Mr. Coulter has practiced government contract law, with a concentration in government contract litigation, for more than 20 years. He has participated in litigation with a number of government departments and agencies, both state and federal, and has also provided general government contract advice to bidders and contractors. Mr. Coulter has significant trial experience as lead counsel in government contract matters.
From 1992 – 1997, Mr. Coulter was engaged in a general commercial litigation practice with Fulbright & Jaworski, L.L.P., in Houston, Texas. In 1997, Mr. Coulter joined the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. As a trial attorney in the Commercial Litigation Branch of the Justice Department, Mr. Coulter represented the United States in a myriad of contract disputes, the majority of which involved construction contracts. He obtained experience in all phases of public contracting, from the bidding process through final completion. Mr. Coulter participated in bid protest litigation, contract interpretation issues, differing site conditions, issues of changes in the scope of work, defective plans and specifications, and other typical construction contract issues. As lead trial counsel, Mr. Coulter litigated several government contract cases through trial, involving claims in excess of $1 million.
Mr. Coulter also has significant appellate experience in government contract litigation matters. In one of his last cases with the Justice Department, Mr. Coulter successfully argued before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit a construction case involving more than $4 million in claims. The case concerned the United States Navy’s appeal of a ruling by the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals that the Navy had wrongfully terminated a construction contract for default. In a published opinion reversing the Board of Contract Appeals, the Federal Circuit found that the contractor had failed to give adequate assurances of timely completion and, therefore, the Navy had properly terminated the contract for default. Danzig v. AEC Corporation, 224 F.3d 1333 (Fed. Cir. 2000). For his efforts in that case, Mr. Coulter received a letter of commendation from the General Counsel for the United States Navy.
Since returning to private practice, Mr. Coulter has continued his government contract practice, which includes advising clients on various bidding issues, contract negotiations, including the preservation of data rights, contract compliance issues, including Buy American and TAA certification, as well as False Claims Act issues and import/export issues, including compliance with the Export Administration Regulations (“EAR”) and the International Traffic in Arms (“ITAR”) regulations. Mr. Coulter has significant bid protest experience at both the state and federal levels and regularly represents contractors in bid protest litigation before the Government Accountability Office and the United States Court of Federal Claims.
In 2008, Mr. Coulter represented clients in a precedent-setting Federal Circuit victory, which resulted in the expansion of the jurisdiction of the United States Court of Federal Claims. Distributed Solutions, Inc. v. United States, 539 F.3d 1340 (2008). On remand, in its decision on the merits, the Court of Federal Claims issued another precedent-setting decision, finding that his clients had established the right to relief by being deprived of a direct, competitive procurement opportunity (because of the Government’s use of a private contractor to conduct the procurement process) and, therefore, awarded damages to the contractors. Distributed Solutions, Inc. v. United States, 104 Fed. Cl. 368 (2012).
Mr. Coulter also has significant experience in contract claim litigation and False Claims Act litigation. From 2014-2016, Mr. Coulter successfully represented a company in a nationwide False Claims Act matter, with the Government asserting $2 Billion in damages. Mr. Coulter also has substantial experience in assisting clients with voluntary and mandatory disclosure issues, audits and investigations, and responses to government claims.
- Practice Areas
Education and Admissions
- J.D. Wake Forest University School of Law, 1990
- B.A. American Government, University of Virginia, 1987
- District of Columbia
Professional Organization Memberships
- Virginia State Bar, member
- DC Bar, member
News, Honors, Publications & Speeches
- Named Virginia Business magazine’s “Legal Elite” in Construction Law, 2008–2009 & 2011–2018
- Recognized as a Virginia Super Lawyer by Law & Politics magazine in Construction Law and Government Contracts, 2011–2018
- Listed among The Best Lawyers in America® in the fields of Commercial Litigation, and Government Relations Practice, 2012–2018
- Recognized in Benchmark Litigation as a “Local Litigation Star” in Virginia, 2014, 2016, 2017 & 2018
- Member, Procurement Council of the United States Chamber of Commerce
- Author of chapter entitled “An Overview of the Current Government Contract Climate,” in Inside the Minds: The Impact of Recent Changes in Government Contracts published by Aspatore Books, a Thomson Reuters business (2010)