© 2018 by Dowd Scheffel PLLC. 

CIVIL AND ADMINISTRATIVE LITIGATION

In addition to the Firm’s IP litigation practice in district court and before the PTAB, we also handle general civil litigation in trial courts and before administrative tribunals.  Dowd Scheffel handles general civil litigation that often involves business-related legal disputes, such as contract claims. This includes cases brought against the United States or federal agencies, often in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. We have also represented clients before the U.S. International Trade Commission, the Merit Systems Protection Board, the Foreign Service Grievance Board, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, and the Social Security Administration.

 

Exemplary Cases

 

Foo v. U.S. Department of State, No. 15-02033 (D.D.C. filed Nov. 20, 2015).  Representing an individual in a civil action challenging the decision of the Foreign Service Grievance Board which denied a request for a waiver of the recovery of alleged annuity overpayments.  This case presents a legal challenge to the State Department's rule as being invalid in light of the controlling statute, 22 U.S.C. 4047(d).  Case pending.

 

US Inventor Dispute with the U.S. Patent Office. In August 2017, Matt successfully represented the patent advocacy group US Inventor in its dispute with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office concerning a requested permit to protest in front of the Patent Office in Alexandria.  The Patent Office had impermissibly denied US Inventor the right to peaceably assemble in order to express its frustration with the current state of the patent system. Matt submitted an appeal letter to the agency.  After that, the group's demonstration proceeded without any interference and was widely covered in the press, including C-SPAN, BBC, and the Washington Examiner.  See here, here, here, and here, and here.

 

Frankel v. United States, 842 F.3d 1246 (Fed. Cir. 2016).  Briefed and argued an appeal of first impression about the Federal Trade Commission's Robocall Challenge administered pursuant to the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010.  The matter had been handled pro se by the litigant during the trial at the Court of Federal Claims. Matt has retained to handle the appeal of the adverse trial court judgment.  On appeal, the Federal Circuit accepted, for the first time, that a competition administered by a federal agency may be challenged under a theory of a breach of contract.  The opinion can be read here.


Salem Financial, Inc. v. United States, 786 F.3d 932 (Fed. Cir. 2015).  Assisted with briefing in complex tax appeal.  The court's opinion is available here.

 

TrinCo Investment Co. v. United States, 722 F.3d 1375 (Fed. Cir. 2013). Matt has represented TrinCo Investment Co. in a years-long litigation involving a claims against the federal government under the Fifth Amendment Takings Clause.  Successfully briefed and argued appeal concerning Fifth Amendment takings claim against the federal government.  Listen to the argument here.  Read the opinion here.


King v. Office of Personnel Management, 730 F.3d 1342 (Fed. Cir. 2013). Successfully briefed and argued an appeal concerning federal annuity benefits. Read the court's opinion is here.

 

Latham v. U.S. Postal Service, No. DA-0353-10-0408-I-1 (M.S.P.B. 2012). Successfully briefed and argued a groundbreaking case involving the U.S. Postal Service's National Reassessment Plan for injured employees.  The Latham case is one of the few MSPB cases that have been argued in the ceremonial courtroom at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.  The MSPB has designated the Latham case as a "significant" case.  Briefs and other documents from the case are available here.

 

Ward v. U.S. Postal Service, 672 F.3d 1294 (Fed. Cir. 2012). Successful petition for attorneys' fees under the Equal Access to Justice Act ("EAJA").  The Federal Circuit granted the fee request based on the successful appeal in Ward v. U.S. Postal Serv., 634 F.3d 1274 (Fed. Cir. 2011), see below.  In awarding the fees, the court issued three separate opinions about whether attorneys fees under EAJA can be awarded based on a successful remand to the agency.  The opinions can be read here.

 

Kam-Almaz v. United States, 682 F.3d 1364 (Fed. Cir. 2012).  Represented U.S. citizen whose laptop business computer was seized by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol when returning to the United States through Dulles International Airport.  Wrote brief and argued appeal on issues of brief of implied contract, Fifth Amendment takins, and Fourth Amendment.  The opinion is here.


Ward v. U.S. Postal Serv., 634 F.3d 1274 (Fed. Cir. 2011). Matt successfully briefed and argued an appeal concerning the wrongful termination of a 19-year employee of the U.S. Postal Service who was also a Navy veteran.  The appeal resulted in an important decision concerning Due Process rights of federal employees.  After the appeal, Mr. DowdMatt successfully negotiated a settlement with the Postal Service which returned Mr. Ward to employment and included a significant payment for lost wages as well as attorney's fees. The court's opinion is available here