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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Susan McGuire Smith's Latest Posts

Wording of Divorce Decree Trips up Claim for Survivor Benefits

Filed in News by on October 1, 2014

There are plenty of ways to mess up a divorce decree so that a surviving ex-spouse cannot claim a survivor annuity. This recent case is yet another example of what not to do.

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Filing Delay Leads to Loss of Federal Death Benefits

Filed in News by on September 23, 2014

Even though a spouse of forty years was entitled to her husband’s federal death benefits, her estate could not claim them when the widow died before she was able to sign the paperwork.

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Modified Divorce Ruling Handed Down Before Retirement Must Be Considered In Deciding Survivor Annuity

Filed in News by on August 27, 2014

In yet another case involving the current wife and ex-wife fighting over a federal retiree’s survivor’s annuity, the appeals court finds error in handling by OPM and MSPB and bounces the case back for another round. See why.

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Dog Bites Mail Carrier and Supervisor is Removed

Filed in News by on July 24, 2014

A supervisor with 44 years of service who failed to follow agency policy when a mail carrier was bitten while on duty ends up losing her job based on this and several other misjudgments in carrying out her supervisory responsibilities.

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Unprofessional, Uncivil and Somewhat Boorish

Filed in News by on May 4, 2014

According to the appeals court, “somewhat boorish” actions of supervisors at Merit Systems Protection Board were the “ordinary tribulations of the workplace,” and did not add up to an actionable hostile work environment.

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Volunteer Jury Duty Leads to Firing

Filed in News by on April 24, 2014

A fired Navy employee who tried to avoid relocation to D.C. by volunteering to serve on a grand jury has lost in her third round before the appeals court.

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Practice Makes Perfect

Filed in News by on April 16, 2014

This is yet another case where a retired employee’s failure to designate his wife-in this case his fifth-to receive a survivor’s annuity means she gets nothing.

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Breach of Settlement Agreement May Lead to Monetary Damage Award

Filed in News by on April 9, 2014

The Merit Systems Protection Board is not the only forum to challenge OPM’s breach of its settlement agreement with a fired employee. He now gets his day in the claims court to seek monetary damages according to the appeals court.

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