FEDERAL COURT IMPROVEMENT ACT OF 1982: ITS IMPACT ON FEDERAL CONTRACT LITIGATION

The Federal Courts Improvement Act of 1982 (FCIA) abolished the Court of Claims and the Court of Customs and Patent Appeals and created the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) and the Claims Court. Federal contract disputes were previously the jurisdiction of the old Court of Claims which had both trial and appellate functions. The FCIA eliminates this awkward and confusing structure by giving the trial function to the new Claims Court decisions in addition to carrying out the functions of the former Court of Customs and Patent Appeals. The Claims court is also authorized to grant declaratory and injunctive relief involving pre-award contract disputes. A review of several key early decision of both courts suggest they have a fairly narrow and restrained view of their authority in precontract-award situations. Some commentators have intimated that such caution may stem in part from practical considerations. The Claims Court and the various government agency contract appeals board have co-extensive jurisdiction over government contractor appeals. The CAFC has ruled that agency boards cannot award attorney fees, creating an incentive for contractors to opt for the Claims Court. If in addition the Claims Court were preceived as more liberal than agency boards in granting relief to contractors, the resulting case load would create an imbalance within the Federal contract dispute resolution system.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Transportation Research Board

    A4005: Committee on Contract Law
    Washington, DC  United States  20418
  • Authors:
    • Dann, J R
  • Publication Date: 1983-7

Media Info

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00388756
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Oct 30 1984 12:00AM