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Leading Women in Construction, Communications and Law Meet for Sixth Annual Women in Construction (WIC) Conference in Washington DC
The sixth annual Women in Construction conference was held Wednesday, November 2, 2011 at the 1777 F Street conference facility in Washington DC. Over 140 women and men from the construction, consulting, insurance and architectural industry met to discuss negotiations skills, work-life balance, health care construction and system upgrade implementation. Internationally known construction engineer Allyn Kilsheimer was the featured keynote speaker.
Co-founded by Ober|Kaler’s Barbara Werther, a construction litigation attorney for over 30 years, and Barbara Wagner, Executive VP at Clark Construction, the mission of the Women in Construction conference is to provide an avenue for younger women to learn from those who are "more seasoned" and to offer networking and mentoring opportunities to all attendees.Click to continue...
Condominium Unit Owners Have a Right of Action Against the Council of Unit Owners for Failing to File a Timely Suit Against the Projectâ€™s Developer for Defects in the Common Elements
The Maryland Court of Special Appeals has recognized a cause of action by individual condominium unit owners where the council of unit owners has failed to take timely legal action against the project’s developer to address evidence of construction defects in the common elements. I was retained to take an appeal on behalf of a group of individual unit owners at the Avalon Court Six Condominium in Pikesville. In a reported opinion filed on September 29, 2011, the Court of Special Appeals held that individual unit owners have a right of action for negligence against the council of unit owners, acting through the board of directors, in failing to address defects in the common elements by bringing a timely claim against the developer. Greenstein et al. v. Council of Unit Owners of Avalon Court Six Condominium, Inc., No. 0485, September Term, 2009.Click to continue...
"Objection, Privilege": Protecting the Attorney-Client Relationship amidst the Shifting Sands of False Claims Act Jurisprudence
By: Virginia B. Evans* and Christopher F. Henel*
“Men must turn square corners when they deal with the Government.”1
– Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
With the Government’s prosecution of False Claims Act (“FCA”) and Contract Disputes Act (“CDA”) violations on the rise, it is vitally important for outside and inside counsel to consider the role that legal advice plays in the daily business activities of clients. Legal advice used by the client in furtherance of violation of a crime is generally not privileged. In addition, both in-house and outside counsel need to avoid assisting in the commission of a crime or fraud through their roles as counsel, consequences could include direct criminal and civil liability for the involved lawyer.
The Relevant Statutes
Government contractors and others may be prosecuted for false claims under the civil FCA, 31 U.S.C. §3729(a)(1)-(7), or the criminal false claims statute, 18 U.S.C. §287. The civil and criminal statutes have different burdens of proof and elements making the civil FCA the weapon of choice for most federal false claims cases.