Simas & Associates, Ltd. Newsletter | July 5, 2013 | Volume I, Issue 8
Firm Announcement

Simas & Associates, Ltd. Secures Clean Sweep of Bid Protests

Sacramento, California - On June 25, 2013, Simas & Associates, Ltd. received word that it had defeated three bid protests of a public contract awarded to it's client, Kovarus, Inc. before the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) (Case Nos. 2013030974, 2013030986, 2013030987).  

"It is a multi-million dollar contract," explained Mr. Simas.  "And it was sought after by some of the behemoths in the tech industry."  

The contract was published and solicited by the Department of General Services (DGS) on its eProcurement in December 2010 regarding data storage for the state of California and participating local governments (Request for Proposal (RFP) No. 1002-023).  The RFP included five categories of storage, including hardware, software, and technical services.  A bidder need not bid on all categories, and multiple bidders could be awarded in each category depending upon their scoring for each.

DGS posted a Notice of Intent to Award under the RFP on March 4, 2013.  Of the five categories awarded, Kovarus won one outright, and shared in the award in two other categories.

The awarding of the contract to Kovarus, predictably, set-off a round of formal bid protests by a number of these companies,"  stated Simas.  Specifically, NetApp, Inc., NWN Corporation, and Hewlett-Packard Company (HP) each filed protests regarding Kovarus's award on March 15, 2013.  DGS responded to the bid protests on March 22, 2013. 

"Luckily, Kovarus understood the seriousness of the bid protest process," explained Simas.  "Luckily, they also knew that while they could directly participate, that they were operating under very tight deadlines to do so."

As a result, they first reached out to Robert Holderness for legal representation.  Mr. Holderness, a respected and long serving public servant in Northern California, who has had an extensive and varied legal practice, knew right away that he could help Kovarus, but was going to need a little extra manpower.  As a result, he turned to Steve Simas.

"I had the entire team drop what they were doing and on hand to assist," explained Simas.  "We split up the protests amongst the three attorneys and received excellent research from our law clerk and support from all of our paralegals.  I could not have been prouder of how quickly our team was able to "turn on the machine" so to speak.  We got all responses timely filed and received a number of compliments from DGS representatives regarding how we framed the arguments to support the award."

Ultimately, two of the protests - NetApp and NWN - were decided through briefing only.  HP's protest, however, resulted in briefing, a three-day arbitration hearing in mid-May under the Alternative Protest Process of the Public Contract Code, and a closing brief in early June.  Mr. Holderness, Mr. Simas, and Nicole Hanley all appeared on behalf of Kovarus at the hearing, with Ms. Hanley handling the bulk of the drafting of the closing brief.

"She took detailed notes at the hearing and then was able to slice through mounds of technical jargon and data to present perfectly-tailored legal arguments, given the audience," explained Simas.  "Fifteen thousand pages of documents is not the easiest of assignments.  Yet, most-if-not-all of the arguments made by our office were ultimately endorsed by ALJ Meth in his decisions."

Although the decision before ALJ Meth is OAH's final say on the protests, there is still the possibility that any of the protesters could continue the fight in superior court.  "The is a limited legal vehicle to get a public contract award overturned through the courts," explained Mr. Simas.  "Thus, it is still possible that HP will marshall up its resources and continue to fight.  So, while we are happy for Kovarus and extremely happy with the decisions, there will likely be another battle to fight.  And we will be ready."

To set-up your own initial Public Contracts Law consultation please visit our Contact Us page at
Staff Announcement

Steven L. Simas Presents "The Intersection of Criminal and Administrative Law"
Steven L. Simas
On June 12, 2013, Steven L. Simas, presented "The Intersection of Criminal and Administrative Law" to the San Luis Obispo County Bar Association, Criminal Law Section.  The presentation provided a general overview of administrative and professional licensing law, highlighting the complexities that arise when it crosses-over into criminal law matters.  A powerpoint of the presentation was included.

Kirk Endres, Chairman of the Criminal Law Section stated, "This is the largest turnout we have had in a long time," referring to the great subject matter and speaker selection.

Mr. Simas also took a number of questions after his presentation.  Questions primarily concerned the scope of what is considered "substantially related" to a particular profession.  And, as most professional licensing law attorneys know, Mr. Simas answered, "pretty much everything is considered substantially related."  

Mr. Simas also shared the more recent development of some agencies, boards, bureaus, and commissions compelling licensees to report - not only the conviction but even the arrest - and the short time frames for doing so.

Client of the Month

West Coast Rocky Mountain Horse Club
122 Corralitos Road
Arroyo Grande, CA 93420
T: (805) 441-7231

The West Coast Rocky Mountain Horse Club (WCRMHC) is dedicated to promoting and preserving the Rocky Mountain Horse through camaraderie and enjoyable activities. They are an affiliate of the Rocky Mountain Horse Association (RMHA) and welcome new members. Whether you own a Rocky or you are a novice enthusiast, the WCRMHC invites you to become a member and make friends with others in your region who have common interests in this wonderful breed.  Membership in the WCRMHC is offered to all persons who own a Rocky Mountain Horse or who are interested in the breed. 

Simas & Associates, Ltd. is proud to serve as WCRMHC's general counsel since 2013.  
If you would like to be featured as our law firm’s “Client of the Month”, please contact us at

Featured Agency Announcement

Governor Brown's Reorganization Plan Became Effective July 1 
The most comprehensive overhaul of state government since 1968 became official on July 1.  The Governor’s plan, which was  implemented and transitioned to over the past year, cut the number of state agencies from 12 to 10 and eliminated and consolidated dozens of departments and entities. 

As a result, five existing state agencies have been replaced by the following three:
Featured Blog Entry
Negligence as Basis for License Discipline

The longstanding purpose of license discipline laws is to protect the public from incompetent practitioners. Although the standards differ somewhat from agency to agency, almost every licensing agency has laws that allow it to take disciplinary action against a licensee when their conduct falls below what is expected of the profession.
There are three “types” of negligence that can generally result in license discipline in the state of California: Gross Negligence; Negligence; Repeated Acts of Negligence.  Not all agencies discipline for all three types.  Rather, most highly technical and health care-related licensing agencies use “gross negligence” and “repeated acts of negligence” standards. “Ordinary negligence”, for these agencies, will not give rise to discipline-able conduct.  (Gromis v. Medical Bd. (1992) 8 Cal.App.4th 589, 599, fn 9. [If the agency's regulations or laws provide that only gross negligence or repeated acts of negligence give rise to discipline, a single act of ordinary negligence will not give rise to discipline].)

To keep reading this entry, please click here:  Negligence as Basis for License Discipline.  For more blog entries from our attorneys and legal staff, please visit our law firm’s official blog – Wit of Mandate.
Word of the Month
Fictitious Defendants

Defendants named in a lawsuit which are believed to exist, but cannot currently be particularly identified.  These are sort of placeholder defendants named in a complaint most often as “Does.”  Upon learning the identity of a fictitious defendant, the complaint can be amended and the name of the person added.  Sometimes during the investigation or discovery new information about a potential defendant is found and the real name substituted. Then the complaint is amended, and that person is served with a summons and complaint. If no substitution of a real name for a Doe has been made by the time of trial, usually the fictitious defendants are then dismissed from the case since they never existed in the first place, and the case continues against the named defendants. Fictitious defendants are not permitted in federal cases.

For more terms related to our practice areas, please visit our law firm’s glossary at – Glossary.
Upcoming Calendar

July 6, 2013 - National Fried Chicken Day!  

July 7, 2013 - National Strawberry Sundae Day!  Also, start of America's Cup.

July 8, 2013 - Ramadan Begins.

July 12, 2013 - National Pecan Pie Day!  Also, the opening of the 160th Annual California State Fair.

July 14, 2013 - The Open Championship
(British Open) Begins.  Also, Bastille Day - Bonne fête !

July 16, 2013 - The MLB All-Star Game.

July 17, 2013 - Sacramento Executive "Lock-Up" - Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) Fundraiser.  Also, The ESPYS.

July 18, 2013 - San Luis Obispo County Bar Association "Sunset on the Beach" Summer Social.

July 21, 2013 - National Ice Cream Day!

July 22, 2013 - National Hammock Day!

July 23, 2013 - National Hot Dog Day!  Also California is having a Special Election for Assembly District 52 and Senate District 16.

July 25, 2013 - The Barristers' Club "Summer Associate Reception".

July 30, 2013 - July 2013 California Bar Exam Begins.

August 1, 2013 - The Summer X Games Begins. 

And a happy birthday to Steven L. Simas, who celebrates his birthday in July!
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