Article

When a dispute is really a claim in disguise

Historically, a “claim” has been the starting point for invoking the governmen contract disputes process. One of the elements of a “claim” in that context is a“dispute”. However, a recent statute has declared that, under some circumstances, a “dispute” is a substitute for a “claim” in reference to this initial jurisdictional step. It is a mathematical axiom that a whole must equal the sum of its parts. However, the above statute appears to defy that logic by declaring that a “dispute”(one of the many requisite subparts of a “claim”) can be used interchangeably or synonymously with a “claim” (the whole). The statute did this in order to sidestep some established but cumbersome legal precedent interpreting the requirements of a “claim”. This article examines the correlation between a “claim” and a “dispute” within the government contract disputes process and whether this statutory substitution was a “quick fix” or a misguided attempt.

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