Arias v. DynCorp, 752 F. 3d 1011 – Court of Appeals, Dist. of Columbia Circuit 2014

752 F.3d 1011 (2014)

Venancio Aguasanta ARIAS, husband, on behalf of himself, as guardian of his four minor children, and on behalf of all others similarly situated, et al., Appellants
v.
DYNCORP, et al., Appellees.

Nos. 13-7044, 13-7045.
United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit.
Argued April 14, 2014.
Decided May 30, 2014.
1013*1013 Christian Levesque argued the cause for appellants. With her on the briefs were Terrence Collingsworth and Eric Hager.

Eric G. Lasker argued the cause for appellees. With him on the brief were Joe G. Hollingsworth and Rosemary Stewart.

Before: TATEL, Circuit Judge, and SILBERMAN and SENTELLE, Senior Circuit Judges.

Opinion for the Court filed by Senior Circuit Judge SILBERMAN.

SILBERMAN, Senior Circuit Judge:

Appellants, a group of Ecuadorian provinces and individual farmers, alleged that they were injured by an anti-drug herbicide spraying operation in Colombia, conducted by an American company. In a series of rulings, the district judge dismissed all claims. Some of those are appealed. We affirm all but one. Continue reading

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STANISSIS v. DYNCORP INTERNATIONAL LLC, Dist. Court, ND Texas 2015

STANISSIS v. DYNCORP INTERNATIONAL LLC, Dist. Court, ND Texas 2015

STANISSIS v. DYNCORP INTERNATIONAL LLC, Dist. Court, ND Texas 2015

ZANI STANISSIS, INDIVIDUALLY and AS REPRESENTATIVE OF THE ESTATE OF HER HUSBAND, CAVIN STANISSIS, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
DYNCORP INTERNATIONAL LLC, et al., Defendants.

Civil Action No. 3:14-CV-2736-D.
United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division.
April 29, 2015.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

SIDNEY A. FITZWATER, District Judge.

In this action alleging claims under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, 18 U.S.C. §§ 1961-1968 (“RICO”), and Texas law, each defendant moves to dismiss plaintiffs’ amended complaint under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) and 9(b), and plaintiffs move for entry of an interim protective order. For the reasons that follow, the court grants in part and denies in part defendants’ motions to dismiss, denies without prejudice plaintiffs’ motion for entry of an interim protective order, and grants plaintiffs leave to replead. Continue reading

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SALSER v. DYNCORP INTERNATIONAL, INC., Dist. Court, ED Michigan 2015

SALSER v. DYNCORP INTERNATIONAL, INC., Dist. Court, ED Michigan 2015

PATRICIA SALSER, ET AL., Plaintiffs,
v.
DYNCORP INTERNATIONAL, INC., ET AL., Defendants.

No. 12-10960.

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division.

August 19, 2015.

OPINION AND ORDER

R. STEVEN WHALEN, Magistrate Judge.

Before the Court is Plaintiffs’ Motion for Leave to File First Amended Complaint [Doc. #117], which has been referred for hearing and determination under 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A). For the reasons discussed below, the motion will be GRANTED.

I. FACTS

On March 5, 2012, Plaintiffs filed a corrected complaint [Doc. #3], based on diversity jurisdiction, raising state law claims of intentional infliction of emotional injury and conspiracy to intentionally inflict emotional injury.[1] In short, Plaintiffs allege that Defendants Dyncorp International, Inc. and Dyncorp International, LLC (collectively “Dyncorp“), which employed the decedent, Justin Pope, lied about Justin’s death in Iraq, and did so in concert with other Defendant employees of Dyncorp. Plaintiffs state that while in truth, Justin was shot by Defendant Kyle Palmer, the Defendants concealed this fact from Justin’s family, falsely telling them that Justin shot himself, and intentionally misrepresenting the facts of the killing. Continue reading

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Mercadante v. XE SERVICES, LLC, Dist. Court, Dist. of Columbia 2015

Mercadante v. XE SERVICES, LLC, Dist. Court, Dist. of Columbia 2015

C.J. MERCADANTE, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
XE SERVICES, LLC, et al., Defendant.

Civil Action No. 11-1044 (CKK).
United States District Court, District of Columbia.
January 15, 2015.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

COLLEEN KOLLAR-KOTELLY, District Judge.

Plaintiffs C.J. Mercadante, Robert Biddle, Johnny Jefferson, and Phillip W. OHara (collectively “Plaintiffs”) brought this action on their own behalf and on behalf of a putative class against Defendants XE Services, LLC; U.S. Training Center, Inc.; USTC Security Consulting, LLC f/k/a Blackwater Security Consulting, LLC; and Blackwater Worldwide Trust, Health and Welfare Plan and Trustees (collectively, “Defendants” or “Blackwater”). Plaintiffs assert a series of claims—including breach of contract, fraud, and breach of fiduciary duty under the Employment Retirement Income Security Act of 1974—and allege, among other things, that they were misclassified as independent contractors and denied various employment benefits. See First Am. Compl. for Damages & Declaratory & Injunctive Relief & Class Relief (“First Am. Compl.”), ECF No. 11. Presently before the Court is Defendants’ [24] Second Renewed Motion to Compel Arbitration. Upon consideration of the pleadings,[1] the relevant legal authorities, and the record as a whole, the Court GRANTS Defendants’ motion. The Court concludes that the parties have delegated the authority to determine questions of arbitrability to an arbitrator and that the delegation agreement survives Plaintiffs’ challenges to its validity. Having resolved this gateway question, the remainder of Plaintiffs’ arguments are for an arbitrator—not the Court—to consider. Accordingly, this action is STAYED during the pendency of the arbitration. Continue reading

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Doe No. 1 v. Burke, 91 A. 3d 1031 – DC: Court of Appeals 2014

 

91 A.3d 1031 (2014)

John DOE No. 1, Appellant
v.
Susan L. BURKE, Appellee.

No. 13-CV-83.
District of Columbia Court of Appeals.
Argued January 29, 2014.
Decided May 29, 2014.
1033*1033 Christopher J. Hajec, with whom Michael E. Rosman, Washington, DC, was on the brief, for appellant.

William T. O’Neil, Bethesda, MD, for appellee.

James A. McLaughlin, Washington, DC, for amicus curiae Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, the American Civil Liberties Union of the Nation’s Capital, American Society of News Editors, Digital Media Law Project, Gannett Co., Inc., the McClatchy Co., National Press Photographers Association, and the Washington Post. Bruce D. Brown and Gregg P. Leslie were on the brief for amicus curiae. Continue reading

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KBR Awarded additional LOGCAP IV Task Order for U.S. Army in Kuwait

 Published: Aug 27, 2015 8:07 a.m. ET

HOUSTON, Aug 27, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE via COMTEX) —

KBR, Inc. KBR, +4.06% has been awarded a cost plus fixed fee task order in the Arabian Peninsula under the Logistics Civil Augmentation Program (LOGCAP) IV contract.

For this task order, KBR will provide logistics, operations, and maintenance support for the U.S. Army across eight sites in Kuwait. Upon the direction of the U.S. Government, services can be expanded to other countries in the Arabian Peninsula region. This work is expected to be performed over one base year with three option years. Requirements will focus on facilities management, theatre transportation and movement control, waste and sewage management, and airfield operations services. Continue reading

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Accountability for private security contractor drone operators on the U.S.-Mexico border: applying lessons learned from the Middle East

Accountability for private security contractor drone operators on the U.S.-Mexico border: applying lessons learned from the Middle East

Full Text:

  I. The United States Must Hold Private Service Contractors
     Accountable for the Crimes They Commit Abroad
 II. The Rise of Drones and Their Ever-Increasing Use at
     the U.S.-Mexico Border
     A. Brief History of Drones
     B. The Rise of Private Service Contractors in the
        Military and Their Subsequent Use to Operate Drones
     C. Private Service Contractors and Drones at the Border
III. The Need for a New Mechanism to Hold Private Service
     Contractors Accountable: Comparing Missions in the Middle
     East with What Can Occur at the U.S.-Mexico Border
     A. The Demonstrated Lack of Accountability of Private Service
        Contractors as Seen from Endeavors in the Middle East
        1. No Effective Accountability Mechanism Yet Exists
        2. The Results of a Lack of Accountability
     B. The Lack of Accountability of Private Service Contractors
        Operating Drones at the U.S.-Mexico Border
        1. Current Inability to Hold Border Drone Private
           Service Contractors Accountable in Mexican Courts
        2. Issues and Risks Associated with Using Drones at the
           U.S.-Mexico Border
 IV. Achieving Accountability of Private Service Contractors:
     Introduction of a Revised CEJA
     A. CEJA: The Bill's Rise and Early Demise
     B. CEJA: Dead Bill Given New Life
  V. Conclusion
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The future of US military contracting: current trends and future implications

The future of US military contracting: current trends and future implications

Abstract

With the drawdown of US troops from both Iraq and Afghanistan, questions abound regarding the role of private military and security contractors (PMSCs) in American security policy moving forward. This article explores evolving US considerations for the use of various types of PMSCs currently and in the future. In doing so, it argues that the United States will continue to use PMSCs for the foreseeable future, although to a lesser extent than in the previous decade, and for different types of services in different theatres than was witnessed in Iraq and Afghanistan. In particular, it is likely that the US will use PMSCs specializing in security or training/consulting functions in place of US troops for external security support missions. The effects of this shift may be moderated by the private military industry’s increasing adherence to international regulatory standards, although it is likely that such regulations will have the greatest impact on those firms providing security services. Continue reading

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Meet the European Fighters Who Have Gone to War in Ukraine

Meet the European Fighters Who Have Gone to War in Ukraine

August 25, 2015

By Christopher Allen

Members of the Azov Regiment in Shyrokyne. Photos by the author

There are European soldiers fighting amid the rubble of Shyrokyne in Eastern Ukraine. They shoot from half-destroyed hotels and sleep in the basements of war-ravaged homes. Artillery fire colors the hill behind the town black, and darkens the sky with gray smoke. Machine guns sputter day and night, and there is occasionally the crack of a sniper rifle as soldiers dart between abandoned houses, hotels, apartment buildings, and trenches. Continue reading

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United States: KBR Wins Second Mandamus Challenge to DC District Court Rulings on Attorney Client Privilege, Denying a False Claims Act Relator the Contractor’s Internal Investigation Materials

United States: KBR Wins Second Mandamus Challenge to DC District Court Rulings on Attorney Client Privilege, Denying a False Claims Act Relator the Contractor’s Internal Investigation Materials

Last Updated: August 17 2015

Article by Marcia G. Madsen and Luke Levasseur

Government contractors face ever-increasing pressure to develop robust compliance programs that, among other things, detect potential violations of laws and regulations—which they are then obliged to report to the agency inspector general and the contracting officer. Like many large contractors, Kellogg Brown & Root’s (KBR) law department oversees (and conducts) investigations into potentially reportable violations under a code of business conduct. Although its attorneys’ investigations are protected by the attorney client privilege and the work product doctrine, KBR has been locked in a False Claims Act fight with a former employee/relator (Barko) who keeps trying to obtain KBR’s privileged internal investigation documents. Continue reading

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