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Advising Federal Contractors Regarding Contract Changes

(326 reviews)

Produced on July 17, 2018

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Course Information

Time 62 minutes
Difficulty Intermediate
Categories Contract Law

Course Description

Contract changes are a fundamental part of government contracting, so much so that all government contracts include some version of the changes clause. But implementing those changes - and negotiating the associated costs - can be a difficult process with a steep learning curve.

This program, taught by experienced government contracting attorney Michael Richard of Cohen Seglias, will cover simple rules to use in guiding your clients to avoid disruptions to the project and increase the likelihood of prompt payment.

The course will discuss how to determine if a government request is a change to the contract and the types of changes that are most likely to cause conflicts, including real world examples of changes in a variety of contracts, such as design, construction, and service contracts. The program will also cover the way that a lack of communication and misconceptions about the authority of government personnel can cause conflicts, featuring specific examples of mistakes on both sides of the contract.

Special attention will be given to communication, professionalism and the proper role of performance reviews in the negotiation process. Finally Michael will provide a few simple rules to avoid conflict and promote payment. The presentation will feature the latest legal developments on a variety of topics related to contract changes, including the DRChecks system, the authority of government personnel to direct changes, and performance reviews in CPARS.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Apply the changes clause to various real world scenarios
  2. Discuss the function and enforceability of notice requirements in federal contracts
  3. Review the basics of contracting authority and how to advise clients regarding unauthorized direction
  4. Encourage professionalism amongst the parties to the contract to create positive outcomes for federal contractors

Credit Information

This course is pre-approved for CLE credit in the following states. If your state is not listed, contact support for more information on how to receive credit


Michael A. Richard

Cohen Seglias Pallas Greenhall & Furman PC

Michael A. Richard is an Associate in the Federal Contracting Group and focuses his practice on government contracts and construction litigation. He represents clients in all aspects of federal contracting including bid protests, claim drafting, administrative dispute resolution procedures and litigation in the federal courts. Michael helps small businesses navigate the requirements of the SBA such as size determinations and NAICS code appeals. He also assists contractors with their day-to-day business challenges including, drafting and negotiating contracts, and contract administration.

Michael represents clients in all stages of litigation from assessing claims and developing case strategy, to discovery, motion practice and appeals. He helps contractors pursue claims for delay, impacts, disruption, differing site conditions and design defects. He represents contractors in disputes regarding pass-through claims, prompt payment requirements, prevailing wage issues, the assessment of liquidated damages and Miller Act bond claims. Michael negotiates settlements for construction clients in a variety of matters including construction defects, design errors, manufacturing defects and supplier failure.

Prior to law school, Michael managed luxury hotels in New Orleans. Working in the hospitality industry taught Michael the value of good business practices as well as the importance of proactively protecting your business against potential liability. Working in the French Quarter also taught him to keep a cool head under pressure, which continues to serve him well today as a litigator.


Deborah S.

Relevant and well presented.

Chase L.

Great practical examples

Jacqueline S.

Excellent program. Great speaker, made a complex subject understandable. Really appreciated case examples to make his points. Great job!!

Afsaneh Lynne K.

This lecturer was great! He was so clear and informative!

John T.

Great job.

Ruth S.

good advice on Notice

Aaron Shawn H.


Sarah S.

This class was comprehensive and I appreciated the use of examples and cases to exemplify points.

James M.

Very knowledgeable presenter -- gave the kind of practical knowledge and practice tips/pointers that I was hoping for, not just letter of the law stuff.

Marcella B.

This was such a great course - the content was finally advanced enough to deal with where I spend almost 100% of my time. Its not sufficient to write agreements, but what happens when changes are needed (especially federal). I live in the FAR - so this was a perspective I needed from another attorney.

Jill C.

customer service was timely when I got kicked out of the course the last few minutes. Thanks for the assist in getting me back online!

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