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

Two Years Means Two Years

Filed in News by on December 14, 2014 Comments

A retired federal employee missed the deadline to elect a survivor annuity for her new husband. She took her case to the appeals court when OPM turned her down. See if she fared any better with the court.

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“Good Intentions” Not a Defense

Filed in News by on November 25, 2014 Comments

Applying progressive discipline, the IRS ended up firing an employee who dragged his feet every year resulting in late payment of his federal taxes.

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Appeals Court Hands Fired DHS Employee His Job Back

Filed in News by on October 26, 2014 Comments

Score this recent published decision by the Federal Circuit as a big and clear win for the fired Customs and Border Agent and his legal team. He could not convince the agency, the Administrative Law Judge, or the Merit Systems Protection Board. But that does not matter because he definitely convinced the court that he had been too harshly treated.

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Wording of Divorce Decree Trips up Claim for Survivor Benefits

Filed in News by on October 1, 2014 Comments

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 Comments

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 Comments

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 Comments

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 Comments

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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