MGT 5231 IE (DL) – Government Contract Law    (CRN 26088)


Professors’ Names


James N. Altiere, III 


Professors’ Phones

Professors’ E-mails









MGT 5231 Government Contract Law (3 credits).  Focuses on the method rather than the material. Uses the case method of study and basic source material to cover all facets of procurement law.  Emphasizes legal methods, logic, and the developmental concepts of procurement law.



Course Objectives



1. Discuss the basic concepts of government procurement law;


2.  Compare and contrast Government Contract Law from Common Law and the Uniform Commercial Code;

3. Describe the framework in which contracts are negotiated, executed, implement and monitored; and

4. Explain the consequences of failing to comply with the statutes and regulations.



Textbook (Required)


Government Contract Law in the Twenty-First Century, Charles Tiefer and William A. Shook, Carolina Academic Press, 2012, (ISBN:  978-1-59460-804-9).  There is also a 2017 Supplement.  Please order your book as soon as possible.  Given the 2017 Supplement the case briefs and readings are subject to change.



Course Grade Scale



Your grade in this course will be based on your demonstrated competence on case briefs, discussion questions and exams. While the final examination will be comprehensive a majority of its content will be based on the material covered after the midterm term.  The final examination will not be a proctored exam.  The proportional contribution of each will be:



Percentage of Grade

Case Briefs


Discussion Questions


Midterm Exam


Final Examination



The grading scale for this class is 90-100 A, 80-89 B, 70-79 C, 60-69 D and below 60 is an F. 


Note: Late assignments may receive a reduced score as a result of the late submission.  The later the submission the more points that are subject to deduction.  Assignments must be submitted within two weeks of the due date in order to receive partial credit.  If there is a problem with submitting an assignment please contact me as soon as the issue arises. 


Special Instructions


Discussion Questions – Each week I will post discussion questions in CANVAS for you to submit your comments.  For the discussion question, I expect each student to give me their unique answer to the question presented.  Each student should attempt to provide an answer that is different from those submitted by other students.  Please limit your comments to one issue per question and do not “shotgun” (give every possible answer that might be applicable) the answer.  Students should also comment on the submissions of other students. 


Case Briefs – You have been assigned a case or two to brief each week.  When preparing your brief, in separate paragraphs, provide a brief summary of the facts, the issue being decided, the applicable rule (law, statute, or regulation being applied), a description of the application of the rule and finally the conclusion of the case.  Case briefs are to be uploaded into CANVAS and your Discussion Question responses are to be posted by 11:59 pm Sunday of the week assigned.






There is a voluntary chat scheduled for 8:00 pm EST, Tuesday, January 8, 2019.  The purpose of the chat is to go over briefing cases. 


A second voluntary chat is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, January 16, 2019 to discuss case briefs and any other topic students would like to discuss. 


The chat room should open about 10 minutes before the scheduled chat.  If you are not able to attend the chat you can review the transcript of the chat at your convenience and call me at 757-469-1979 or email me if you have questions.




Readings and Assignments


Week 1

January 7  



Chapter 1 – Government Contracting Doctrines


Read Chapter 1 (pages 1 – 44) 


Brief – Brief – Donald C. Winter, Secretary of the Navy v. Cath-dr/Balti Joint Venture page 31.


Introduction to case briefing


I plan on holding a voluntary chat session on Tuesday, January 8, 2019 at 8:00 pm, EST to discuss how to brief a case.  Please note the time is subject to change depending on where students are located as the time may be too early for students living on the west coast.  Please send an email through CANVAS if the time conflicts with your schedule.  If you are not able to attend the chat session, you can review the transcript at a later date.


If possible, please read Mil-Spec Contractors, Inc. v. United States, on pages 21 to 25 of the textbook by January 8, 2019.  Also review the material on the class site for additional information regarding briefing a case.  I would also encourage you to try briefing Mil-Spec prior to the chat session.  I will not be collecting it but it will let you know if you are headed in the right direction and where you may need to ask questions during the chat session.  


If you have any questions after reading the material on the website and attending the chat session, please email or call me.


Finally, if you haven’t already done so please prepare a short introductory description of yourself for the class and post it to the discussion area.


Week 2

January 14  



Chapter 2 – Sealed Bids and Competitive Proposals


Read Chapter 2


Reply to the discussion question(s) for the week.


Brief – McClure Electrical Constructors, Inc. v. John H. Dalton, Sec. of the Navy on page 76 of the text.



Week 3

January 21


Chapter 3 – Commercial, IDIQ, and MAS Contracting


Read Chapter 3


Reply to the discussion question(s) for the week.


Brief – IDEA International, Inc. v. United States and ICATT Consulting Inc.  p. 159



Week 4

January 28


Chapter 4 – Contract Types, Costs and Budgets


Read Chapter 4


Reply to the discussion question(s) for the week.


Brief – United States v. Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company p. 191.



Week 5

February 4  


Chapter 5 – Contract Administration


Read Chapter 5


Reply to the discussion question(s) for the week.


Brief - United States v. Spearin p. 225.



Week 6

February 11


Chapter 6 – Changes and Delays and Chapter 7 – Intellectual Property


Read Chapters 6 and 7


Reply to the discussion question(s) for the week.


Brief – General Builders Supply Co., Inc. v. United States  p. 273

          Data Enterprises v. General Services Administration p. 315



Week 7

February 18   

Chapter 8 – Small Business and Contractors


Read Chapter 8


Reply to the discussion question(s) for the week.


Brief – W. G. Yates & Sons Construction v Caldera p. 334


Week 8

February 25

Midterm –The midterm exam is required to be returned by 11:59 pm, March 3, 2019.

March 4

Spring Break


Week 9

March 11 


Chapter 9 – Health Care


Read Chapter 9


Reply to the discussion question(s) for the week


Brief – Donna E. Shalala  Secretary of Health and Human Services v. Guernsey Memorial Hospital p. 393



Week 10

March 18


Chapter 10 – Construction; and

Chapter 11 – International Procurement and Afghanistan and Iraq Wars


Read Chapters 10 and 11


Reply to the discussion question(s) for the week.


Brief – National American Insurance Co. v. United States p. 435



Week 11

March 25 


Chapter 12 – Government and the Contractor Labor Force

Chapter 18 – Ethics


Read Chapters 12 and 18


Reply to the discussion question(s) for the week.


Brief – Janik Paving & Construction, Inc. v. William E. Brock, III, as Secretary of the United States Department of Labor p. 503.


Brief – United States v. Eugene Donald Schaltenbrand p. 722



Week 12

April 1






Chapter 13 – Termination for Convenience; and

Chapter 14 – Termination for Default


Read Chapters 13 and 14


Reply to the discussion question(s) for the week.


Brief – Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc. v. United States  p. 544


Weeks 13 

April 8 


Chapter 15 – Bid Protest and Chapter 16 – Disputes and Other Remedies

Read Chapters 15 and 16


Reply to the discussion question(s) for the week.


Brief – United States v. Fred L. Hatfield, Sr., d/b/a/ HVAC Construction Co., Inc. p 644




Week 14

April 15




Chapter 17 – False Claims and Defective Pricing

Read Chapter 17


Reply to the discussion question(s) for the week.


Brief – Vermont Agency of Natural Resources. v. United States ex rel. Stevens  p. 669



Week 15

April 22 


Chapter 19 – Government Breach and Takings


Read Chapter 19


Reply to the discussion question(s) for the week.


Brief – Mobile Oil Exploration & Southeast, Inc. v. United States p. 740


Week 16

April 29





Final Comprehensive Exam –The final exam is required to be returned by 5:00 pm, EDT, May 3, 2019.



General Information

Last updated: March 20, 2017

Academic Honesty


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Please see the University's policy on academic dishonesty, cheating and plagiarism.




We are all bound by confidentiality in this class. Possibly, students may want to discuss their company and its policies and procedures as applied to the class material. Perhaps the student will want to provide a paper on a company confidential project. In order to assure that we can have a free and open discussion, it is expected that each student will respect the confidentiality of any materials that classmates are willing to share.

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