Articles Posted in U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

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Freddie Mac is a privately-owned, publicly-chartered financial services corporation, 12 U.S.C. 1452, created to provide stability in the secondary residential mortgage market. Piszel began working as the CFO of Freddie Mac in 2006. Piszel with a signing bonus of $5 million in Freddie Mac restricted stock units that would vest over four years, an annual salary of $650,000, and performance-based incentive compensation of $3 million a year in restricted stock. If terminated without cause, Piszel would receive a lump-sum cash payment of double his annual salary and certain restricted stock units would continue to vest. In 2008, facing Freddie Mac's potential collapse, Congress passed the Housing and Economic Recovery Act,12 U.S.C. 4511, establishing the FHFA as Freddie Mac's new primary regulator, with authority to disaffirm any contract, after which damages for the breach would be limited to “actual direct compensatory damages.” The Act contained a limit on “golden parachutes.” Piszel alleges that he was terminated without cause and Freddie Mac “refused to provide him with any of the benefits to which he was contractually entitled.” The Claims Court dismissed his allegations of an unconstitutional taking. The Federal Circuit affirmed, noting that Piszel’s breach of contract claim remains intact despite the legislation, particularly in light of Piszel’s assertion that his contract called for “deferred compensation,” rather than a golden parachute. View "Piszel v. United States" on Justia Law

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Normandy Apartments, Ltd. owned and managed a low-income rental housing project where tenants’ rents were federally subsidized under the Section 8 project-based program. In 2004, Normandy and the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) entered into a contract (the HAP contract) wherein HUD agreed to pay rental housing assistance to Normandy. Normandy and HUD renewed the contract annually until 2004. The named parties and signatories of the 2004 HAP contract were the Oklahoma Housing Finance Authority and Normandy. In 2007, HUD notified Normandy that its assistance payments would be terminated because Normandy defaulted on the HAP contract by repeatedly failing to maintain the apartments. In 2010, Normandy filed suit against the government in the United States Court of Federal Claims asserting a breach of the 2004 HAP Contract and requesting damages. The Claims Court dismissed the case for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Normandy then filed an amended complaint asserting a takings claim against the government. The Claims Court granted summary judgment in favor of the government. The Federal Circuit affirmed, holding (1) the Claims Court correctly dismissed Normandy’s breach of contract claim for lack of jurisdiction because the United States was not a party to the 2004 HAP contract; and (2) HUD’s conduct did not constitute a regulatory taking. View "Normandy Apartments, Ltd. v. United States" on Justia Law