Afterthoughts: Contract Interpretation

If you are performing a contract and the terms of the contract become an issue, what are the key things that you should be concerned about? Is it different if you are a government procurement official or private contractor? Well I think the concerns are basically the same whichever party you are a part of. If you are having a disagreement, the parties need to step back and look at the positions they are each taking and ask themselves, if a judge read these words – without any help about how we performed this contract before or after we signed it – what would he or she objectively think the words meant. What is the plain meaning of these words? To do this sort of … Continue reading

Wiggle Room In DOD Vehicle Lease Not Big Enough to Drive a Truck Through! – A Case Study

The Overseas Logistics Group (“OLG”) sued the Department of Defense for breach of contract in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims over a contract to lease vehicles to DoD. The contract originally required the government to repair the vehicles to the condition in which it had received them.  After a modification, the contract then required the government to either pay for repairs resulting from normal wear and tear or, if repairs would cost 75% or more of the actual value of the vehicle, to reimburse OLG for the actual value of the vehicle, less depreciation. OLG claimed that the government breached the contract by returning leased vehicles to OLG in damaged condition, and neither repaired them nor paid OLG for the cost of repairs. Additionally, … Continue reading