Gold Weems Attorneys Prevail in Dispute Over 2014 Public Bid Law Changes

December 03, 2014

In a matter of first impression regarding the proper interpretation of 2014 amendments to Louisiana’s Public Bid Law, Gold Weems attorneys Gregory B. Upton, Michael J. O’Shee and Stephen A. Lafleur defeated a preliminary injunction action challenging the award of a Red River Waterway Commission (“RRWC”) construction contract in excess of $900,000.

Through its ruling issued November 24, 2014, the Natchitoches Parish District Court adopted the Post-Trial Brief written by Gold Firm litigators as its Written Reasons for judgment, and found the amended Act mandated the apparent low bidder to submit all “other information or documentation” required by the bidding documents within 10 days of the opening of the bids.  The Court found that a bidder’s failure to meet the deadline required declaration of the noncompliant bidder as non-responsive, and allowed the public entity to award the contract to the next lowest bidder.  As pointed out by Gold Weems attorneys, the requirement that bidding documents state a deadline for document submission had been removed by legislative amendments in 2011, and the 2014 revisions showed no legislative intent to resurrect the prior statutory requirement.  If appealed and affirmed by the Louisiana Third Circuit Court of Appeal, the decision would provide important precedent for interpretation of the Public Bid Law’s 2014 amendments.