Ouch. A #judge destroys #Justice Dept. lawyering in a U.S. Court of Federal Claims case, starting with an extended quotation from Alice in Wonderland and ending with a stern admonition for the government to "return to reality."
Suits & Sentences repeats for emphasis: Ouch. Or, perhaps that should be: Yikes!
In an entertainingly brutal 23-page decision, Court of Claims Judge Frances Allegra sides with Laboratory Corporation of America's claim against the Department of Veterans Affair. In substance, the dispute seems like a pretty routine contract clash: the company protests VA's refusal to accept its quotation for a blanket purchase agreement, while the agency says the company bid arrived late.
The substantative details are spelled out in the opinion. But let's cut straight to the judge's assessment of the government's arguments. Among Judge Allegra's observations:
"Defendant, regrettably, has injected an Alice-in-Wonderland quality into this preaward bid protest case... in arguments worthy of the Mad Hatter."
"Fortunately, unlike the Mad Hatter’s unsolvable riddle for Alice ('Why is a raven like a writing desk?'), the solution to defendant’s contorted arguments is readily found in the Federal Acquisition Regulations and binding precedent."
"Unlike someone on good terms with the Mad Hatter’s Time, the officials at the VA could not whisper a hint to Time and make the clock on this procurement go round, in a twinkling, to a time different than that listed in the solicitation. There is nothing on this side of the looking glass to support the VA’s rejection of plaintiff’s offer. It is time, via an injunction, for defendant to return to reality."