BLOG: COVID-19 and Material Adverse Effect Provisions in Acquisition Agreements

March 23, 2020
The coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to create extensive uncertainty for individuals and businesses. For parties actively pursuing an M&A transaction, COVID-19 presents the buyer and seller with additional risks both pre- and post-closing, including impacting the valuation of the target company, increasing exposure to liabilities relating to performance and payment obligations, expanding risk of claims from employees and other personnel, among other extraordinary risks that may result in delay or, in the worst cases, termination of the transaction. Traditionally, acquisition agreements include material adverse effect provisions that are designed to ensure all parties have a clear understanding of the target company's business as of closing with a reasonable belief that no event has occurred that would result in materially adverse changes. In the "new normal" of COVID-19, we discuss why both buyers and sellers in an M&A transaction should closely examine the "material adverse effect" definition and related provisions in acquisition agreements to insulate themselves from future risk of losses.
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BLOG: Raytheon Challenges CO Intellectual Property Decision in COFC

March 17, 2020
In a recent Court of Federal Claims (COFC) case, Raytheon Corporation (Raytheon) challenged a federal agency order that a Government Purpose Right (GPR) legend be affixed to documents purportedly containing technical data. COFC held that the contracting officer's (CO) decision that the documents contained technical data and the CO order to affix a GPR legend constituted a claim under COFC jurisdiction. This demonstrates that government contractors may challenge similar intellectual property disputes in COFC, despite an adverse final decision from a CO.
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BLOG: 4 Things to Know About DOJ's Procurement Collusion Strike Force

March 13, 2020
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has been increasing scrutiny of anticompetitive conduct in public procurements over the past several years, and this trend is certain to continue in light of DOJ's formation of a new Procurement Collusion Strike Force (PCSF), announced in November 2019. What should government contractors know about the PCSF? Here are four key takeaways regarding the PCSF's activities to help government contractors understand and prepare for increased enforcement of antitrust laws.
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BLOG: Reselling Laptops and Tablets to the Federal Government Just Got Easier

March 12, 2020
The Small Business Administration (SBA) issued a class waiver of the non-manufacturer rule (NMR) on March 9, 2020. Effective April 8, 2020, it waives the NMR for commercially available off-the-shelf (COTS) laptop and tablet computers. The waiver is great news for small business resellers in the IT industry because the waiver will make it easier for these small businesses to comply with the NMR when reselling COTS laptops and tablets to federal agencies.
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BLOG: "Constructive Demotion" Claim Under Title VII Gains Traction in 4th Circuit District Courts

March 11, 2020
While the viability of a claim of "constructive demotion" under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) has yet to be determined by the Fourth Circuit, a series of cases in district courts within the Circuit suggest that such might not be the case for long. In one such recent case, Judge Conrad of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia denied a defendant truck driver training company's motion to dismiss a constructive demotion claim brought by a female instructor. Diana Salmons, the plaintiff in Salmons v. Commercial Driver Services, Inc., Case No. 7:19-cv-00532, claimed she was subjected to a pervasive pattern of sexual harassment at the hands of her male counterparts and, as a result, she brought a five-count complaint alleging sexual harassment, hostile work environment, discriminatory and retaliatory constructive demotion and constructive discharge, and sex-based wage discrimination, in violation of Title VII. Employers should be aware of the increased number of constructive demotion cases and the courts' rulings on these matters, as well as conduct regular sexual harassment training to prevent this sort of behavior from occurring in the workplace.
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