Mission Statement

This office strives to be flexible, agile, and highly responsive to our clients' needs. Our procedures are based on a computerized and web-based infrastructure and limited core personnel, drawing on networked specialists on an as-needed basis.

We deliver "big firm" quality but within a narrow focus, thereby delivering competitive cost-efficient service within reach of medium & small sized businesses. We are accustomed to working under a high degree of financial accountability and efficiency, and our business relationships tend to be with the owners themselves.

General Background

50-75% of the practice is devoted to Government Contracts, Claims and Consulting; with the remainder Business Litigation.

This office specializes in Government contract matters, complimenting a long background in business litigation. The firm counsels clients on all legal aspects of contracting with Federal, State, and Municipal Government entities. These include solicitations, bids, competitive proposal preparation, teaming agreements, contract interpretation, bid protests, claims, constructive changes, default and convenience terminations, disputes, construction and project claims for equitable adjustments, appeals, Freedom of Information Act, labor standards, small business programs, HUBZone protests, data rights, state & federal False Claims Acts, and cost accounting.

Business litigation matters reflect the needs of our Government contracts clients and principally involve commercial and contract disputes, unfair trade practices, trade secrets, unfair competition law, and regulatory issues.

This office networks with a range of experts in all aspects of Government contracting, many of which are non-attorneys with prior employment in the agencies or with the contractors doing business with these agencies. They cover a range of fields including contracts, cost accounting, production, and procurement.

Cases and Clients

Below is a listing of some of the more recent matters handled by this office. Our Government contract clients include (but are not limited to) the following industries: Navy ship repair, construction and engineering, facilities repair, coatings, tank cleaning and environmental disposal, precision parts tooling and fabrication, wastewater treatment plant components, municipal water treatment plant repair, computer services and distribution, security software, restaurant, food service, nursing services, etc. The geographic distribution of clients spans the U.S. (Seattle - Hawaii - Minnesota - Houston - West Coast/San Diego in particular) and Japan (Yokosuka).

  • Participated in hundreds of contract equitable adjustments and claims, including pre-claim advising and negotiating on State and Federal government contracts, with negotiations in Japan, Hawaii, Seattle-area, S.F. Bay Area, Southern California, and San Diego.
  • Litigated in 2007-2008 a Port of San Diego terminal development dispute, establishing the position that a non-competition clause violated Cal. Business and Professions Code 16,600; thus allowing a $10 million project to move forward.
  • Before the U.S. General Accountability Office: Successfully opposed a bid protest challenging the adequacy of security procedures and the propriety of an SBA Certificate of Competency on a $12 million contract. Able to convince the GAO to summarily dismiss the protest on its substantive merits. (GAO B-400195, 2008.)
  • Protest to the Small Business Administration: Filed and prevailed on a protest by a Navy prime contractor against a competitor who inaccurately certified itself as HUBZone-qualified for a multi-year HUBZone set-aside award contract. The competitor’s appeal to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims was unavailing. We also filed a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act ("RICO" 18 USC §1961 et seq.) lawsuit based on defendant's 3-year pattern of HUBZone program non-compliance, including falsely certifying itself as compliant at the time of initial program entry. Under this pressure the competitor withdrew from the market.
  • Federal procurement bid protests to the U.S. General Accountability Office: These are difficult to win, but we have been much more successful than typical. Have overturned a $1+ million award upon demonstrating that procurement personnel had incorrectly evaluated the proposal’s true cost. GAO B-292303, Protest of Pacific Tugboat Svs., Inc. ( Military Sealift Command, and Foss Maritime Co.).
  • Collected a tax refund exceeding $400,000 from the State of California Franchise Tax Board, involving state sales tax regulations, federal contract sales tax exemptions, and sovereign immunity. This was a complex multi-year appeal involving every administrative forum within the State Board of Equalization culminating in argument before the full Board.
  • Responsible for assembling and reviewing over $65 million in government contract proposals, both Federal and local. Expecting a $5 million award (August 2008) for Navy ship preservation services we coordinated and submitted.
  • Navy ship repair claim litigated before the ASBCA for Hawaii-based shipyard. Prevailed, relying on precedent established by this office 20 years earlier. ($1+ million judgment, Southwest Marine, Inc., ASBCA Nos. 26053, 26956, 85-3 BCA ¶18,226 (1985).)
  • Litigated in the Court of Federal Claims issues involving the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Act, sovereign immunity defenses, and termination for convenience. After summary judgment filings settled for substantially the amount sought. (Del Taco, Inc. v. U.S.)
  • Advised and structured agreements/entity formation regarding MBE/WBE program at both Federal and State level.
  • Stopped threatened Bank collection action on $300,000 guaranty against shareholder/putative guarantor of corporate loan, demonstrating by expert review and other evidence (including travel records) that the guaranty signature was forged.
  • Coordinated responses to public agencies regarding notices of environmental violations; experienced in reacting proactively and thoroughly to address the concerns and upgrade company procedures beyond the minimum required, thereby reducing or avoiding sanctions.
  • Assisted several bidding contractors with SBA “Certificate of Competency” issues.
  • Counseled and handled transactions for various entity and asset purchases for buyers (and potential buyers).
  • Represented the tenant in several long-term real property lease disputes with the Navy.
  • Litigated rights of departing employee/minority shareholder to an equity distribution, settling at a JAMS mediation for substantially the amount sought which was 6x the original offer.
  • Distribution agreements: reviewed, drafted, and litigated various product distribution agreements, and including commission sales agreements.
  • Regular UCC/sales disputes over non-conforming products and warranty issues.
  • $4+ million delay and disruption claim for contractor in Seattle; showed that the Government had delayed and improperly rejected the contractor’s submittal of proposed environmental control procedures, pushing the project into unusually severe winter period (“100 year” storm season); settlement paid substantially all of the time-shifted portion of the claim.
  • Local protests: counseled and litigated before state and local agencies (including the Cities of Los Angeles and within San Diego County).
  • Various corporate alter ego issues, both attacking and defending the corporate veil; including case successfully tried in U.S. Dist. Court, Oregon.
  • Successfully brought suit on and settled claims by two restaurants against military base for altering the development and traffic plans, thus reducing the value of the site and facility.