Susan McGuire Smith

Susan McGuire Smith spent most of her federal legal career with NASA, serving as Chief Counsel at Marshall Space Flight Center for 14 years. Her expertise is in government contracts, ethics, and personnel law.

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A Conviction By Any Other Name…

By on January 18, 2017 in Court Cases with 0 Comments
A Conviction By Any Other Name…

A federal law enforcement official could not persuade the appeals court to overturn his removal stemming from his conviction on a Virginia felony charge for possession with intent to distribute.

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Some Things Should Be Kept From the Boss

By on December 21, 2016 in Court Cases with 0 Comments

The appeals court has thrown out an arbitration decision upholding removal of a Department of Defense teacher, finding her due process was violated when the chain of command discussed her case.

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A Personal Remembrance in Honor of Veterans Day

By on November 11, 2016 in Current Events with 0 Comments
A Personal Remembrance in Honor of Veterans Day

Veterans Day is a federal holiday created to honor those that served their country in the military. The author provides a personal memorial to honor one of these veterans.

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All In the Family

By on November 7, 2016 in Court Cases with 0 Comments

Accepting reimbursement for services that were actually paid for by a relative leads to a federal employee’s removal.

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D.C. Circuit Disagrees with DOJ Handling of FOIA Request

By on November 2, 2016 in Court Cases with 0 Comments

Here is yet another case in which a court has taken issue with an agency’s withholding of information in response to a FOIA request. This time it’s the Department of Justice—the agency responsible for “overseeing” how the government is handling its disclosure obligations.

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Workforce Disruptions Lead to Removal of 30-Year Employee

By on September 14, 2016 in Court Cases with 71 Comments

Incidents of anger, outbursts and threats in the workplace lead the agency to suspend then fire a long-standing employee.

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Poor Customer Service Leads to Removal

By on August 17, 2016 in Court Cases with 27 Comments
Poor Customer Service Leads to Removal

An IRS employee who cursed out a taxpayer in front of several witnesses could not persuade the court that his removal was unwarranted.

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She Fought the Law and She Won

By on August 11, 2016 in Court Cases with 12 Comments

A PhD candidate at University of Virginia fought back when the Defense Department ruled she did not qualify for the education reduced fee exemption under the FOIA and therefore would have to pay the full $900 due in fees for the agency’s efforts. She won at the influential U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. She not only gets the reduced fee, her case sets a precedent that should affect how all agencies handle FOIA requests from students in the future.

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When Private Emails Are Official Government Records

By on August 9, 2016 in Court Cases with 284 Comments

A Federal appeals court has ruled that an agency head’s email records that are stored on a private, non-government server are nevertheless official agency records reachable by a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

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Don't Just Look For the Management Label

The appeals court agrees with the Merit Systems Protection Board that just because an HR Specialist had access to confidential personnel databases and was labeled a manager by her agency does not mean that she was in a management position or one that otherwise gave the Board jurisdiction over her adverse action (demotion) appeal.

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