Bradley attorney Aron Beezley was quoted in Law360 on the top government contracts cases of 2019, including a case that expanded Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) protections for federal contractors. For decades, circuit courts deemed that information could only be shielded from FOIA requests if substantial competitive harm would result from its discovery. Now, invoking Exemption 4 only requires showing that business information is customarily treated as private by its owner and provided to the government under an assurance of privacy.
The information federal contractors are often required to provide to agencies is “by nature some of their most closely guarded information,” and routinely gets hit with FOIA requests, not only by journalists but also potential litigants and competitors, Beezley explained.
“In the government contracts context, this case is a very big deal,” he added.
2019 also brought the first case in which the court found that a federal contractor’s alleged failure to meet cybersecurity regulations can form the basis for an FCA suit.
And related cases are shaping up to be the “next big frontier in False Claims Act litigation for federal contractors,” Beezley said.
The complete article, “Top 5 Gov't Contracts Cases of 2019,” first appeared in Law360 on December 19, 2019. (login required.)