News & Events

Robert Metzger Interviewed on New Federal Cyber Requirements

On September 15, 2015, Federal News Radio broadcast an interview of RJO shareholder Bob Metzger on new federal cyber requirements that now are being imposed on contractors to DoD and the civilian agencies. In the radio interview, conducted by Rogers Waldron of The Coalition for Government Procurement, Bob seeks to make sense of the many strands of new federal initiatives - the pending OMB Cyber Acquisition Guidance, NARA's proposed rule on Controlled Unclassified Information, the new NIST SP 800-171 that applies to non-federal information systems, and the just-released Interim DFARS with new cyber rules for four types of "controlled defense information." 45-minute interview


RJO Welcomes Joshua M. Deitz

Rogers Joseph O’Donnell is pleased to announce that Joshua M. Deitz has joined the firm as an associate. Josh joins our Government Contracts Group. He graduated with distinction from U.C. Hastings College of Law. At Hastings, he excelled in moot court and also served as both a Teaching Assistant and Writing Assistant, and, since receiving his JD, Josh has worked at Hastings as a Legal Writing and Research Professor. Josh has litigation experience in both state and federal courts and has worked with a variety of clients, including companies in the technology, energy and utilities, and investment industries. He has also had significant roles in several pro bono cases.


Alan Wilhelmy Appointed to California State Bar ADR Committee

Alan Wilhelmy has been appointed to serve a three year term on the State Bar of California Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee. Mr. Wilhelmy has served as an arbitrator for twenty years on panels including the AAA Construction Industry and Large and Complex Case Panels, the International Chamber of Commerce Panel and the California Public Works Contract Arbitration Panel. The ADR Committee makes recommendations to the Bar to improve mediation and arbitration in California.


RJO Attorneys Appointed to New Leadership Positions in the Public Contract Law Section and Other Sections; Aaron Silberman and Oliya Zamaray Honored for Their Work

Aaron Silberman has been elevated to Vice Chair of the Public Contract Law Section. He completed his term as Secretary and will ultimately serve as Chair in 2017-18. Oliya Zamaray has been appointed as the Section’s first-ever Executive Office Chair Mentee. Both received Chair Special Recognition Awards, Mr. Silberman for his role in planning and directing the Section’s 50th Anniversary Celebration and Ms. Zamaray for her efforts to integrate young lawyers into the Section.

Sharon Larkin and Patricia Meagher, both former Chairs of the Section, will serve as honorary members of the Section Council and as Fellows. Ms. Meagher also will continue to serve as Section Liaison to the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession and just co-chaired the Section’s 50th Anniversary Education Program at the 2015 Annual Meeting in Chicago, IL. Ms. Larkin and Mr. Silberman will continue to serve as Co-Chairs of the Section’s Publications Board.

Jeffery Chiow was reappointed as a Vice Chair of the Cybersecurity, Privacy & Data Protection Committee, which received the Section’s 2014-2015 Committee of the Year Award. Mr. Chiow was also appointed as Co-Chair of the Section’s Battlespace & Contingency Procurements Committee and reappointed as a Vice Chair of the Section’s Acquisition Reform & Emerging Issues Committee and its Counterfeit Parts Task Force. Robert Metzger will continue to serve as Vice Chair of the Section’s State & Local Model Procurement Code Committee and on its Counterfeit Parts Task Force. Ms. Zamaray just completed her term as the Co-Chair of the Section’s Young Lawyers Committee, was reappointed Vice Chair of the Contract Claims & Disputes Resolution Committee, and was appointed Vice Chair of the Cybersecurity, Privacy and Data Protection Committee. Dennis Callahan will continue as a Vice Chair of the Section’s Bid Protest Committee.

In the ABA Section of Litigation, Merri Baldwin, will continue as Co-Chair of the Attorney Liability Subcommittee of the Section’s Professional Liability Litigation Committee. In the ABA Section of International Law, Mr. Metzger was reappointed to continue as a Vice Chair of its India and Aerospace & Defense Industries Committees and as a member of the Steering Group of its International Procurement Committee.


RJO Attorneys Ranked in Who’sWhoLegal

Who’sWhoLegal, published by Law Business Research Ltd, in the UK, has just published its first ratings of Government Contracts firms and practitioners, worldwide. Rogers Joseph O'Donnell is named as one of 27 listed U.S. firms. Neil O'Donnell, RJO’s founder, and Robert Metzger, head of RJO’s D.C. office, were among 48 U.S. lawyers cited as "Experts" in the Government Contracts field. (Who'sWhoLegal)


Robert Metzger Quoted on Newly Issued DCMA Instruction

RJO shareholder Robert Metzger, was quoted at length in the Federal Contracts Report for July 28, 2015, on a newly issued DCMA Instruction for oversight of contractor efforts to detect and avoid counterfeit parts. Bob commented that the Instruction is a “positive step,” overall, considering the serious threat of counterfeits to the defense supply chain. Bob, who is recognized as a national expert in supply chain and cyber risk management, has many publications and presentations to his credit in this area, available on our website. New FCR Article.


Aaron Silberman Quoted on Important New Fifth Circuit Decision on Federal False Claims Act

RJO government contracts attorney Aaron Silberman, was quoted in the Federal Contracts Report (FCR) for July 14, 2015 (104 FCR 773), reporting on a significant federal False Claims Act (FCA) decision in an article titled “Fifth Circuit Affirms Flood Insurance Fraud Verdict, Allows Additional Discovery." In the article, Mr. Silberman comments on the significance of United States ex rel. Rigsby v. State Farm Fire and Cas. Co. (2015 BL 223044, 5th Cir., No. 14-60160, 7/13/15) on the consequences of a whistleblower relator’s failure to follow the FCA’s seal requirement and the scope of discovery a relator will be allowed to take in FCA cases. With regard to the relators’ violation of the FCA seal requirement, which the court held did not require dismissal of their FCA claims, Mr. Silberman noted there was “no indication in the opinion whether the government took a position on this issue. This is unfortunate since the seal provisions exist for the government’s benefit and protection.” Mr. Silberman disagreed with the court’s holding that the relators were entitled to additional limited discovery concerning further alleged misconduct: “By focusing on whether there was broader scheme evidence, without asking whether that evidence, when combined with the amended complaint, allege all the required elements of additional FCA violations, the Circuit Court’s decision has given the relators license to conduct the sort of fishing expedition that Rule 9(b) and the discovery rules were designed to prevent.” (Article)


Seven RJO Attorneys Named "Super Lawyers" in Northern California for 2015

Rogers Joseph O'Donnell is proud to announce that seven of its attorneys have been included among Super Lawyers magazine's top attorneys for 2015 in Northern California. Merri Baldwin, Robert Goodman, John Heller, Roland Nikles, Neil O'Donnell, Aaron Silberman, and Paul Zieff were named to the 2015 Super Lawyers' list for the Northern California Region. Ms. Baldwin and Mr. Heller were each recognized for their work in both Business Litigation and Professional Liability: Defense. Mr. Goodman was honored as a top Environmental Litigation lawyer. Mr. Nikles, Mr. O’Donnell and Mr. Silberman were again recognized as top lawyers in both Government Contracts and Construction Litigation. Finally, Mr. Zieff was recognized for his work in Business Litigation. Super Lawyers names top lawyers in Northern California, chosen by their peers and through the independent research of Law & Politics. Super Lawyers selects the top 5 percent of Northern California attorneys in more than 60 practice areas. The list of Northern California Super Lawyers is published annually in the August issue of San Francisco Magazine and Northern California Super Lawyers.


RJO Ranked Among the Top Six Firms in The Legal 500

For 27 years, The Legal 500 has been the source of analysis of law firms worldwide.  Nine years ago, The Legal 500 began to rate U.S. law firms in selective practice areas. The 2015 U.S. edition of The Legal 500 for the first time ranks the Government Contracts practice of U.S. firms. 

Rogers Joseph O'Donnell was ranked in Tier 2, among the top six of the eighteen U.S. firms selected for recognition. RJO was the only boutique among the ranked firms.

The Legal 500 highlights “practice area teams who are providing the most cutting edge and innovative advice to corporate counsel.” We are proud that our dedicated team, from our San Francisco and Washington offices, earned this special recognition.


Government Contracts Group and Attorneys Recognized Again by Chambers and Partners USA

For the eleventh consecutive year, Chambers and Partners USA has recognized Rogers Joseph O'Donnell as one of the premier government contracts law firms in the United States. RJO is proud once again to be the only boutique-sized firm to be ranked among the country's nine best government contracts firms. Chambers’ ratings, released on May 19, rate our government contracts practice in "Band 2" and recognizes six individual RJO attorneys.

Chambers describes our firm as a “[h]ighly regarded boutique firm, operating a strong and successful bid protests group” and handling “matters in a broad range of areas including construction, IT and infrastructure.” It quotes sources (mainly clients) describing our attorneys as "very knowledgeable about the subjects they advise on,” “easy to deal with,” and as providing “value in terms of billing” and “work product” that is “outstanding," and describing RJO as "a firm that understands the nuances of state government politics and policies."

Chambers ranks founding shareholder Neil O'Donnell as one of only nine top (“Band 1”) government contracts attorneys in the nation. Chambers describes Mr. O'Donnell as “a leading light in the field of government contracts,” regarded by clients as “a terrific lawyer”, and who “enjoys a fine reputation for his termination and bid protests work and is noted for his wide-ranging sector expertise, including the healthcare and construction arenas.” Bob Metzger, who heads our Washington office, and Patricia Meagher are also ranked as top government contracts attorneys in Bands 3 and 4, respectively. Chambers describes Bob’s government contracts practice as “highly respected,” quotes sources as praising him as “wonderful and brilliant" and for his "pragmatic, business-focused advice," and states that he is “recognized for his abilities in handling cutting-edge issues in areas such as counterfeit goods and cybersecurity” and “operates a strong bid protests practice.” Patricia is regarded by sources as "a very good lawyer and well known for claims and dispute work and terminations," and Chambers adds that she regularly handles high-profile and high-stakes matters in these areas. Shareholders Sharon Larkin and Aaron Silberman are also cited as "Other Noted Practitioners." Chambers recognizes Jeff Chiow as an "Associate to Watch," describing him as “highly regarded,” having “handled a number of high-profile matters,” and described by clients as "articulate, personable” and someone who “knows the area."

We appreciate the recognition of our peers and clients. To view the Chambers and Partners USA rankings for Rogers Joseph O'Donnell, visit the Chambers and Partners USA Website.


RJO’s Civil Rights Settlement Ranked Top in California for 2014

RJO’s victory in a First Amendment lawsuit was the top-ranked civil rights settlement in California in 2014, according to a survey by VerdictSearch and The Recorder. Shareholder John Heller and Associates Suhani Kamdar and Katherine Pohl secured the settlement in an Establishment Clause claim. Hazle v. Crofoot, 727 F. 3d 983 (9th Cir. 2013).


Sharon Ongerth Rossi Appointed Chair of the NCHRA Contra Costa County Regional Board

Sharon Ongerth Rossi has been appointed Regional Chair of the Northern California Human Resources Association. NCHRA has been advancing organizations through human resources since 1960 and dedicated to connecting human resources professionals with practice resources, leading California-specific training, legal and legislative developments, and forming career-long networks and partnerships. As Regional Chair, Sharon will act as the lead liaison for the region and will facilitate the
bi-monthly regional meetings.


Two DC Attorneys Named Rising Stars

Jeff Chiow and Lucas Hanback were both selected again as Rising Stars among DC Government Contracts attorneys by Super Lawyers. The selection process involves peer nominations, followed by a research-based winnowing of candidates. Up to 5% of lawyers can be named Super Lawyers with another 2.5% eligible to be named Rising Stars if they are under 40 and/or have been practicing less than 10 years. Jeff and Lucas were 2 of the 35 government contracts attorneys so-recognized in Washington, DC.


RJO Welcomes Two New Attorneys

Rogers Joseph O’Donnell is pleased to announce that Alecia E. Cotton and Nicholas T. Niiro have joined the firm as associates.

Alecia joins our Retail Industry Trade Regulation Group and our Environmental Law Group. Alecia is a 2007 graduate of Loyola University College of Law, New Orleans. Immediately prior to joining RJO, Alecia was a senior litigation associate at McKenna Long and Aldridge where she gained extensive litigation and trial experience representing the business community in complex commercial civil litigation and consumer products litigation. Alecia also regularly counsels large and small companies on issues involving regulatory compliance, business practices and environmental matters.

Nick joins our Environmental Law Group and our Retail Industry Trade Regulation Group. Nick is a 2011 graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center and received a Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from UCLA. Prior to joining RJO, Nick was an associate at a boutique environmental law firm, where he represented clients in administrative proceedings involving hydropower and water rights before the California State Water Resources Control Board, California Public Utilities Commission, and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. He has also worked as a jury consultant, specializing in advising clients on environmental and toxic tort litigation.

We are delighted to add their talents to the RJO team.


RJO Helps Construction Client Overcome Challenge to BART Award

RJO client Manson Construction, a marine construction company, was the low bidder on the BART Marine Barrier Project at Ferry Plaza. BART’s Office of Civil Rights challenged Manson’s good faith efforts to obtain disadvantaged business participation in the project and recommended that Manson’s bid be rejected.

Alan Wilhelmy worked with Manson’s DBE outreach team, prepared a hearing brief, prepared witnesses for the hearing and attended a half-day hearing before the BART hearing officer.

The hearing officer concluded that Manson did in fact undertake the necessary good faith efforts to obtain DBE participation. Based upon the decision, BART awarded the $50 million contract to Manson.


RJO Attorneys Named to Law360 Editorial Boards

Bob Metzger and associate Jeff Chiow were both selected to serve as editorial advisors by Law360, a legal new service operated by LexisNexis. “The purpose of the editorial advisory board is to get feedback on Law360’s coverage and to gain insight from experts in the field on how best to shape future coverage.” Bob Metzger, who heads RJO’s Washington, DC office was selected to advise on Law360’s Aerospace & Defense coverage. Jeff Chiow will cover Government Contracts content.


RJO’s Year-in-Review Analysis of GSA Schedule
Contracting Issues

In case you missed it, the February 27, 2015 Friday Flash newsletter by The Coalition for Government Procurement featured an article co-authored by shareholder Robert Metzger and associate Oliya Zamaray. In their article, "GSA Multiple Award Schedule Contracting: Lessons From 2014," the authors focused on GSA enforcement results from 2014, identified trends, and offered advice to companies on how to conduct self-assessments that will reduce your risk of non-compliance. The article had been previously published in Law360, where Mr. Metzger and Ms. Zamaray offer their year in review analysis of GSA’s schedule program.


Northern District of California Judges Thank RJO for Pro Bono Work

On February 17, 2015, RJO was among the law firms and lawyers recognized by the judges of the federal district court for the Northern District of California for their participation in the court’s Federal Pro Bono Project. RJO shareholder Aaron Silberman has participated in the program since 2004. Last year, he and Lauren Kramer volunteered to serve as pro bono special mediation counsel for two in pro per plaintiffs in a predatory lending case.


RJO Attorneys Certified As Specialists

Shareholders Merri Baldwin and John Heller have been certified as Specialists in Legal Malpractice Law by the California Board of Legal Specialization. Baldwin and Heller co-chair the firm’s Attorney Liability and Conduct practice group, handling matters involving legal malpractice, State bar discipline, motions to disqualify, sanctions, and ethics advice.


Aaron Silberman Quoted on Important New Fourth Circuit Decision on Federal False Claims Act

RJO government contracts attorney Aaron Silberman, was quoted in the Federal Contracts Report (FCR) for February 10, 2015 (103 FCR 133), reporting on a significant federal False Claims Act (FCA) decision in an article titled “Fourth Circuit: Information Must Reach Public Domain to Trigger Disclosure Bar." In the article, Mr. Silberman comments on the significance of United States ex rel. Wilson v. Graham Cnty. Soil & Water Conservation Dist. (2015 BL 26339, 4th Cir., No. 13-2345, 2/3/15) on the FCA’s public disclosure bar in 31 U.S.C. § 3730(e)(4)(A). The Wilson decision continues an unfortunate trend among some federal courts unduly restricting the public disclosure defense to qui tam lawsuits and thereby expanding the FCA liability of federal government contractors. The court considered two disclosures – 1) an audit report created by an independent accounting firm, distributed to federal, state and local authorities, and publicly available for inspection, and 2) a federal agency report created by the USDA, distributed to federal and state authorities, and also publicly available. The court found no fault with the district court's factual findings that the disclosures contained facts underling the relator's fraud claims and were relied upon by the relator and that the relator was not an original source. It nevertheless reversed the trial court's dismissal of the relator's claims, basing its reversal on a mechanical reading the terms "public" and "disclosure" without regard to the clear purpose of the defense – to prevent parasitic whistleblower suits based on information available to the government and the public. Allowing parasitic lawsuits like this one stretches the language of the FCA, does not serve its intent, and does nothing to assist the Government in detecting and fighting fraud. (Article)


Robert Metzger Quoted on President Obama's Visit to India

Bob Metzger, an RJO shareholder who heads the firm’s D.C. office, is among experts quoted in an article in India’s Open magazine that examines the implications and prospects of President Obama's historic visit to India. (Article)


Victory in $2.5B Multi-Award Navy Bid Protest

RJO attorneys scored a significant victory on behalf of their client challenging the outcome of the procurement for a $2.5B multiple-award Navy contract. The U.S. Navy’s Space and Naval Warfare Center (SPAWAR) had issued awards to five companies to produce build-to-print network systems to be installed on Navy ships under the Consolidated Afloat Networks & Enterprise Services (CANES) program. RJO attorneys Neil O'Donnell, Jeff Chiow, Lauren Kramer and Lucas Hanback established that the Navy’s CANES procurement was flawed. They argued, among other things, that the Navy had changed its mind about the number of units it was likely to buy, but then never revised its pricing analysis to account for the changed approach. GAO agreed. Because the Navy’s procurement intentions had changed, GAO recommended that the Agency revise its solicitation accordingly and accept revised pricing. Another disappointed offeror also protested the procurement but its protest was denied. The decision is available at


Merri A. Baldwin Will Serve as Treasurer for the Bar Association of San Francisco for 2015

Merri A. Baldwin will serve as the treasurer for the Bar Association of San Francisco for 2015.  BASF is nationally-recognized for its extensive pro bono work and efforts to promote diversity in the profession.


Aaron Silberman Quoted on Ninth Circuit Decision re Public Disclosure Defense Under Federal False Claims Act

RJO government contracts attorney Aaron P. Silberman was quoted extensively in the Federal Contracts Report (FCR) for November 4, 2014 (102 FCR 533), reporting on a significant federal False Claims Act (FCA) decision in an article titled “Ninth Circuit Affirms Deposition Constituted Public Disclosure Under FCA" (PDF). In the article, Mr. Silberman comments on the significance of Malhotra v. Steinberg (2014 BL 305219, 9th Cir., No. 13-35165, 10/29/14) on the FCA’s public disclosure bar in 31 U.S.C. § 3730(e)(4)(A). The decision evaluates when a disclosure is “public.” The Ninth Circuit previously held in Seal 1 v. Seal A, 255 F.3d 1154 (9th Cir. 2001), that a disclosure is “public” as to a particular individual, and so will bar that individual from suing as a relator, if (a) the disclosure was made to that individual in a qualifying government proceeding and (b) that individual was an “outsider” to that proceeding. In such circumstances, the disclosure need not be made to the public at large. The Malhotras case is important because it applies the ruling in Seal 1 to relators who were significantly involved in the proceeding in which the disclosure was made. In other words, it interprets the term "outsider" extremely broadly. While the facts of Malhotras are unusual, the decision makes clear that, at least in the Ninth Circuit, a disclosure in virtually any government investigation to any individual other than a government employee is likely to qualify as a "public" disclosure under the FCA and bar a qui tam action if the other elements of the public disclosure bar are met and the relator is not an original source. (Article)


RJO Attorneys Contribute to New ABA Guide on State False Claims Acts

RJO attorneys authored three chapters in State False Claims Acts: A Practitioner’s Guide to the False Claims Acts of the Various States, a book just released by the American Bar Association (ABA) Section of Public Contract Law. Aaron P. Silberman and Dennis J. Callahan co-authored the chapters on the federal, California and Nevada False Claims Acts. The Guide provides a reference tool for comparing violations, defenses and procedures among these complicated statutes for combatting fraud against federal, state and local governments. For further information, visit the ABA Webstore.


Merri Baldwin Appointed Vice-Chair of California State Bar Standing Committee on Professional Liability and Conduct for 2014-15

RJO shareholder Merri A. Baldwin has been appointed as the Vice-Chair of the State Bar of California’s Standing Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct. She will serve in that role for the 2014-2015 term, and will serve as chair for the following term.


RJO Welcomes Government Contracts Shareholder Sharon Larkin to DC Office

RJO is pleased to announce that Sharon L. Larkin has joined our DC office as a shareholder. Ms. Larkin concentrates her practice on government contracts and construction litigation and counseling. She has an in-depth understanding of public procurement and extensive experience in bid protests, claims litigation, and alternative dispute resolution. Ms. Larkin provides practical solutions to solving client problems, and educates clients on the issues they must address to be successful contractors.

Ms. Larkin brings to the firm experience from both the public and private sector. She recently joined the firm after twelve years with the Government Accountability Office (GAO), where she served as a Judge on GAO Contract Appeals Board and an Assistant General Counsel in the Procurement Law Division. There, Ms. Larkin presided over some of the most complex bid protests and contract appeals, including disputes involving the acquisition and performance of contracts involving complex weapons systems, environmental remediation, healthcare services, information technology, and the modernization and renovation of the United States Supreme Court. During her time at GAO, she issued more than 370 public decisions, presided over more than 40 hearings and trials, and conducted more than 65 alternative dispute resolution sessions. Ms. Larkin has won numerous awards for distinguished service, including the GAO Meritorious Service Award from the Comptroller General in 2007, and several Office of General Counsel Outstanding Achievement Awards.

Prior to GAO, Ms. Larkin was a government contracts and construction attorney in private practice, where she counseled clients on a variety of procurement and construction matters and litigated cases at GAO, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, Federal Circuit, and various boards of contract appeals. Thus, Ms. Larkin is able to provide sound client advice based on experience both as an advocate and an adjudicator.

Ms. Larkin is a frequent lecturer on government contracting matters and has taught numerous classes on contract formation and administration, litigation practice, and alternative dispute resolution. Ms. Larkin is the current chair of the ABA Section of Public Contact Law (2013-2014), a position she earned after serving in multiple other leadership positions with the Section. She is also an active member of the Board of Contract Appeals Bar Association and Court of Federal Claims Bar Association. At the beginning of her legal career, Ms. Larkin served as a law clerk to the Honorable Moody R. Tidwell, III, at the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. She obtained her law degree from Suffolk University Law School in 1998, and a B.A. in Medical Technology in Laboratory Medicine from Albany College of Pharmacy in 1987.


Aaron M. Scolari Joins RJO

Aaron Scolari has joined the firm as an associate in the Labor and Employment practice group. He represents employers in a wide variety of employment matters. He has particular experience litigating claims for discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination, and wage and hour violations. In addition to litigating matters, Mr. Scolari advises and counsels management on various aspects of the employment relationship, including complex wage and hour issues, leaves of absence, disability accommodation, and terminations. He obtained his law degree from the University of California, Davis, King Hall School of Law in 2004 and a B.A. from the University of San Francisco in 1999.


RJO Attorneys Contribute Government Contracts Article to the American University Law Review

As part of the American University Law Review’s recently published annual volume that examines the most important decisions of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, RJO attorneys Dennis Callahan, Jeffrey Chiow, Lauren Kramer, and Oliya Zamaray co-authored an article that analyzes the Federal Circuit’s precedential government contracts decisions from 2013. 

Except in the rare instances where the U.S. Supreme Court agrees to hear a further appeal, the Federal Circuit has the final word on questions of law that arise in government contracts cases. The RJO attorneys’ article examines the Federal Circuit’s recent jurisprudence in bid protests, contractor claims, and in jurisdictional questions concerning government contracts disputes and other related appeals. In addition to recapping the 2013 developments in the Federal Circuit, the piece explains how government contractors can best frame their disputes to take advantage of these precedents, or to avoid them, as the case may be.


Aaron Silberman Quoted on Statute of Limitations Decision in Lance Armstrong Federal False Claims Act Case

RJO government contracts attorney Aaron Silberman was quoted extensively in the Federal Contracts Report (FCR) for June 24, 2014 (Vol. 101, No. 23, pp. 630-631), reporting on a significant federal False Claims Act (FCA) decision in an article titled “False Claims Act: District Court Permits Claims That Armstrong, Others Violated the FCA" (PDF). In the article, Mr. Silberman comments on the significance of U.S. ex rel. Landis v. Tailwind Sports Corp. on statute of limitations issues, specifically the difficult standard a defendant faces in seeking on a motion to dismiss government claims on the basis that the responsible U.S. official should have known of the alleged fraud more than three years prior to the original filing of the lawsuit. The decision is also significant in two other respects. First, it departs from the same court’s prior decision in U.S. ex rel. Pogue v. Diabetes Treatment Centers of America that qui tam relators may rely on the tolling provision in the FCA statute of limitations (the minority view). And, second, it is the first reported decision to disagree with the Fourth Circuit decision in 2013 in U.S. ex rel. Carter v. Halliburton Co. that the Wartime Suspensions Limitations Act (WSLA), suspended the FCA’s statute of limitations for both relator and government FCA claims arising during the U.S. conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Mr. Silberman commented in an earlier FCR article on the Carter v. Halliburton decision as well (PDF).


RJO Gets $1M+ Claim Dismissed

RJO attorneys John Heller and Lauren Kramer filed a successful motion to dismiss a $1M+ contract claim on behalf of a new RJO client. Ms. Kramer argued the motion before the Northern District of California, which issued an opinion dismissing the claim for lack of personal jurisdiction in California. The written opinion adopted much of the reasoning advanced by RJO in its briefs and at oral argument.


Neil O’Donnell and Aaron Silberman Recognized in Who’s Who Legal 2014

Who’s Who Legal, as a result of its research with clients and peers, has recognized Neil O'Donnell and Aaron Silberman among the leading individuals worldwide in 2014 within the practice areas of Public Procurement and Construction, respectively. More info at


Robert Metzger Interviewed about New Defense Department Rules on Detection and Avoidance of Counterfeit Parts

Bob Metzger was interviewed on May 13, 2014 for nearly an hour on a VoiceAmerica Internet Radio site, “People to People: Working Together for Your Safety,” on the subject of the new Defense Department rules on detection and avoidance of counterfeit parts. Bob discussed how these rules would operate, key areas of uncertainty and implementation challenge, and how they might affect the broader technology supply chain. Bob’s interview.


Jeffery Chiow and Lucas Hanback Named Rising Stars

The 2014 Washington DC Super Lawyers Magazine has identified Jeff Chiow and Lucas Hanback as “Rising Stars” in the field of Government Contracts. Jeff and Lucas were aviation and artillery officers, respectively, in the United States Marine Corps and both graduated from The George Washington University Law School. RJO established its Washington office in 2011 with a focus on government contracts, leveraging the firm’s 30+-year reputation for excellence in the field.


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Recent Publications

GSA’s Class Deviation for Commercial Supplier Agreements, RJO Update, Sept. 2015 (co-authored)

New California Family Rights Act Regulations: Employers with 50 or More Employees in California Should Ensure Existing Policies, Practices, Forms and Postings Are up to Date, RJO Update, July 2015 (co-authored)

California Employers Must Provide Paid Sick Leave Benefits to Most Employees,
RJO Update, July 2015 (co-authored)

Threats to the Supply Chain: Extending Federal Cybersecurity Safeguards to the Commercial Sector, Bloomberg BNA, 14 PVLR 1010, June 8, 2015, by R. Metzger (PDF)

Litigating Bid Protests Before the New York Office of State Comptroller, The Procurement Lawyer, June 2015 (PDF) by D. Callahan

Cybersecurity and Acquisition Practices: New Initiatives to Protect Federal Information of Civilian Agencies, Bloomberg BNA, 97 DER B-1, May 20, 2015, by R. Metzger (PDF)

Mitigating the Adverse Effects of Hydropower Projects: A Comparative Review of River Restoration and Hydropower Regulation in Sweden and the United States, The Georgetown Int’l Envtl. Law Review, Vol. 27:251, Apr. 2015, by N. Niiro (PDF) (co-authored)

Cybersecurity for the Rest of Us: Protecting Federal Information of Civilian Agencies, Bloomberg BNA Federal Contracts Report, 103 FCR, Mar. 10, 2015, by R. Metzger (PDF)

Key Changes to California Employment Law in 2015, RJO Update, January 2015,

Litigation Strategies for Gov. Contracts, 2015 ed.: Leading Lawyers on Understanding the False Claims Act, Filing Bid Protests, and Working with Gov. Agencies (Inside the Minds), Thompson Reuters, 2014, by A. Silberman (opening ch., titled “Gov. Contracts Litigation in 2014 and Beyond: More Protests and Enforcement Actions, Fewer but Better Claims, and ADR Early and Often”) Thompson Reuters

View From RJO: A Standards-Based Way To Avoid Counterfeit Electronic Parts, Bloomberg BNA Federal Contracts Report, 102 FCR 540, Nov. 4, 2014, by R. Metzger (PDF)

How FATCA Will Affect Brokers Dealing with Foreign Insurers and Agents, California Broker, Life Insurance, Oct. 2014, by D. Paik (PDF)

State False Claims Acts: A Practitioner's Guide to the False Claims Acts of the Various States, ABA Publishing, 2014, by A. Silberman and D. Callahan, contributing authors ABA Webstore

Termination for Convenience of the Government: Key Issues for Contractor Recovery, Briefing Papers, Thomson Reuters, Sept. 2014, by P. Meagher and O. Zamaray, contributing authors (PDF)

New Rule Addresses Supply Chain Assurance, National Defense, NDIA's Business and Technology Magazine, in which Bob Metzger has contributed a column in the "Ethics Corner" of the October 2014 issue (PDF)

View From RJO: Risk-Based Acquisition Strategies to Avoid Failed IT Projects, Bloomberg BNA Federal Contracts Report, 102 FCR, Sept. 23, 2014, by R. Metzger and M Linderman (PDF)

Indiana V. IBM: What's At Stake For IT Contractors, Law360, Sept. 15, 2014, by R. Metzger and M. Linderman (PDF)

Filing Protests At Both GAO And COFC Can Be Useful, Law360, Aug. 13, 2014, by S. Larkin (PDF)

State and Local: How Public Agencies May (or May Not) Terminate Contracts, The Procurement Lawyer, Vol. 49, No. 4, Summer 2014, by A. Silberman (PDF)

Supply Chain Security: Initiatives to Defend Against the Threats of Counterfeit Parts, IPC APEX Expo 2014, March 26, 2014, by R. Metzger, Video interview featuring Mark Northrup of IEC Electronics

Construction Subcontracting: A Comprehensive Practical and Legal Guide, ABA Publishing, 2014, by A. Silberman, lead editor and co-author; M. Linderman, R. Osier, co-authors; T. Arbuthnot, W. Chen, S Tyrell, contributers (ABA Webstore)

An Ounce of Prevention: Managing Disqualification Risks through Advance Conflict Waivers, IP Litigator, March/April 2014, by M. Baldwin (PDF)

Hoping for Summary Judgment on California False Claims? Au Contreras, AGC California Legal Brief, Mar. 2014, by A. Silberman and D. Callahan (PDF)

Convergence of Counterfeit and Cyber Threats: Understanding New Rules on Supply Chain Risk, Bloomberg BNA Federal Contracts Report, 101 FCR, Feb. 18, 2014, by R. Metzger (PDF)

Privacy vs. Security -- A zero sum game? Jan. 2014, by J. Chiow (PDF)

Challenges Facing Civil Aviation in India, Indian Defence Review, Vol. 28:4, Oct.-Dec. 2013, by R. Metzger

GSA Multiple Award Schedule Contracting: Lessons From 2013, Law360, Dec. 18, 2013, by R. Metzger, J. Chiow and O. Zamaray (PDF)

Lawyers Representing Startups: Managing Ethical Obligations and Risks, California Bar Journal,
Dec., 2013, by M. Baldwin

New DOD Cybersecurity Program Expected To Significantly Affect IT Contractors, Bloomberg BNA Federal Contracts Report, 100 FCR 472, in which Bob Metzger is quoted on supply chain rules, Nov. 19, 2013 (PDF)

Advanced regional turboprop aircraft: Solutions to India's aviation infrastructure restraints, The Economic Times, Nov. 10, 2013, by R. Metzger

The Many Challenges Facing Civil Aviation in India, India Law News, ABA Section of International Law, Vol. 4, Issue 3, Fall 2013 (PDF) by R. Metzger

The Risks of Hiding Accounts and Assets in Korea Are Going Up (in 5 parts), Korea Daily, Sept. 23-27, 2013 (in Original Korean: (PDF); (in English Translation: (PDF) by D. Paik

Offsets Loom Large As Defense Firms Sell More Abroad, Law 360, Sept. 30, 2013 (PDF) by R. Metzger

"Do defence PSU's make better joint venture partners for foreign companies?" Feature article, The Economic Times (India), in which Bob Metzger quoted extensively on challenges in forming successful joint ventures with state-owned and private sector companies in India, July 7, 2013

DoD's public meeting - discussion of the proposed DFAR rule on detection and avoidance of counterfeit electronic parts. Robert Metzger's prepared statement is posted on the DoD Defense Procurement Acquisition Policy web site, June 28, 2013

"New DOD Counterfeit Prevention Policy: Resolves Responsibilities Within DOD But Leaves Many Contractor Questions Unresolved," Federal Contracts Report, a publication of Bloomberg BNA, May 15, 2013 (PDF) by R. Metzger

"India's Defense Procurement: Responses to the New Scandal, India and the United States: The Evolving Legal Landscape," April 27, 2013 (PDF) by R. Metzger

"The Importance of Competitive Negotiations to State Information Technology Procurement," The Procurement Lawyer, Section of Public Contract Law, ABA, Vol. 48, No. 3 - Spring 2013 (PDF) by R. Metzger and L. Kramer

"Discoverability of Witness Interviews: To What Extent Do the Work Product Doctrine and/or the Attorney-Client Privilege Apply," California Bar Journal, State Bar of California, February 2013, by M. Baldwin