Government Contractor Defense

Posted on March 31, 2009 05:45 by Mike G Jones

I'm just back from argument on a government contractor defense matter involving a military trainer aircraft. Central to the debate was the level of detail to which the "reasonably precise specifications" of the Boyle test must reach. If taken too far, it seems requiring the government to review and approve everything down to the last rivet, bearing and bracket will put the GCD out of reach in too many cases, and thus raise the cost of government contracts, chill bidding or cause contractors to invite the government to micro-manage more than either party would otherwise want.

The cases make clear that only the "design feature in question" need be the subject of the "reasonably precise specifications," but that the "specific defect alleged" need not have been reached. Otherwise, the cases are largely specific to their own facts and not entirely helpful.

The court also questioned the distinction between performance and design specifications in the Boyle test context. That's also not a distinction discussed much in the GCD cases.

I'm interested in our membership's experience with these issues and any links to related resources.

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Categories: Governmental Liability

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Wyeth v. Levine Pre-emption

Posted on March 27, 2009 07:48 by Mike G Jones

I am interested in the views of DRI members about the Wyeth preemption case and its likely impact on the number and types of cases likely to follow in its wake, as well as what it might mean for preemption arguments in other products areas.

I am noticing online announcements for various Wyeth v. Levine seminars, and in fact note there is a DRI Webcast on it this afternoon. I suspect that our DRI membership includes the most knowledgeable lawyers on this topic, and would welcome an exchange here about which of these seminars might be best, what other resources are out there about it, and just individual thoughts about this case's impact on our profession.

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Categories: Preemption

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