Federal contractors are winning a safeguard against the government’s practice of moving to dismiss cases brought under the Contract Disputes Act (CDA) for lack of jurisdiction in the late stages of litigation.

Recent decisions have accelerated a trend started in 2014 by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. It kicked into high gear this year when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in March that it would treat a procedural requirement as jurisdictional “only if Congress ‘clearly states’ that it is.” The high court’s decision in Wilkins v. United States warned of the “risk of disruption and waste that accompanies the jurisdictional label.”

The Federal Circuit expanded on this line of thought in August 2023 with its decision in ECC Int’l Constructors, LLC v. Sec’y of Army, holding that the “sum certain” requirement for CDA claims is not jurisdictional.