This morning the Federal Circuit issued a precedential opinion in a government contract case appealed from the Court of Federal Claims. The Federal Circuit also issued a nonprecedential opinion in a veterans case appealed from the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. Finally, the Federal Circuit issued two Rule 36 judgments. Here are the introductions to the opinions and links to the Rule 36 judgments.
The Tolliver Group, Inc. v. United States (Precedential)
The Tolliver Group, Inc. had a contract with the United States under which Tolliver was obliged to write technical manuals for government-used equipment and the government was obliged to supply Tolliver certain information relevant to that task. When the government failed to obtain the information, and therefore failed to supply it to Tolliver, the parties modified the contract. Tolliver ultimately produced the manuals.
After the modification, however, a third party sued Tolliver in the name of the United States under the False Claims Act, alleging, among other things, that Tolliver had made a false certification of compliance with the original contract because Tolliver had not received the information that the government was contractually obliged to provide. The government, rather than intervening in the case (and then dismissing it), allowed the False Claims Act (qui tam) litigation to proceed. With evidentiary help from the government, Tolliver ultimately prevailed in the qui tam case, but only after incurring substantial legal fees.
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We now hold that because Tolliver never submitted a claim of breach of that warranty to the contracting officer, the Claims Court lacked jurisdiction to adjudicate such a claim.
Akard v. McDonough (Nonprecedential)
In 2013 and 2015, Jeffrey E. Akard, a veteran of the U.S. Army, requested that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) pay to his father the disability benefits being withheld from Mr. Akard during his incarceration. The relevant VA regional office (RO) denied his request for want of evidence that Mr. Akard’s father was a dependent parent eligible for such “apportionment.” Mr. Akard appealed to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals, and the Board dismissed the appeal on the ground that he (unlike his father, who did not appeal) lacked a personal stake in the RO’s apportionment ruling and so lacked standing to appeal the ruling to the Board. The Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (Veterans Court) affirmed the Board’s decision. Akard v. Wilkie, No. 19-6262, 2020 WL 5200711 (Vet. App. Aug. 27, 2020); Supplemental Appendix (SAppx.) 1–3. Mr. Akard appeals. We affirm.