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Top Gov't Contracts Cases To Watch In 2021

January 3, 2021, Law360

Dan Russell spoke with Law360 about derivative sovereign immunity for a government contractor claiming to have acted on behalf of U.S. instruction. What's at stake is whether federal contractors facing similar claims have a quick route for potentially cutting off a suit, or face years of often-complex litigation, according to Mr. Russell. “The reason why immediate appeal-ability is important to contractors who get sued in these cases is that the immediate appellate right can mean the difference between years of expensive burdensome litigation, including discovery, versus a short and inexpensive route to the end of the litigation matter,” he adds.

He says the case holds a particular interest for contractors providing war-related services, but will also be of broader applicability. “The government relies on contractors to perform a whole host of activities these days, and works very closely with contractors, and contractors are doing a lot of the work that historically would have been done by government entities.” The contractor’s petition has been pending for over a year, but there is a strong chance the justices will eventually take the case, he adds.

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