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.
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.
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.
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.
A DFAS (Defense Finance and Accounting Service) employee removed for being found ineligible for a sensitive position due to numerous outstanding debts won a reprieve from the federal appeals court when it threw out the decision of the Merit Systems Protection Board and sent the case back for another look.
A Supervisory Patent Examiner who retired rather than be busted down to a non-supervisory position for the offense of nepotism was unable to persuade the Merit Systems Protection Board, and now the appeals court, to hear her case.
A divorced spouse relied on an inaccurate version of a 20-year-old divorce decree to get OPM to award her a survivor annuity on the death of her former husband. When presented with the accurate version of the decree, OPM revoked the annuity and demanded repayment. See what happened.
An instructor at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC), fired as the result of allegations he fraternized with female students, tried unsuccessfully to argue that poor witness credibility decisions amounted to error on the part of the review board that has upheld his removal.
The district court has ordered discovery in another Freedom of Information Act case where the actions of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, part of the White House, in responding to a document request are characterized by the court as “inconsistent” and a “rare case where discovery is warranted.”