A Random Walk: The Federal Circuit’s 2010 Government Contracts Decisions

55 Pages Posted: 14 Apr 2011

See all articles by Steven L. Schooner

Steven L. Schooner

George Washington University - Law School


This Article discusses the Federal Circuit's 2010 government contracts cases. It begins with some perspective on, and empirical quantification of, the Federal Circuit’s level of specialization and evolving jurisprudence in the field of government contracts. It eventually turns to analysis of a hodge-podge of unrelated cases: three award controversies (or bid protests), a handful of post award performance disputes, a few selections from the ongoing behemoths of litigation in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims - Winstar and Spent Nuclear Fuel, and a potentially analogous implied warranty case. Overall, the article suggests that the Federal Circuit's 2010 government contracts cases appear to lack significant volume, thematic coherence, or dramatic impact. It also reinforces the perception that the court does not, and does not desire to, embrace the unique nature of the federal government contract regime as an analytical premise or predicate. Rather, the court increasingly appears to prefer a more consistent, streamlined, simplified, or even formalistic approach to its highly varied docket.

Keywords: Federal Circuit, government contracts, public procurement, bid protests, contract administration, implied warranty, judicial specialization, Winstar, spent nuclear fuel, fairness to contractors, government accountability

JEL Classification: H11, H57, K12, K41

Suggested Citation

Schooner, Steven L., A Random Walk: The Federal Circuit’s 2010 Government Contracts Decisions. American University Law Review, Vol. 60, p. 1067, 2011, GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 549, GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 549, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1809917

Steven L. Schooner (Contact Author)

George Washington University - Law School ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://www.law.gwu.edu/steven-l-schooner

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