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I wanted to try out a new way to explain a concept to my students, so I thought I'd try it out here. I'm going to give you a definition of a word and a rule that uses the defined word. Then, I'm going to ask a yes/no question. Here goes:

Definition: "Driver" means someone who drives a (1) car, (2) truck, or (3) motorcycle. However, someone who drives a car is not a "driver" unless they have a license.

Rule: All drivers must have a license before driving on any public road.

Question: Is someone who drives a truck on a public road without a license a "driver"? Yes or no?

Don't try to figure out what I'm getting at, just answer yes or no. You don't have to explain, but you can if you want. I'm not trying to set you up or embarass you. I'm just asking you to do me the favor of providing your answer. Thank you in advance.

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Yes. The definition of driver excludes unlicensed dirvers of cars, but not unlicensed drivers of trucks.

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Yes. As the definition went out of its way to clarify the "car" driver, it has by reasonable assumption defined the other two as well.

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Great, thank you to everyone who responded. So that's nine "yes" votes to zero "no" votes. Ok, now for the second part of the experiment. I'm going to change the definition and the rule in my original post and ask another yes/no question. Here goes:

Definition: “Claim” means a written demand or written assertion by one of the contracting parties seeking, as a matter of right, (1) the payment of money in a sum certain, (2) the adjustment or interpretation of contract terms, or (3) other relief arising under or relating to the contract. However, a written demand or written assertion by the contractor seeking the payment of money exceeding $100,000 is not a claim under the Contract Disputes Act of 1978 until certified as required by the Act.

Rule: Contractor claims exceeding $100,000 shall be certified as required by the Contract Disputes Act.

Question: Is a written demand by the contractor seeking, as a matter of right, an adjustment of the contract price exceeding $100,000 (but not seeking payment) a "claim" if it is not certified? Yes or no?

Please don't respond with court/board cases, excerpts from articles, commentary on my question, etc. (yet). Don't look outside this box. Base your answer solely on what is written in this box. You can change your answer later based on information outside this box and that would not make you a hypocrite. Apply the same logic that you used when responding to the first question and see if you arrive at the same answer. Just looking for a yes or no, but feel free to provide an explanation if you'd like.

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I'm staying inside the box...

A written demand by the contractor seeking, as a matter of right, an adjustment of the contract price exceeding $100,000 is seeking the payment of money -- it might not be an invoice seeking immediate payment, but seeking an upwards adjustment in the contract price is seeking the payment of money.

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Yes, it is a claim. Certification is something applied to a claim so whether or not it is certified is irrelevant to its status as a claim.

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Definition: “Claim” means a written demand or written assertion by one of the contracting parties seeking, as a matter of right, (1) the payment of money in a sum certain, (2) the adjustment or interpretation of contract terms, or (3) other relief arising under or relating to the contract. However, a written demand or written assertion by the contractor seeking the payment of money exceeding $100,000 is not a claim under the Contract Disputes Act of 1978 until certified as required by the Act.

Rule: Contractor claims exceeding $100,000 shall be certified as required by the Contract Disputes Act.

Question: Is a written demand by the contractor seeking, as a matter of right, an adjustment of the contract price exceeding $100,000 (but not seeking payment) a "claim" if it is not certified? Yes or no?

...Don't look outside this box. Base your answer solely on what is written in this box...

Apply the same logic that you used when responding to the first question and see if you arrive at the same answer.

Just looking for a yes or no, but feel free to provide an explanation if you'd like.

Applying the literal definitiion of a claim and a literal reading of the question without considering the rule : my answer to the question would be yes, it is a claim.

Applying the literal definition of a claim and literally considering the rule to only apply to a written demand or written assertion by the contractor "seeking the payment of money exceeding $100,000", yes it is a claim.

Inferentially thinking - still within the context of the box: The Contractor is "seeking, as a matter of right, an adjustment of the contract price exceeding $100,000"; but doesn't specifically "seek payment" in its demand or assertion. My answer is then - Yes, that matter which the Contractor seeks is a "claim". But, No - it is not a "claim under the Contract Disputes Act of 1978", until it is properly certified.

My first assumption is that the Contractor is seeking an INCREASE in the contract price, not a decrease.

If the Contractor is successful in its pursuit, under the terms of the contract, it will, "as a matter of right", ultimately be paid at least $100k more than it would have without the request or assertion.

Therefore, WHY is it it is "seeking, as a matter of right", an increase in the contract price, exceeding $100,000? So that it will be paid at least $100,000 more, as a result of its specific demand for an increase in the contract price. It doesn't necessarily have to specifically demand or assert the right to the payment in its claim, because the contract will, "as a matter of right", provide the means for it to be paid. Therefore, it is seeking payment, without specifically demanding or asserting to be paid..

In addition to defining "which claims" must be certified, the Contract Disputes Act has certain requirements concerning the wording and signatory of a proper claim certification.

I thik that there is a difference between the 2 scenarios. I hope that I can remember it when Don allows further explanation. :)

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An adjustment of the price exceeding $100,000 that is not certified AND not seeking payment ... I'll venture an answer of Yes - you have a "claim". Now, I'm curious to learn how there will be compensation.

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I did not reply to the first question, but will do so here: Yes, a person who, without a license, drives a truck on a public road is still a driver under the definition given. Interestingly, in that scenario, assuming that the rule is punitive, a person who drives a car on a public road without a license could not be punished for violating the rule.

On the second question, my answer is "yes." The hypothetical does not state that the claimant is also seeking the right to payment of the adjusted amount upon adjudication of the claim.

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The contractor is not seeking payment. It is seeking an adjustment to a term of the contract -- the price. Payment means payment; adjustment means adjustment. The definition expressly distinguishes demands for the payment of money from demands for adjustments to contract terms. At this point in time, the contractor may be entitled to an adjustment under, say, the changes clause, but not entitled to payment under the applicable contract payment clause, and thus could not legitimately demand payment. The fact that the contractor may ultimately get paid is of no consequence to the application of the definition.

I hope I haven't violated Don's terms.

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Okay, I'll be the one to go outside the group... Based solely on the scenario and the way it is written, and not any other knowledge of claims... no, it is not a claim.

Definition includes: "... is not a claim under the Contract Disputes Act of 1978 until certified as required by the Act."

So if it is not certified, it is not a claim under the CDA of 1978.

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Staying within Don's box, the definition says a demand for payment is not a claim unless certified. It says nothing about demands for adjustment.

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Great, thank you to everyone who responded. So that's nine "yes" votes to zero "no" votes. Ok, now for the second part of the experiment. I'm going to change the definition and the rule in my original post and ask another yes/no question. Here goes:

Definition: “Claim” means a written demand or written assertion by one of the contracting parties seeking, as a matter of right, (1) the payment of money in a sum certain, (2) the adjustment or interpretation of contract terms, or (3) other relief arising under or relating to the contract. However, a written demand or written assertion by the contractor seeking the payment of money exceeding $100,000 is not a claim under the Contract Disputes Act of 1978 until certified as required by the Act.

Rule: Contractor claims exceeding $100,000 shall be certified as required by the Contract Disputes Act.

Question: Is a written demand by the contractor seeking, as a matter of right, an adjustment of the contract price exceeding $100,000 (but not seeking payment) a "claim" if it is not certified? Yes or no?

Please don't respond with court/board cases, excerpts from articles, commentary on my question, etc. (yet). Don't look outside this box. Base your answer solely on what is written in this box. You can change your answer later based on information outside this box and that would not make you a hypocrite. Apply the same logic that you used when responding to the first question and see if you arrive at the same answer. Just looking for a yes or no, but feel free to provide an explanation if you'd like.

From a purely literal perspective, the answer is a simple, "yes".

Edit: Snipped the comments that went outside the box!

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