John Stafford


T: (703) 909-7765

Washington, DC Office


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Practice Areas

  • Admiralty & Maritime
  • Compliance Counseling
  • Government
  • Intellectual Property
  • International
  • Litigation — Civil Pretrial and Trial Services
  • Cyber-Risk, Privacy & Data Security
  • Law & Gov’t Contracts
  • Technology
  • White Collar Litigation and Investigations

Bar Admissions 

  • District of Columbia
  • US Supreme Court
  • US Federal and 5th Circuits
  • US Court of Federal Claims
  • US District Courts, DC
  • Central and Northern Districts of California
  • Northern and Southern Districts of Texas


  • Maryland, JD 1978
  • Georgetown, LLM 1984,
  • Washington and Lee, BS 1971

Large Law Firm Experience

  • Greenberg Traurig, McKenna & Cuneo,
  • Husch Blackwell, Haynes & Boone



For more than 35 years John has assisted clients performing research, developing technology, manufacturing and supplying products, and providing services and support to federal agencies under contracts, grants and cooperative and other transaction agreements. He has extensive knowledge, acquired through many years of hands-on experience, with the myriad laws, regulations, policies, legal concepts, and case precedents that impact the government contracting industry. For the past 20 years John has served as an advisory board member and contributor to the Thomson Reuters national weekly publication The Government Contractor which covers the latest developments in federal procurement. He is the author of several in-depth Briefing Papers on public contracting topics ranging from the legally intricate — Res Judicata and Law of the Case Doctrines — to practical advice — The Federal Supply Schedules Program.

John has represented start-ups, non-profits, universities, small businesses, mid-cap companies, and several of the largest federal contractors in a variety of circumstances and a wide range of counseling and litigation matters such as:

  • Teaming Agreements and NDA’s
  • Joint Venture and Mentor-Protégé Agreements
  • Proposal preparation and Red Team review
  • SAM certification and representation requirements
  • Labor Department minimum wage rules, compliance and violations (renamed but popularly known as the Davis-Bacon Act, Service Contract Act, and Walsh-Healey Public Contract Act)
  • Small Business size, affiliation rules and SBA preference programs (8a, SDVOSB, HUBZone, WOSB)
  • Pre-award and post-award bid protests
  • GSA and VA Federal Supply Schedule programs
  • Cost accounting principles, CAS compliance, DCAA audits and DCMA contract close-out
  • NISPOM, facility and personnel clearances, and FOCI mitigation
  • Domestic preferences for end items and components (Buy American Act, Trade Agreements Act, Berry Amendment)
  • Procurement integrity and ethics compliance
  • M&A transactional assistance, due diligence, foreign ownership considerations, and CFIUS voluntary filings
  • Performance disputes, REA’s, and claims; preparation, negotiation and litigation
  • False Claims Act violations, investigation and defense
  • Suspension and debarment of companies and individuals
  • Patent, data, and computer software rights under federal contracts, subcontracts, grants, and consortia arrangements


In addition to his long-standing federal procurement practice, over the past 15 years John has developed a complementary practice representing companies involved in all aspects of the US and international transportation industries. Clients include shippers, motor freight carriers, railroads, air carriers, US domestic waterway and ocean cargo carriers, 3PL logistics and warehouse fulfillment services providers, NVOCC’s, transportation brokers, and freight forwarders. He routinely counsels clients participating in the transportation sector on such matters as:

  • Contracts of carriage, rules tariffs, bills of lading; negotiable terms and best practices
  • Carrier responsibilities under national and international laws and conventions (Hague and Hague-Visby Rules, COGSA, Warsaw and Montreal Conventions)
  • Registration and licensing obligations
  • Driver and vehicle compliance and institutional compliance programs
  • Owner-operator agreements and equipment leases
  • Dangerous Goods/Hazardous Materials regulations, compliance, exceptions, and obtaining Special Permits
  • TSA air cargo security compliance and Certified Cargo Screening Program
  • Investigating and responding to Department of Transportation LOI’s and alleged violations
  • Cargo loss and damage, delay, demurrage, and detention claims; Carmack Amendment
  • Cross-border operations into Mexico and Canada
  • Jones Act and coastwise trade regulation
  • Review and drafting of NVOCC service arrangements

Representative Transactions

  • John has successfully represented clients in many different forums.  Noteworthy matters concluded with favorable results include:
  • Under a USAF SAR classified program: Separate claims of two principal subcontractors to Northrop Grumman responsible for major structural components and composite materials of the B2 bomber
  • On a Foreign Military Sales program contract managed by the USAF on behalf of the Royal Saudi Air Force:  claim for cost overruns developing the next generation Command, Control, and Communications military air operations and defense network in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  • On a direct foreign military sale contract:  claim of system designer and manufacturer to deliver 360 degree F16 training simulators to the Republic of Korea Air Force
  • In the US Court of Federal Claims: claims of County Commissioners and services contractor against the Federal Bureau of Prisons relating to the operation of the Albuquerque, New Mexico federal detention center
  • In US District Court SDNY: defense of international agriculture company whose containerized product alleged to cause the mid-ocean fire and explosion aboard the MSC Flaminia, resulting in a major marine casualty and loss of life
  • Before the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals: claim of Texas truck manufacturer against the US Army on contracts to develop and deliver the next-generation Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles
  • Before the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals: defense of international arms dealer whose US Navy contract was terminated for default for failure to deliver Soviet design anti-ship torpedoes
  • Before the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals: claim of FEMA support contractor responsible for servicing and maintaining temporary housing for Louisiana residents displaced by Hurricane Katrina
  • Before the US Army Suspension and Debarment Official: lifting proposed debarment of the company owners after pleading guilty to a felony in connection with contracts to supply cold weather clothing to the Defense Logistics Agency
  • Before US Customs and Border Protection: multiple favorable Trade Agreements Act Government Procurement country of origin rulings
  • Before the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals: multiple favorable rulings on small business size appeals

Recent Publications

  • “FDA Breaks with SBA On Small Business Size Affiliation,” The Contractor’s Perspective. April 2017
  • “President Trump Mandates Buy American For Construction of US Pipelines,” The Contractor’s Perspective, January 2017
  • “Raytheon v. United States–the Federal Circuit’s Tutorial on the Difference Between the Cost Accounting Standards and the FAR Cost Principles,” The Contractor’s Perspective, April 2014
  • “Small Business Certification–a Thorny Issue,” National Defense Magazine, March 2013
  • “Keeping Small Business Programs Under the Microscope,” Law 360, July 2012
  • “Mitigating the Risk of Defense Base Act Insurance,” National Defense Magazine, May 2012
  • “New Executive Pay Rules Go into Effect,” National Defense Magazine, January 2011

John is a former JAG attorney and Marine Corps combat arms officer.