Many Nevada business owners enter into contracts with the government to engage in a wide range of public works and projects. While you expect that the government will uphold its end of the bargain, there are many reasons that an agency may breach – often the underlying reason has to do with funding. However, a breach of contract matter involving a government agency is very different from a situation with a private company as a party. There are rules and procedures you must follow to enforce your rights, and a business litigation attorney in Las Vegas can advise you on the process. An overview of what your company can do about a breach of a government contract may be useful.
Overview of the Contract Disputes Act of 1978
The key federal law on contractual matters involving the government is the Contract Disputes Act, which allows a private right of action for companies who are harmed by a breach of contract. The law covers all types of government contracts, including:
- The purchase of goods or personal property;
- Procurement of services; and,
- Matters involving real property, such as contraction projects, renovations, and maintenance of land and structures.
Seeking Your Administrative Remedies
The primary difference in breach of contract actions involving the government versus a private company is initiating the case. The Contract Disputes Act requires you, as a contractor, to first pursue your legal remedies at the administrative level. This means you would file a claim with the administrative agency that oversees the governmental body that you allege is in breach.
Government agencies have a structure in place for these types of administrative hearings. You’ll engage in a hearing that’s very similar to litigation in a courtroom, and you can have a Las Vegas business law attorney represent you. You’ll have the chance to offer documentary evidence, testify, and get witnesses to testify; the government body has the same opportunities to present evidence. At the conclusion of the hearing, the officer in charge of the proceedings will render a decision.
Consider Your Next Steps
If the finding is not in your favor, you still have opportunities to take the matter to the next level. You could request an appeal of the administrative hearing officer’s findings, which means you’d pursue the matter within the framework of that same agency.
Alternatively, you could sue the agency in court, though you must file in a special court intended to handle matters involving the government. The US Court of Federal Claims is the forum for all lawsuits to which the government is a party, including breach of contract actions.
Talk to a Las Vegas Business Law Attorney About Government Contract Litigation
For more information on how to handle a breach of a government contract, please contact the H1 Law Group to schedule a consultation. These actions are more complex than a typical breach of contract cases, so it’s wise to retain a skilled lawyer. Our team has extensive experience representing businesses in Clark County and throughout Southern Nevada, and we’re prepared to protect your company’s interests.
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