination for Default & Entitlement to Excess Reprocurement Costs: The 2018 Dentons “Gilbert A. Cuneo” Government Contracts Moot Court Competition

by Cory Chipman & Daniel H. Ramish

Thomas E. Daley and Zachary H. Schroeder drafted the competition problem. Cory Chipman and Daniel H. Ramish authored the best overall Contractor Brief. Bryan Medema and Rachel Van Maasdam authored the best overall Government Brief. At the time of the competition, Mr. Ramish and Ms. Van Maasdam were LL.M. candidates, and Mr. Chipman and Mr. Medema were J.D. candidates at The George Washington Law School (GWLaw). The Moot Court Experiential course, a new course created to provide competitors with skills training in advocacy and legal writing, to increase their substantive understanding of government contracts case law, and to emphasize professional development, was co-taught by Chief Judge Jeri Somers, U.S. Civilian Board of Contract Appeals, and Karen D. Thornton, Director of GWLaw’s Government Procurement Law Program. GWLaw thanks its distinguished and outstanding volunteer judges for challenging and mentoring the competitors.

Cory Chipman is a Legal Fellow at Witherspoon Kelley, and a 2018 graduate of The George Washington University Law School. Daniel H. Ramish is a Government Contracts Associate at Smith Pachter McWhorter, PLC, and an LL.M. candidate at The George Washington University Law School. Any views expressed herein are the authors’ own and do not represent the views of their respective employers.

Table of Authorities

Cases

Armour of America v. United States, 96 Fed. Cl. 726 (2010)
Astro-Space Labs., Inc. v. United States, 470 F.2d 1003 (Ct. Cl. 1972)
Atkins N.A., Inc. v. United States, 106 Fed. Cl. 491 (2012)
Bass Enters. Prod. Co. v. United States, 133 F.3d 893 (Fed. Cir. 1998)
BearingPoint, Inc. v. United States, 82 Fed. Cl. 181 (2008)
California Bridge & Const. Co. v. United States, 50 Ct. Cl. 40 (1915),
aff’d, 245 U.S. 337 (1917)
Cervetto Bldg. Maint. Co. v. United States, 2 Cl. Ct. 299 (1983)
Churchill Chem. Corp. v. United States, 602 F.2d 358 (Ct. Cl. 1979)
Cincinnati Elecs. Corp. v. United States, 32 Fed. Cl. 496 (1994)
Composite Laminates, Inc. v. United States, 27 Fed. Cl. 310 (1992)
Consol. Airborne Sys. v. United States, 172 Ct. Cl. 588 (1965)
D. Moody & Co. v. United States, 5 Cl. Ct. 70 (1984)
Darwin Const. Co., Inc. v. United States, 811 F.2d 593 (1987)
DCX, Inc. v. Perry, 79 F.3d 132 (Fed. Cir. 1996)
Fairfield Scientific Corp. v. United States, 222 Ct. Cl. 167, 611 F.2d 854 (1979)
Ind. Mich. Power Co. v. United States, 422 F.3d 1369 (Fed. Cir. 2005)
J.C. Equip. Corp. v. England, 360 F.3d 1311 (Fed. Cir. 2004)
John A. Johnson Contracting Corp. v. United States, 132 Ct. Cl. 645 (1955)
Ketchikan Pulp Co. v. United States, 20 Cl. Ct. 164 (1990)
Kisco Co. v. United States, 221 Ct. Cl. 806, 610 F.2d 742 (1979)
Laguna Constr. Co. v. Carter, 828 F.3d 1364 (Fed. Cir. 2016)
Lamb Engr. & Const. Co. v. United States, 01-225 C, 2002 WL 32933387, at *10 (Fed. Cl. Aug. 26, 2002)
M. Maropakis Carpentry v. United States, 609 F.3d 1323 (Fed. Cir. 2010)
M.E.S., Inc. v. United States, 104 Fed. Cl. 620 (2012)
Marley v. United States, 423 F.2d 324 (Ct. Cl. 1970)
McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. United States, 182 F.3d 1319 (Fed. Cir. 1999)
Mega Const. Co. v. United States, 29 Fed. Cl. 396 (1993)
New York Shipbuilding Corp. v. United States, 385 F.2d 427 (Ct. Cl. 1967)
Pacific Architects & Eng’rs, Inc. v. United States, 491 F.2d 734 (Ct. Cl. 1974)
Patrick Corr & Sons v. United States, 55 Ct. Cl. 7 (1919)
Penner Installation Corp. v. United States, 89 F. Supp. 545, 116 Ct. Cl. 550,
aff’d per curiam by an equally divided court, 340 U.S. 898 (1950)
Pinckney v. United States, 88 Fed. Cl. 490 (2009)
Raytheon Co. v. United States, 747 F.3d 1341 (Fed. Cir. 2014)
Rosenberg v. United States, 76 Ct. Cl. 662 (1933)
Roxco, Ltd. v. United States, 60 Fed. Cl. 39 (2004)
Schlesinger v. United States, 182 Ct. Cl. 571 (1968)
Seaboard Lumber Co. v. United States, 48 Fed.Cl. 814 (2001)
Securiforce Int’l America, LLC v. United States, 879 F.3d 1354 (Fed. Cir. 2018)
Sys. Fuels, Inc. v. United States, 818 F.3d 1302 (Fed. Cir. 2016)
United Partition Sys., Inc. v. United States, 90 Fed. Cl. 74 (2009)
United States v. U.S. Gypsum Co., 333 U.S. 364 (1948)

Administrative Board Decisions

Asc Sys. Corp., DOTCAB No. 74-1, 78-1 BCA ¶ 13,119, aff’d, 223 Ct. Cl. 672 (1980)
Conncor, Inc., GSBCA No. 4654, 77- 2 BCA ¶ 12,857
C-Shore Int’l, Inc. v. Dep’t of Agric., CBCA No. 1696, 10-1 BCA ¶ 34,379
Disan Corp., ASBCA No. 21297, 79-1 BCA ¶ 13,677
Envtl. Tectonics Corp., ASBCA No. 21204, 78-1 BCA ¶ 12,986
Fairfield Sci. Corp., ASBCA No. 21151, 78-1 BCA ¶ 13,082, recon. denied, 78-2 BCA ¶ 13,082, aff’d in part, rev’d in part on other grounds, 222 Ct. Cl. 167, 611 F.2d 854 (1979).
Fulford Mfg., ASBCA No. 2143, et al., 1955 WL 808
Incentive Transp. Servs. Inc., PSBCA No. 5412, 09-2 BCA ¶ 34,198
Jamco Constructors, Inc., VABCA No. 3271, 94-1 BCA ¶ 26,405
Levelator Corp., VABCA No. 1069, 74-2 BCA ¶ 10,763
Mid-S. Contractors, Inc., VABCA No. 2023, 85-3 BCA ¶ 18,210
Pyrotechnic Specialties, Inc., ASBCA No. 57890, 17-1 BCA ¶ 36,696
Standard Eng’g & Mfg. Co., ASBCA No. 3733, 57-2 BCA ¶ 1477
Tom W. Kaufman Co., GSBCA No. 4623, 78-2 BCA ¶ 13,288
Tyco Air Spec Div., ASBCA No. 16534, 73-1 BCA ¶ 9951
Walsh Const. Co., ASBCA No. 52952, 02-2 BCA ¶ 32,004
Walsky Const. Co., ASBCA No. 41541, 94-2 BCA ¶ 26,698
World-Wide Dev. Co., Inc., ASBCA No. 16608, 73-2 BCA ¶ 10,140

Statutes and Regulations

28 U.S.C. § 1295
28 U.S.C. § 1491
41 U.S.C. § 609
48 C.F.R. § 1.602
48 C.F.R. § 19.602-1
48 C.F.R. § 52.249-8
48 C.F.R.§ 49.402–3

Miscellaneous

Air Force Instruction (AFI) 11-202V3, Exceptions to the 12-Hour Minimum Crew Rest Periods, ¶ 2.1.3 (Oct. 5, 2017), available at http://static.e-publishing.af.mil/production/1/afdw/publication/afi11-202v3_afdwsup/afi11-202v3_afdwsup.pdf
Azmat Khan & Anand Gopal, The Uncounted, N.Y. Times, Nov. 16, 2017, https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/11/16/magazine/uncounted-civilian-casualties-iraq-airstrikes.html
Civilian Casualties and Collateral Damage, Lawfare, https://www.lawfare blog.com/civilian-casualties-collateral-damage (last visited Mar. 18, 2018)
How to Become a UAV Pilot with Customs and Border Protection, Border Patrol.edu

IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FEDERAL CIRCUIT

DRONE CRUISE ENTERPRISE, INC.,
Appellant.
v.
Heather Wilson, SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE,
Appellee.

APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES COURT OF FEDERAL CLAIMS IN NO. 18-1184C, JUDGE RANDOLPH

BRIEF FOR THE APPELLANT CORY CHIPMAN
 

STATEMENT OF RELATED CASES

Drone Cruise Enterprise, Inc. (DCE) is not aware of any related cases.
 

JURISDICTION

The jurisdiction of the Court of Federal Claims was invoked under 28 U.S.C. § 1491(a)(2). On March 1, 2018, DCE timely appealed from the trial court’s final judgment of February 15, 2018. This Court has jurisdiction over this appeal under 28 U.S.C. § 1295(a)(3).
 

STATEMENT OF THE ISSUES

1.   Whether the Court of Federal Claims (“COFC,” “court below,” or “trial court”) erred in affirming the default termination of DCE’s contract when the unchallenged facts demonstrate that the Government’s decision to terminate for default was motivated by a desire to protect the reputation of the Air Force, rather than by contract performance.
2.   Whether the court below erred in affirming the default termination because the record shows that the Government failed to exercise independent judgment and make a termination decision on the merits guided by the pertinent factors prescribed in the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR).
3.   Whether the court below properly denied the Government excess costs of reprocurement for failure to mitigate damages based on an excessive thirteen-month delay in reprocurement that dramatically increased costs.
4.   Whether the court below properly denied the Government excess costs of reprocurement for failure to mitigate damages because the Contracting Officer (“CO”) refused to consider DCE’s proposal, when that proposal represented by far the lowest priced offer, submitted by a presently responsible incumbent with excellent performance ratings, and when the preceding termination was based on the actions of one former employee.
5.   Whether the court below erred in finding that the reprocurement contract was sufficiently similar to the original contract to support assessment of excess costs, when the reprocurement contract doubled the amount of pilot experience required and increased the number of pilots required to perform the work by fifty percent.
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