GovCon Examiner Live 2022

January 31, 2022

Government contractors: We are excited to continue our “GovCon Examiner Live” webinar series in 2022. Over the course of the next 12 months, the Chair of our Government Contracting department, Maria Panichelli, will bring her popular GovCon Examiner blog to life with legal updates and practical tips for your business.

The series will include the following 12 sessions, please register for each webinar that you are interested in attending.

 

You can’t go far in government contracting today without hearing about Teaming and Joint Venturing, or Mentor Protégé relationships. Whether you are a large business looking to leverage a small business partner’s eligibility, or a small business looking to supplement your own performance capabilities and gain a competitive edge, these strategies can greatly increase your access to contracts and give your revenue a boost. While many contractors have heard of these strategies, not all fully understand the related eligibility requirements, or how to draft enforceable, compliant teaming or JV agreements. Similarly, many contractors do not fully understand their rights and obligations after forming a mentor-protégé relationship. These gaps in information are dangerous because, when done incorrectly, teaming and joint venturing can have serious negative consequences.

During this webinar, experienced government contracting attorney Maria Panichelli will explain the proper considerations and procedures for entering into an enforceable teaming agreement and the essential clauses to include in these types of agreements, as well as common pitfalls to avoid. Attendees also will learn how to form eligible small business JVs, and how to navigate the SBA mentor-protégé program. Recent changes to the small business regulations relating to teaming, JVs, and the mentor-protégé regulations will also be discussed.

The more competitive the federal market becomes, the more inevitable bid protests are. If you want to succeed in bid protest litigation, it is critically important that you understand the rules and regulations governing the protest process. It is also vital that you avoid the common misunderstandings and mistakes that so many contractors make, which can negatively impact their chances of successfully asserting, or defending, a protest.

In this session, experienced government contracting attorney Maria Panichelli will discuss the most common mistakes that contractors make, and how to avoid them. You will learn how to identify different types of protests, calculate deadlines, and avoid common pitfalls involving standing and jurisdiction. The webinar will cover the dos and don'ts of debriefing, and how to tell a losing protest from a winner.

In the government contracting space, subcontracts must do double duty. Not only do they have to address the requirements of the prime and subcontractor, they also have to consider the interests of the federal government. This legal balancing act requires depth and breadth of knowledge about the FAR and related subcontracting issues.

In this webinar, experienced government contracting attorney Maria Panichelli of Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel, will explain how to successfully navigate some of the biggest subcontracting issues from both the prime contractor and subcontractor points of view. The webinar will cover flow-down clauses, sub vs. prime dispute resolution, and key strategies to minimize risk. Maria will discuss the most common subcontracting mistakes made by subs and primes in federal contracting and how to avoid them. She will also briefly address pass-through claims and liquidation agreements. COVID-relating issues stemming from recent legal developments will also be discussed.

As many experienced federal contractors know, the Changes clause just may be the most important clause in your contract. From variations in quantities, to design revisions, to delays, to defective specifications, to breaches of warranty, many if not most of the issues that arise during the performance of a government contract are within the scope of the Changes clause.

In this webinar, Obermayer’s government contracting practice chair Maria Panichelli will discuss the various circumstances that implicate the FAR’s Changes clause, and the different things that constitute a “change.” Using real-life examples, Maria will provide an explanation of how to successfully navigate change-related issues during performance, with a focus on how contractors can get paid for changes as they arise, while also preserving their relationships with government personnel and agencies. Attendees will learn how to identify and distinguish between types of changes, how to provide proper notice, how to avoid conflict with the government over changes, and how to get properly compensated.

In certain circumstances, federal government contracts can be terminated by the government. They key, if your contact is terminated, is to understand what type of termination has occurred, what the consequences are, and what rights you have to challenge the termination, or seek compensation. Terminations can be for convenience (“T for C”) or for default (“T for D”). A T for C does not imply that there was any fault on the part of the contractor, but a T for D means the government believes that the contractor failed to perform by the provisions of the contract. This distinction has other important implications as well. If terminated for convenience, a contractor is entitled to payment for the work done, and for any preparations made for the terminated portion of the contract. In contrast, if defaulted, it is possible that a contractor will owe the government money in connection with reprocurement. Getting terminated for default can also negatively impact a contractor’s ability to get future contracts.

This webinar will cover the ins and outs of terminations. Learn all about T for Ds, how to challenge them, how to convert them to T for Cs, and how to deal with reprocurement claims. The webinar will also discuss T for Cs, the response process and seeking compensation.

Federal government contracting is a highly-specialized industry. But federal construction is even more specialized. The FAR and its supplementary regulations are applied to, and impact, construction contracts in unique ways. These regulations impose a host of obligations on contractors that can affect not only performance but how contractors can seek compensation for unanticipated costs incurred on the job. Accordingly, familiarity with the specific FAR clauses addressing construction issues is critical if you want to get paid.

In this webinar, experienced government contracting attorney, Maria Panichelli will provide attendees with a roadmap for navigating the most important issues impacting federal construction contractors - including changes, defective designs and specifications, differing site conditions, suspensions, delays, and contract terminations. Attendees will learn how to recognize issues, provide appropriate notice, preserve claim rights, and guard against the most common government defenses.

Given the proliferation of set-aside contracts in the federal government contracting industry, eligibility for the 8(a), HUBZone, women-owned and veteran-owned programs is critical. This eligibility can greatly expand contracting opportunities and result in more contract awards. But did you know that competitors have the right to officially challenge an award to a competitor on the basis that the awardee is not, in fact, eligible under the applicable small business regulations? These challenges can cost a contractor not only a current award but their eligibility as a whole.

In this webinar, you will learn how to guard against the most common small-business pitfalls that can lead to a successful size and status protest against your award, and also learn how to use these protests as an affirmative tool to eliminate competitors who are not legitimate small businesses. Experienced government contracts attorney Maria Panichelli will discuss the most common bases for size and status protests – including affiliation, control-related issues, and improperly set up JVs – as well as the procedures, timelines and litigation strategies relating to size and status protests.

Today’s federal marketplace is extremely competitive. It is not surprising, then, that protests have become an almost inevitable feature of many procurements. Successful contractors know how to use protests to go after the contracts they deserve, when improperly awarded to someone else. Understanding the processes and procedures that govern bid protests can mean the difference between getting a contract, or losing out to a competitor.

In this webinar, experienced government contracting attorney Maria Panichelli will provide a comprehensive overview of asserting bid protests. Registrants will learn about the procurement timeline, when to be on the lookout for notices or events that might trigger their protest deadlines, and how to ensure they comply with these deadlines. Strategies for debriefings will be discussed, as will some common bases for both pre- and post-award protests. Maria will explain who has “standing” to file a bid protest, what needs to go into a bid protest, where a bid protest can be filed, and what deadlines apply to filing a bid protest. Attendees will also learn about common bid protest defenses and how to avoid them.

In today's increasingly competitive federal market, contractors may receive an award notice, only to be told several days later that the contract is on hold, all because of a bid protest filed by a disgruntled competitor. If you have ever found yourself in this position, you may know how hard it can be to find answers, and how quickly you can miss an important deadline.

In this webinar, Obermayer government contracting attorney Maria Panichelli will provide you with the roadmap and resources necessary to defend against the protest, keep the contract you earned, and keep your costs down. Attendees will learn about intervention, common bid protest defenses, and strategies, how to coordinate with government counsel, as well as practical tips about how to mitigate risk and costs.

Nothing is more frightening to business owners who have built their business in the federal marketplace than the prospect of suspension or debarment. Not only can it interrupt your current operations, it can also prevent you from receiving contracts in the foreseeable future. For many business owners, it can mean the end of their business entirely.

In this webinar experienced government contracts attorney Maria Panichelli will discuss the ethical issues that are the most common causes of suspensions and debarments from doing business with the federal government. She will provide insights into what sort of conduct will raise a red flag with government personnel, and how to protect your business against some of the most common mistakes that lead to debarment. She will also discuss what do to if you are facing an investigation that may lead to a suspension or debarment. Finally, the webinar will cover the rights and remedies available to contractors in fighting an improper suspension or debarment to preserve your business with the federal government.

Experienced contractors know that the contract award is only the beginning.  Performance comes with its own set of challenges.  Any number of issues may arise during performance, each of which can lead to unanticipated costs or delays.  Contractors who wish to recoup their costs, or offset their delays, must learn to utilize certain tools, namely, Requests for Equitable Adjustments (REAs) and claims.  To use these tools effectively, contractors must familiarize themselves with the relevant portions of the FAR as well as the Contract Disputes Act (CDA).  These laws control not only how a contractor may perform a contract, but how a contractor may adjustments to its contracts. 

In this webinar, experienced government contract attorney Maria Panichelli will walk you through the applicable laws, and explain how to use REAs and Claims to seek the additional time and money you are entitled to.  Attendees will learn about the similarities and differences between REAs and Claims, when it is appropriate to use each tool, insider strategies for using both, and common claims/REA bases.

Federal government contract disputes are unique. Unlike other types of contract disputes, where you can simply initiate an action in court, federal claims are governed by specific regulations, and must be dealt with using particular procedures involving administrative review and special courts. Familiarity with these practices and procedures is critical to success and recovery of monetary damages.

In this webinar, experienced government contracts attorney Maria Panichelli will walk attendees through the processes used to litigate claims arising out of federal government contracts. Maria will explain the statutory requirements for claims, discuss the forums in which contractors can litigate a claim, and identify the applicable deadlines. Attendees will also learn about the most common defenses raised by the government - among them, Notice, Authority and Waiver/Release - and how to overcome (if not avoid) those defenses.