Maria’s practice focuses on all aspects of federal government procurement law, including bid protests, Contract Disputes Act (CDA) claims and litigation, statutory and regulatory compliance counseling, and small business procurement. She represents a variety of government contractors including construction contractors, information technology and information system contractors, advisory and assistant service contractors, security contractors, dredging contractors, environmental remediation contractors, and suppliers. Maria counsels and guides her clients through the entire lifecycle of their government contracts, providing comprehensive representation that allows her clients to navigate complicated legal requirements while fulfilling their own business goals.
Maria represents clients before numerous federal agencies, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), and various federal and state courts. Her practice includes contract interpretation matters, performance counseling, the drafting and negotiation of Requests for Equitable Adjustment (REA) and claims, claims litigation and appeals, the resolution of subcontractor disputes, including through the use of pass-through claims and liquidating agreements, and Miller Act bond claims. Though her practice is not limited to construction alone, Maria has substantial experience with a wide range of construction-related issues such as defective designs, defective specifications, differing site conditions, changes, suspensions, delays, liquidated damages, and contract terminations. Maria regularly counsels clients regarding compliance with the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and its supplementary regulations, the False Claims Act, the Buy American Act, and other federal regulations.
Having acquired substantial experience with the government’s 8(a), SDVOSB, WOSB and HUBZone small business programs, Maria provides assistance to clients competing for small business program set-aside contracts. She assists clients with small business eligibility analyses and has successfully challenged negative agency findings regarding clients’ SDVOSB, HUBZone, and 8(a) eligibility and defeated size- and status-related bid protests brought by clients’ competitors. As part of her practice, Maria has considerable experience drafting teaming and joint venture agreements and advising small business clients on potential affiliation problems, subcontracting requirements, and the SBA’s mentor-protégé programs.
What is your favorite thing to do in your free time?
Travel! I love all things relating to travel and love learning about other people, places, and cultures. Planning trips and making itineraries both for myself and for all my friends is actually how I relax. I have potential itineraries planned for most of the countries in the world. With a job as demanding as ours, the hard part is actually taking the trips…
What is your favorite vacation spot?
Rome. Of all the places I have been, Rome still holds my top spot. There is something about the city that feels special. The city has an interesting and somewhat contradictory combination of qualities. It can feel chaotic, and yet the people are so laid back. It is so full of history, and yet it’s still vibrant and energetic today. I just love the way the city feels.
What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
Probably something education-related. I really like teaching people, especially when the things I am teaching are of interest to me. There is an aspect of that to law, too – the mentoring of younger attorneys – and I really enjoy it, and it is one of my favorite aspects of being a partner.