Preeminent National Practice
During the past thirty-two years, our attorneys have represented plaintiffs in a variety of industries in a number of the most important federal contract and Fifth Amendment taking and due process cases in the Court of Federal Claims and Federal Circuit Court of Appeals. We have also represented many of the same clients, and other parties, in related regulatory litigation in other courts and in legislative proceedings.
As a result of our substantial success in these cases, the Firm has a national reputation for obtaining results against the government in high-stakes commercial and regulatory litigation. We have advocated successfully many of the most difficult and complex issues currently pertaining to both liability assessments and damages awards against the federal government. Many of the same issues are also applicable in our inverse condemnation and other constitutional litigation against state and local governments.
Representative Major Cases Including Winstar
In the 1980s, we represented two large asbestos-containing product manufacturers pursuing monetary contribution from the government for asbestos tort liability payments made to workers at federal facilities. Beginning in the early 1990s, we represented lead party Glendale Federal Bank in the landmark Winstar litigation, which involved the government's breach of contracts it had entered with healthy savings and loans to induce them to take over failing thrifts during the S&L crisis of the 1980s. After obtaining summary judgment on contract liability in the Court of Federal Claims in 1992, we successfully defended that judgment before the en banc Federal Circuit in 1995 and the United States Supreme Court in 1996. We also represented plaintiffs in ten other Winstar-related cases, and the Firm holds one of the four seats on the Plaintiffs' Coordinating Committee overseeing more than 100 Winstar cases. Separately, and drawing on our expertise in general Financial Institutions litigation, we represented a major thrift in non-Winstar Fifth Amendment taking litigation challenging a government seizure.
The Firm also represented numerous nuclear utility companies in ongoing suits against the federal government. One group of cases, which challenged a tax that Congress retroactively imposed on the utility companies, involved issues similar to those in Winstar and also involved constitutional issues arising from the Supreme Court's 1998 Eastern Enterprises decision holding certain retroactive legislation unconstitutional. In another group of cases, we represented utilities in the three lead cases (among 17 similar pending cases) seeking damages for the Department of Energy's breach of contractual commitments to remove and dispose of spent nuclear fuel from commercial reactor sites. Following the Federal Circuit's August 2000 affirmance of a liability decision in favor of our clients, these "spent fuel" cases have now returned to the Court of Federal Claims for damages trials (in which damages sought, collectively, approach $600 million). Our spent fuel client representation has also included significant work on periodic legislative proposals aimed at improving DOE's spent fuel disposal program or otherwise mitigating the adverse consequences of the government's breach of the spent fuel disposal contracts.
We also have successfully litigated Fifth Amendment taking claims arising from the denial of federal permits to develop wetlands property, and we are currently pursuing just compensation claims arising from other federal regulatory actions. In conjunction with the monetary relief litigation noted above, we have handled related regulatory and commercial litigation in the D.C. Circuit and in other courts. We also have prepared amicus curiae briefs for a variety of clients in important federal contract and Fifth Amendment taking cases in the Court of Federal Claims, the Federal Circuit and the Supreme Court. Because of our expertise, the Firm has been retained as special takings or federal claims co-counsel in on-going litigations.
As a result of our broad involvement in large-scale federal claims litigation for more than two decades (as well as the Firm's related Government Contracts practice), we have unparalleled experience in such cases in the Court of Federal Claims and Federal Circuit and a thorough understanding of both existing precedent and emerging legal issues applicable to such cases. Our high-profile litigation victories against the federal government have received extensive coverage in the national press, and the Firm's attorneys participate regularly in, and speak at, the annual judicial conferences of both the Court of Federal Claims and the Federal Circuit.