Whiteford Taylor Preston LLP
Mr. Coulter is the head of LeClairRyan’s Government Contracts practice area team. He has practiced government contract law, with a concentration in government contract litigation, for more than 10 years. He has participated in litigation with a number of government departments and agencies, both state and federal, and has also provided general government contract advice to bidders and contractors. Mr. Coulter has significant trial experience as lead counsel in government contract matters. From 1992 – 1997, Mr. Coulter was engaged in a general commercial litigation practice with Fulbright & Jaworski, L.L.P., in Houston, Texas. In 1997, Mr. Coulter joined the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. As a trial attorney in the Commercial Litigation Branch of the Justice Department, Mr. Coulter represented the United States in a myriad of contract disputes, the majority of which involved construction contracts. He obtained experience in all phases of public contracting, from the bidding process through final completion. Mr. Coulter participated in bid protest litigation, contract interpretation issues, differing site conditions, issues of changes in the scope of work, defective plans and specifications, and other typical construction contract issues. As lead trial counsel, Mr. Coulter litigated several government contract cases through trial, involving claims in excess of $1 million. Mr. Coulter also has significant appellate experience in government contract litigation matters. In one of his last cases with the Justice Department, Mr. Coulter successfully argued before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit a construction case involving more than $4 million in claims. The case concerned the United States Navy’s appeal of a ruling by the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals that the Navy had wrongfully terminated a construction contract for default. In a published opinion reversing the Board of Contract Appeals, the Federal Circuit found that the contractor had failed to give adequate assurances of timely completion and, therefore, the Navy had properly terminated the contract for default. Danzig v. AEC Corporation, 224 F.3d 1333 (Fed. Cir. 2000). For his efforts in that case, Mr. Coulter received a letter of commendation from the General Counsel for the United States Navy. Since joining LeClairRyan in August 2000, Mr. Coulter has continued his government contract practice, which includes advising clients on various bidding issues, contract negotiations, including the preservation of data rights, contract compliance issues, including Buy American and TAA certification, as well as False Claims Act issues and import/export issues, including compliance with the Export Administration Regulations (“EAR”) and the International Traffic in Arms (“ITAR”) regulations. Mr. Coulter has significant bid protest experience at both the state and federal levels and regularly represents contractors in bid protest litigation before the Government Accountability Office and the United States Court of Federal Claims. In 2008, Mr. Coulter represented clients in a precedent-setting Federal Circuit victory, which resulted in the expansion of the jurisdiction of the United States Court of Federal Claims. Distributed Solutions, Inc. v. United States, 539 F.3d 1340 (2008). On remand, the Court of Federal Claims issued another precedent-setting decision, finding that his clients had established the requisite competitive, non-trivial injury by being deprived of a direct, competitive procurement opportunity (by virtue of the Government's use of a private contractor to conduct the procurement process) and, therefore, awarded damages to the contractors.
Government Contracts Practice Areas: Procurement, administration and compliance; Bid protests: Program modification and termination: Litigation; Governmental inquiries and investigations; Business formation and transactions; Intellectual property; Local and state government contract matters; Employment, labor and immigration; Small Business Administration issues; Import/Export issues