Catholic Law alumnus Todd J. Canni '04, a partner at BakerHostetler, was selected by Law360 as a 2023 Government Contracts MVP. Canni's efforts to help save multiple companies from the existential threat of debarment, including representing a family-owned defense contractor in a precedential case, earned him this recognition.
Law360's MVPs of the Year are attorneys who have distinguished themselves from their peers over the past year through high-stakes litigation, record-breaking deals, and complex global matters. A team of Law360 editors selected the 2023 MVP winners after reviewing more than 900 submissions.
Date: October 6, 2023
As told to: Daniel Wilson
MVP: BakerHostetler's Todd J. Canni
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Canni, a Los Angeles-based co-leader of BakerHostetler's government contracts team, is a former U.S. Air Force suspension and debarment official, often called upon to represent companies faced with potential exclusion from federal contracting.
Most of those disputes are resolved administratively, but that was not the case for Canni's client Precision Metals Corp., a family-owned U.S. Department of Defense contractor threatened with debarment over late deliveries, putting the company's existence — and the jobs of its roughly 50 employees — at risk.
Despite the company and its attorneys submitting information to the Defense Logistics Agency that they believed had shown that the late deliveries involved issues outside of Precision's control, such as COVID-19 and delays at the government's end, as well as evidence that it had taken steps to remedy any underlying issues, DLA officials refused to schedule a meeting to discuss that submission, instead pushing ahead with debarment plans, according to Canni.
"I was completely stunned," he said. "I could not have been more shocked. I explained [to DLA] that we were waiting for you to schedule the meeting that's required by due process under the law. And they just explained, 'We didn't see it that way. We didn't think the meeting would make a difference.'"
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