Photo of Zariah Altman

Zariah helps clients with antitrust investigations, government contracts matters, including bid protests, and other complex and fast-paced disputes.

In her antitrust practice, Zariah provides counsel on a range of issues and agency actions, including investigations into company hiring practices, such as no-poach/non-solicitation. In addition, in the area of government contracts, she advises clients on agency submissions, state and federal regulatory compliance, including FOIA requests, and bid protests.

She received her J.D., cum laude, from Howard University School of Law and served as a senior articles editor for the Howard Law Journal. Zariah worked as a Henry Ramsey Dean’s Fellow for a legal writing professor and as a student attorney in Howard’s Reentry Clinic, where she represented clients with criminal records that were seeking to have their records sealed or to terminate their parole early.

On May 3, 2024, in Geospatial Technology Associates, LLC v. United States, COFC No. 16-346C, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims denied the government’s motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction and, alternatively, for summary judgment due to alleged inaccuracies in a copyright registration, holding that plaintiff Geospatial Technology Associates, LLC’s (“plaintiff” or “GTA”) patent and copyright infringement claims pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1498 raise issues that “must be addressed at trial.” This newest development follows GTA’s original March 2016 lawsuit against several government agencies—including the Department of the Army, the Department of the Air Force, and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (“NGA”)—alleging patent and copyright infringement of the underlying software code of its product, “NINJA.pro.” Continue Reading Contractor’s Copyright Infringement Claims Raise Issues That “Must be Addressed at Trial”  

AI remains a critical focus of both the federal government and industry, with multiple efforts in recent weeks to address governance of the development and use of AI in the United States.  On February 26, 2024, a U.S. Department of State-commissioned report, titled “Defense in Depth: An Action Plan to Increase the Safety and Security of Advanced AI” (Action Plan), proposed multiple U.S. Government and partner nation lines of effort to address growing national security risks posed by rapidly expanding AI capabilities, including the expectation of achieving artificial general intelligence (AGI).  Just days later, on March 5, 2024, House Chairman Comer and Ranking Member Raskin introduced the Federal AI Governance and Transparency Act.  This bipartisan bill would focus government resources on increasing transparency, oversight, and responsible use of federal AI systems and centrally codifying federal governance of agency AI systems.  Additionally, on March 28, 2024 the Office of Management and Budget released the final guidance on Memorandum M-24-10, Advancing Governance, Innovation, and Risk Management for Agency Use of AI as we address here.Continue Reading Recent Developments from the Federal Government Relating to AI

In Aviation Training Consulting, LLC, ASBCA No. 63634 (Jan. 11, 2024), the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals (ASBCA) confirmed that a contractor’s properly asserted claim for relief under Section 3610 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is a claim under the Contract Disputes Act (CDA) and denied the Air Force’s motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction.Continue Reading Who CARES? The ASBCA Might.

On December 19, 2023, the United States District Court for the District of Utah denied summary judgment in part to Vanderlande Industries (Vanderlande), holding that a reasonable jury could find that Vanderlande negligently misrepresented the viability of subcontractor Ludvik Electric Co.’s (Ludvik) pass-through claims during the parties’ settlement negotiations over the claims. Continue Reading Contractor Discovers the High Cost of Misrepresenting a Material Fact: Summary Judgment Denied in Part 

On December 20, 2023, the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals (Board) denied the government’s motion to dismiss a prime contractor’s pandemic-related claims filed on behalf of its subcontractors.  The Board rejected the government’s arguments that the claims failed to state any claims for relief that could be granted, were barred by the affirmative defense of sovereign acts, and failed to provide separate sums certain for purported sub-claims.   Continue Reading ASBCA Allows Subcontractors’ Pandemic-Related Claims to Move Forward

On November 2, 2023, the Department of Defense (DoD) released its 2023 DoD Data, Analytics, and Artificial Intelligence Adoption Strategy (2023 Strategy), and an accompanying Fact Sheet, to accelerate the adoption of analytics, data, and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies that will enable better and faster decision-making at all levels and across the DoD.  The 2023 Strategy builds upon and supersedes the DoD’s first AI Strategy published in 2019, reported on here, and the revised Data Strategy published in 2020 to continue the DoD’s digital transformation, unifying previous guidance and enabling stronger alignment and synchronization to scale advanced capabilities for use across the DoD. Continue Reading DoD Releases Additional Guidance on the Department’s Artificial Intelligence Strategy

On August 25, 2023, in ECC CENTCOM Constructors, LLC v. United States, COFC No. 21-1169, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims (“the Court” or “COFC”) barred ECC CENTCOM Constructors, LLC (“ECC”) from asserting claims that should have been asserted before the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals (“ASBCA”) citing the doctrine of claim preclusion. 

At the ASBCA, ECC had appealed a termination for default and sought time extensions and damages due to excusable delay.  The Board dismissed ECC’s appeal, finding that the Contracting Officer (“CO”) acted reasonably in terminating the contract and finding that ECC failed to present its excusable delay claims to the CO as required under M. Maropakis Carpentry, Inc. v. United States, 609 F.3d 1323 (Fed. Cir. 2010).  ECC requested a stay to allow it time to present its delay claims to the CO, but the Board denied the request stating that it was untimely and futile because ECC’s own expert testified that less than half of the delays were excusable, which meant that the CO’s termination decision would still be justified.  ECC appealed the ASBCA’s decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, where the Board’s decision was affirmed.Continue Reading Strike When the Iron is Hot: Court of Federal Claims Found a Contractor’s Defense to a Termination Was Precluded by its Failure to Previously Assert Those Claims in Litigation Before the ASBCA

On June 29, 2023, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released its second report[1] on Department of Defense (DoD) artificial intelligence (AI) acquisition efforts.  This latest report examines the DoD’s lack of formal AI acquisition guidance and identifies key principles from the private sector that can be applied to the DoD’s AI acquisition efforts. 

Although

On April 6, 2023, the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals (CBCA), in BES Design/Build, LLC, CBCA 7585, dismissed a contractor’s appeal for lack of jurisdiction, finding the appeal untimely, and underscoring that a contractor cannot reset the 90-day appeal window by resubmitting its original claim.

On February 24, 2021, BES Design/Build, LLC (BES) submitted

On March 22, 2023, the Department of Defense (DoD) issued a final rule amending the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) to allow a procuring contracting officer (PCO) to delegate the authority to the contract administration office (CAO) to negotiate and settle direct costs questioned in an indirect cost rate proposal audit.  After the delegation