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RJO Persuades Transit Agency That Client Has No Organizational Conflict of Interest

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RJO attorney Joseph McGowan succeeded in persuading the Los Angeles Metro to state, in advance of receiving proposals, that RJO’s client, B&C Transit, Inc., had no organizational conflict of interest (“OCI”). B&C Transit had prepared design drawings for a prior LA Metro project, which had been cancelled. B&C’s drawings were subsequently repackaged by LA Metro as part of a more comprehensive solicitation for the Blue Line Signal Rehabilitation Project. B&C Transit wanted to participate as the signaling design/builder for the Blue Line Signal Rehabilitation Project, but lead proposers for the project were unwilling to include B&C Transit on their team due to concerns that the presence of B&C’s design drawings in the Blue Line solicitation would lead to the disqualification of the team on OCI grounds. The LA Metro’s initial position was that the agency does not take a position on OCI’s prior to the submission of formal proposals. Such a policy would have effectively barred B&C Transit, because no lead proposer would risk including B&C Transit, due to the possibility of being disqualified on OCI grounds. RJO persuaded the LA Metro Ethics Department and Los Angeles County Counsel to deviate from the normal policy and issue a letter finding that participation by B&C was not an OCI. The letter was issued prior to the deadline for prequalification for the project, thereby allowing B&C Transit to submit a sub-proposal for the project.

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