National Courts attorneys handle a variety of affirmative and defensive appeals filed primarily in the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C. Created in 1982, the Federal Circuit is, among other things, the Article III successor to the appellate division of the former United States Court of Claims, and to the former United States Court of Customs and Patent Appeals. While a portion of the court’s docket concerns patent disputes between private parties, the majority of appeals in the Federal Circuit arise from tribunals that decide matters related to litigation with the federal government, such as the United States Court of Federal Claims and the Merit Systems Protection Board. National Courts attorneys handle most of these appeals, arguing numerous cases each month before the court. National Courts attorneys also handle occasional appeals in the federal courts of appeal for the regional circuits when matters in those courts fall within our subject matter expertise. When our appellate cases lead to further proceedings in the United States Supreme Court, the federal government is represented by the Office of the Solicitor General, with input and assistance by our office, as appropriate.
Appeals from the United States Court of Federal Claims and the United States Court of International Trade
National Courts attorneys handle appeals to the Federal Circuit from judgments entered in cases they have handled in the United States Court of Federal Claims in Washington, D.C., and in the United States Court of International Trade, which sits in lower Manhattan. Appeals from these courts often present complex issues related to contract and procurement law, constitutional law (e.g., fifth amendment takings), and international trade law. See, e.g., McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. United States, 323 F.3d 1006 (Fed. Cir. 2003); Cienega Gardens v. United States, 503 F.3d 1266 (Fed. Cir. 2007); United States v. Ford Motor Co., 497 F.3d 1331 (Fed. Cir. 2007).
Appeals from the boards of contract appeals
National Courts attorneys also represent agencies throughout the federal government in appeals from decisions by the civilian and military administrative boards of contract appeals, such as the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals and the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals. These boards are administrative tribunals that conduct trials of contract disputes between private parties and federal government agencies. Appeals from these tribunals typically involve issues related to the Contract Disputes Act and the Federal Acquisition Regulation. See, e.g., Winter v. Bath Iron Works Corp., 503 F.3d 1346 (Fed. Cir. 2007).
Appeals from the Merit Systems Protection Board
We also handle appeals from the Merit Systems Protection Board. The board adjudicates appeals from personnel decisions made by federal government agencies. These appeals present a wide variety of legal and factual issues related to employment with the Federal government. See, e.g., Chambers v. Department of Interior, 515 F.3d 1362 (Fed. Cir. 2008).
Appeals from the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims
Our attorneys also handle appeals from the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, an intermediate, Article I court that reviews decisions of the Board of Veterans’ Appeals within the Department of Veterans Affairs. These decisions typically concern a veteran’s entitlement to benefits. The Federal Circuit’s jurisdiction to entertain these appeals is generally limited to appeals involving questions of law, such as statutory interpretation issues, constitutional claims, and claims challenging the validity of a regulation. See, e.g., Tarver v. Shinseki, 557 F.3d 1371 (Fed. Cir. 2009).
Appeals in other Circuit Courts of Appeals
Our attorneys also handle appeals in other federal circuit courts of appeals when those appeals concern matters within our subject matter expertise. For example, we have handled matters in the Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit concerning federal crop insurance, American Growers Ins. Co. v. Federal Crop Ins. Corp., 532 F.3d 797 (8th Cir. 2008), and in the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit concerning contract allowable costs, Southwest Marine, Inc. v. United States, 535 F.3d 1012 (9th Cir. 2008).