Welcome to the PilieroMazza blog, featuring trending legal insight in the areas of government contracting, general business and corporate issues, labor and employment, and civil litigation matters.

BLOG: Helping Government Contractors Prevent Unwarranted Tax Liabilities in Afghanistan

October 17, 2019
By Lauren Brier
On September 20, 2019, the Department of Defense ("DoD"), General Services Administration ("GSA"), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration ("NASA"), published a document proposing to amend the Federal Acquisition Regulation ("FAR") to add two new clauses that notify contractors about the exemptions from liability for Afghanistan taxes, customs, duties, fees or similar charges. Comments for the proposed rule will continue to be accepted on or before November 19, 2019. Small and large government contractors performing in Afghanistan need to ensure they are registered to do business in Afghanistan and have the proper tax-exemption certificates in place prior to performance to avoid incurring Afghan tax liabilities that are otherwise exempt.

BLOG: A Thank You to the Small Business Administration: SBA Takes a Stand on OIG's Approach to Suspension and Debarment

October 16, 2019
By Isaias "Cy" Alba IV
The ability to suspend and debar contractors is a tool the federal government can deploy when necessary to protect it from unscrupulous contractors. Critically, it is not intended to be used punitively. The reason for this is clear, especially when dealing with small businesses: if you debar or suspend a company without evidence that it is not a responsible contractor, you risk destroying part of the United States' industrial base and numerous jobs that Americans rely on without good cause. Too often the Inspector Generals look to "shoot first and ask questions later" when it comes to suspension and debarment, taking a "guilty until proven innocent" approach. This approach can have catastrophic effects for small businesses. Luckily, the Small Business Administration's ("SBA") suspension and debarment officials understand this risk and have taken to heart the underlying principles, enshrined in law, that all government contractors are innocent until proven guilty.

BLOG: Government Contractor Acquisitions and Clearances: Deal Structure Matters

October 11, 2019
By Megan C. Connor and Kathryn L. Hickey
Our Corporate and Government Contracts attorneys often counsel contractors interested in acquiring an entity with a clearance or assets used on a classified contract. The clearance is a consideration in the transaction that cannot be overlooked. Indeed, the clearance is often one of the seller's most important "assets." Buyers and sellers alike should be aware of the National Industrial Security Program Operating Manual ("NISPOM") requirements.

BLOG: SCOTUS Clarifies Vague Arbitration Clauses Affecting Class Disputes for Growing Businesses

October 10, 2019
By Patrick K. Burns
For most small to medium-sized businesses, the threat of a class action is not usually front-of-mind. However, as a business grows, the threat can increase depending on the number of employees and the nature of the work being performed. Class actions are commonly thought of as involving hundreds, if not thousands, of individuals. However, courts routinely consider much smaller groups of employees, including groups of approximately 40 individuals to be sufficient to establish a class action. To reduce the risk of a class action disrupting business operations and impacting revenue, businesses may want to consider including arbitration clauses in their employment and consumer agreements.

BLOG: Special Considerations When Forming a Medical Professional Services Company

October 9, 2019
By David T. Shafer and Francis G. Massaro
While it is often thought that forming a business is a simple process accomplished by filing formation documents provided by a jurisdiction's Secretary of State (or equivalent), actual compliance with a particular jurisdiction's corporate and/or limited liability company law provisions requires further analysis. For many types of professional services businesses, most states require such professional services businesses to organize as professional corporations ("PCs") or professional limited liability companies ("PLLCs"), which impose additional organizational requirements. Professional services businesses are often categorized by jurisdictions as those businesses that require additional licensure to perform the services associated with the business, such as medical service providers, engineers, architects, accountants, and attorneys. For medical services PCs and PLLCs in Virginia and Maryland, these requirements which often relate to various licensing requirements, can complicate establishing professional services companies and expose owners, officers, and employees to additional risk and liability.
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