Legal Blog

Republic of Congo-Wall Street-International Business Transactions

Posted by Joseph Whitcomb on Oct 19, 2016 3:58:17 PM

Here’s a hint: It’s not just international treaties that impact iInternational Business Transactions and business.International business and congo Even seemingly domestic laws can have an international impact.

The Dodd-Frank Act for Wall Street Reform

Six years ago, the United States was faced with a financial crisis that left millions of Americans unemployed, and the economy is still struggling to fully recover. One of the major reasons for a financial crisis was an outdated and fragmented financial regulatory system. To ensure that a repeat of what happened in 2008 would never happen again, President Obama signed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The main issue that the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act tries to tackle is holding those risk takers on Wall Street accountable for their actions. More specifically, the act tries to make sure that “taxpayers will not have to bear the costs of Wall Street’s irresponsibility” while also ending bailouts.

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Topics: International Business

GAO Bid Protest-Meaningful Discussion

Posted by Joseph Whitcomb on Oct 19, 2016 3:34:15 PM

GAO bid protest turns on whether the Department of the Army offered meaningful discussion to disappointed bidderGAO bid protest-meaningful discussion


This case study is about a January 22, 2014, GAO bid protest named Matter of: Geo Marine, Inc. (GMI)/Burns & McDonnell Engineering, Inc., Joint Venture. In their protest, GEO Marine, Inc. (GMI), Download Case alleged in their GAO bid protest that their proposal was rejected without adequate discussion of their deficiencies. Specifically, the agency, the Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers, identified as a weakness the fact that GMI had not positioned the work turbine generators in the area designated in the performance work statement and had not explained its reasons for deviating from the RFP requirements.

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Topics: Bid Protests, Government Procurement

Should We Be Trying So Hard to Help Veterans Adjust?

Posted by Joseph Whitcomb on Oct 19, 2016 3:26:49 PM

Should Veterans Adjust to Us or Us to Them?

“In the military, we give medals to people who sacrifice themselves, so that others may survive.  In corporations, we give bonuses to people who sacrifice others, so that they may benefit.” Simon Sinek, author of Leaders Eat Last, Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t

It's not hard to find someone nowadays advancing the idea that hiring veterans is a good idea.  After all, the saying goes, look at all the great traits the military teaches its service members:

  • “Courage under fire,” which translates to “works well under pressure.”
  • “Teamwork,” which translates to, “works well with others.”
  • “Initiative,” which translates to, “Self-starter.”
  • “Selfless service,” which translates roughly to “they’ll work hard and ask for little in return.”
  • And “Discipline,” which translates to “they’ll show up to work on time and do what they’re told.”

What few CEOs or HR managers consider, is that they may commit to the feel-good measure of hiring Veterans and then realize few of the benefits they anticipated when making the hire.  Unfortunately, what usually follows is someone becoming the Veteran’s apologist.  Stakeholders expecting the Veteran to shine and finding themselves disappointed quickly run through the list of “usual suspect” excuses.

1) The Veteran is having a hard time adjusting to civilian life;

2) The military just didn’t train the Veteran for anything useful for the civilian market place;”

3) The Veteran must be suffering from PTSD or some other variety of “the military broke the Veteran.” 

What almost none of them do is think to themselves or say out loud, “boy, we must have really fallen short of this Veteran’s expectations.”  Unfortunately, even fewer would be willing to change their corporate culture if they did stop to ask the question and found themselves answering in the affirmative.

Is Your Mission Statement as Cool as Their Old One?

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Topics: Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDV

Trademarks, Felony Battery, and Excusable Neglect

Posted by Brandon Selinsky on Oct 11, 2016 3:18:25 PM

‘National Police Gazette’ Battle

Case: Westlake v. Barrera, 2016 WL 4698964, September 8, 2016

The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit recently handed down a decision in favor of the trademark holder despite accusations of fraud and felony battery by the petitioner; such charges not commonly associated with trademark law. The Trademark Trial and Appeals Board (the Board) found that Steven Westlake, who had petitioned to cancel a trademark owned by Edgar Alexander Barrera, had failed to prosecute his case and dismissed it. The Court of Appeals affirmed.

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Topics: Trademark Law

Size Standards and the Mentor-Protege Program

Posted by Joseph Whitcomb on Oct 9, 2016 11:27:33 PM

Size Standard Protest of JV Reversed

The SBA originally found that Field Training Support Services Joint Venture (FTSS) was small in response to Quadrant Training Solutions, LLC’s size protest.  Quadrant appealed contending that the SBA’s determination was clearly erroneous.  The SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) reversed.


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Topics: mentor-protege

Sidebar Focus: Business Succession Planning

Posted by Dan McAuliffe on Oct 9, 2016 1:38:35 PM

Succession planning. Businesses need to plan for the closing or transfer of ownership even if the end of a
business is unforeseeable. An effective plan ensures a smooth transfer of the business from its current owners. Succession planning should begin at least 15 years before the anticipated end or transfer of a business. Succession planning involves a company’s partners’ explicitly defining their exit-related objectives then designing a strategy. The strategy should take into account personal, business, financial, legal, and taxation aspects of achieving the shareholders’ objectives. Objectives may include maximizing proceeds, minimizing risk, closing a transaction, or selecting new investors. The strategy should take into account plans for owners’ sudden illnesses or death. – whether it involves private shares transferred to a high-level manager, a leadership transfer to family members, or selling the business.

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Topics: succession planning

9th Circuit-Endangered Species Act and Threatened Plants

Posted by Dan McAuliffe on Oct 5, 2016 11:49:53 PM

Application of the ESA

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is a friendly venue for environmental groups seeking to overturn agency decisions based on violations of federal environmental laws, especially the Endangered Species Act (ESA), but not so in the recent case of the Center for Biological Diversity v. BLM, No. 14-15836 (9th Cir. 2016).

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Topics: Environmental

WSM Joins Colorado Agriculture's Legal Referral Center

Posted by Dan McAuliffe on Oct 5, 2016 8:04:25 PM

Colorado Agriculture 

Based on our firm’s qualifications we were invited to serve as a referral to farmers, ranchers and those doing business in the agriculture industry.

For the last agricultural census year, agriculture and agriculture-related industries contributed $835 billion to the U.S. economy (about 4.8-percent). The output of America's farms contributed $177.2 billion of this sum.

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Topics: Colorado Agriculture

Small Businesses-Bid Protests-Larger Attorneys Fees

Posted by Dan McAuliffe on Oct 5, 2016 10:50:57 AM

GAO Recommends Reimbursement of Attorney’s Fees for Small Business Protestors that Exceeds Cap Set for Large Businesses 

The GAO will recommend a protester’s attorneys’ fees be reimbursed when the hours charged are documented and reasonable and the agency cannot articulate why reimbursing fees should now be allowed.

Although GAO made its recommendation in the Matter of: 6K Systems, Inc., File: B-408124.6, almost two years ago on December 16, 2014, it is still relevant and important decision for small businesses because the GAO supported the reimbursement of attorneys’ fees at hourly rates exceeding $150 per hour cap that applies to large businesses. The GAO supported small businesses finding that the statutory cap on hourly rates for attorneys’ fees that can be reimbursed for successful large business protesters does not apply to attorneys’ fees incurred by successful small business protesters.

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Topics: Attorneys Fees

Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPA) and Solicitation Requirements

Posted by Dan McAuliffe on Oct 5, 2016 9:21:10 AM
Do Blanket Purchase Agreements Give the Government a Pass?

Businesses in the federal marketplace know agencies use Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPAs) to meet their recurring supply and service needs, while taking advantage of quantity discounts and simplified acquisition procedures. To establish BPAs, ordering activities evaluate different contractors on a GSA Schedule for a particular category of supply or service, then establish an ongoing agreement for repetitive orders from the selected contractor.

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Topics: GAO

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