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Student wins award for small business contract writing

March 20, 2013

Meggan Medina, editor for the Arizona State Law Journal, was recently recognized by the National Contract Management Association (NCMA) for a paper she authored on small business contracting.

The paper, "A Nightmare Trifecta for Small Business Contractors: False Claims Act, Implied Certification, and Presumed Loss Rule," was awarded honorable mention in the graduate research category in the 2013 NCMA W. Gregor Macfarlan Excellence in Contract Management Research and Writing Program. One of only two awards in the category. 

In it, Medina explored three federal legal rules that she says can be a potential disaster for small businesses. The rules were recently adopted to address the problem of small businesses abusing their priority status in federal government contracting.

However, Medina said, the changes could be harmful even to honest small business owners. 

“There is a legitimate problem of large businesses using small businesses as “fronts” to get advantages in federal contracts,” Medina said. “But there are also legitimate small businesses that might get accused of defrauding the government because they don’t understand the nuances of small business contracting regulations.” 

The paper explains the red flags small business owners should look for when partnering, and some of the practical ways they can protect their status.

“Sometimes law journal articles are too theoretical,” Medina said. “I wanted this paper to be more useful for practitioners.” 

The paper will be published in September in the 2013 Journal of Contract Management, NCMA’s chief publication.

Medina thanked her advisor, professor Amy Langenfeld, for her help and encouragement in shaping the article.

Before returning to school in 2010, Medina worked for small business government contractor The Cloudburst Group.  After she receives her law degree, she plans to return to work full-time as in-house counsel for the company.