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In late 2017, the Port Authority of Guam issued a solicitation, specifically seeking yellow fork trucks. The firm, on behalf of a long-time client, filed a procurement protest, claiming that there was no basis for the color restriction and that it unfairly restricted competition. Attorney R. Marsil Johnson handled the matter.

In response, the Port Authority claimed that it has specified yellow fork trucks in order to maintain uniformity in its fleet of vehicles for safety reasons. This argument was raised despite the fact that the Port Authority clearly had recently purchased vehicles in both yellow and orange. During the course of the matter, this protest was raised on appeal to the Office of Public Accountability and counsel was retained under special circumstances by the Port Authority of Guam.

With the parties unable to settle the protest and with the government of Guam unwilling to concede that it could save face by simply cancelling the solicitation, the Port Authority, represented by outside counsel, the General Manager of the Port, and numerous port officials, appeared before the Office of Public Accountability for a hearing on the morning of January 24, 2018. Mr. Johnson alone sat in opposition. After only a few minutes of discussion, the Office of Public Accountability, agreeing with Mr. Johnson, permitted the Port Authority of Guam to cancel the solicitation, so long as it explained, as required by law, how it intended to reprogram the funds.

Despite the odd subject of the protest, the result was ultimately important in reminding the various agencies that make up the government of Guam that they cannot use procurement specifications to steer business to or away specific companies.

The Guam Pacific Daily News (the “PDN”), reported on this matter several times during the course of the protest and appeal. The PDN’s story on the cancellation of the solicitation can be found here:​

An earlier story by the PDN, with a slideshow of brand new yellow and orange equipment, delivered to the Port Authority of Guam in January 2017 can be found here:

Jehan’Ad Martinez and R. Marsil Johnson attended Lex Mundi’s 2017 Asia/Pacific Regional Conference in Sydney, Australia from October 5-7. The conference was attended by legal professionals from over forty countries and included professional development from internationally renowned experts in negotiations, complex problem solving and eliminating bias in decision making.

The Chief Economist and Managing Director of Economics of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Michael Blythe, discussed “Trends Shaping the Global Economy: Winners and Losers.” Former Australian Speed Skater and Olympic Gold Medalist, Steven Bradbury, gave the inspiring story of his journey to becoming a gold medalist and translated his experiences into lessons for business success.

About Lex Mundi

Lex Mundi is the world’s leading network of independent law firms with in-depth experience in 100+ countries. Lex Mundi member firms offer clients preferred access to more than 21,000 lawyers worldwide – a global resource of unmatched breadth and depth. Each member firm is selected on the basis of its leadership in – and continued commitment to – its local market. The Lex Mundi principle is one independent firm for each jurisdiction. Firms must maintain their level of excellence to retain membership within Lex Mundi.

Through close collaboration, information-sharing, training and inter-firm initiatives, the Lex Mundi network is an assurance of connected, on-the ground expertise in every market in which a client needs to operate. Through its global service platform, Lex Mundi members are able to seamlessly coordinate their clients’ most challenging cross-border transactions and disputes.

Working with a major international law firm, Jehan’Ad Martinez and William Blair assisted a prominent U.S. family in their acquisition of Guam’s incumbent local exchange carrier. The firm performed various due diligence review tasks and assisted in local regulatory filings required to transfer control of Guam’s legacy telephone service provider to its new owners.

Blair Sterling Johnson & Martinez provides commercial and litigation representation, business advice, and legal counsel in Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Republic of Palau, and the Federated States of Micronesia.



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