The Twenty-Second Major Frank B. Creekmore, Jr. Lecture [History of U.S. Government Contracting]

AuthorJames F. Nagle
Positiongraduate of Georgetown University School of Foreign Service (B.S.), Rutgers University (J.D.), George Washington University (LL.M.), and George Washington University National Law Center (S.J.D.)
This is an edited transcript of a lecture delivered by Mr. James F. Nagle, a partner at
Oles Morrison Rinker & Baker Law Firm in Seattle, Washington to members of the staff
and faculty, their distinguished guests, and members of the contract law community
attending the Government Contract and Fiscal Law Seminar at The Judge Advocate
General’s School, Charlottesville, Virginia, on 18 November 2010. The Major Frank B.
Creekmore Lecture was established on 11 January 1989. The lecture is designed to assist
The Judge Advocate General’s School in meeting the educational challenges presented in
the field of government contract law.
Frank Creekmore graduated from Sue Bennett College, London, Kentucky, and
from Berea College, Berea, Kentucky. He attended the University of Tennessee School
of Law, graduating in 1933, where he received the Order of the Coif. After graduation,
Mr. Creekmore entered the private practice of law in Knoxville, Tennessee. In 1942, he
entered the Army Air Corps and was assigned to McChord Field in Tacoma, Washington.
From there, he participated in the Aleutian Islands campaign and served as the
Commanding Officer of the 369th Air Base Defense Group.
Captain Creekmore attended The Judge Advocate General’s School at the University
of Michigan in the winter of 1944. Upon graduation, he was assigned to Robins Army
Air Depot in Wellston, Georgia, as contract termination officer for the southeastern
United States. During this assignment, he was instrumental in the prosecution and
conviction of the Lockheed Corporation and its president for a $10 million fraud related
to World War II P-38 Fighter contracts. At the war’s end, Captain Creekmore was
promoted to the rank of major in recognition of his efforts.
After the war, Major Creekmore returned to Knoxville and the private practice of
law. He entered the Air Force Reserve in 1947, returning to active duty in 1952 to
successfully defend his original termination decision. Major Creekmore remained active
as a reservist and retired with the rank of lieutenant colonel in 1969. He died in April
Mr. Nagle is a graduate of Georgetown University School of Foreign Service (B.S.),
Rutgers University (J.D.), George Washington University (LL.M.), and George
Washington University National Law Center (S.J.D.).
Prior to his current position at Oles Morrison, Mr. Nagle’s career has included
service as Chief of the Logistics and Contract Law Branch of the Department of the
Army Staff, Trial Team Chief in the Army’s Contract Appeals Division, and Ethics
Advisor with the Office of Chief of Staff of the United States Army. Mr. Nagle also
served twenty years in the Judge Advocate General Corps.
Mr. Nagle’s practice focuses primarily on government contracts. He is nationally
renowned for his expertise in federal procurement and acquisitions, particularly in the
area of construction law. Mr. Nagle’s extensive experience includes working with
supply, services, international, major systems, and construction contracts. He has
litigated in numerous appellate and trial level federal courts, boards of contract appeals,
the GAO, and the SBA. Mr. Nagle has mediated disputes between both the government
and the prime, and the prime and its subcontractors. Mr. Nagle has represented owners,
contractors, subcontractors, sureties, architects, engineers, and all parties in the
contracting process. A prominent local and national reputation resulted in Mr. Nagle’s
Thank you very much. Well, first off let me tell you how honored I
am to be back here and to give this lecture, and it’s nice to see so many
old friends here. Now having said that, sit back, relax, put your pens
down, absolutely nothing I say will have any practical value to you
whatsoever [laughter]. I mean, I don’t expect you to be able to work
into your next brief what procurement practices were like during the
French and Indian War [laughter]; but as we go through this stuff, as I
talk about the themes that have developed in government contracting,
you’re just going to be stunned by my brilliance [laughter]. You’re just
going to sit back there and go, “My gosh, this guy, Nagle, has the brains
of an Einstein. No one has ever thought of these things that, you know,
that he’s—that he’s developed; the analytical skills of the man.”
First, the government doesn’t trust contractors. You know, what an
insight. But that started early and it started at the top. George
Washington called them “murderers of our cause,” and I’ll give you
another quote from him later on. During the Civil War, Lincoln said,
“Those contractors should have their devilish heads shot off.”
By the way, before I go further, everyone today is worried about
procurement fraud, how terrible it is. Whatever you have today pales
before—with the way it was in the Revolution and the Civil War. Today
when you look at procurement fraud, you always have this undercurrent:
How can those people cheat their country that way? The problem in the
Revolution and the Civil War was that very often it wasn’t their country.
They were Tories or Rebel sympathizers so they were very happy to
cheat the Union Army or George Washington’s Army, and if they could
services being employed by both the government and contractors as a consultant, expert
witness, and arbitrator/mediator.
Mr. Nagle has taught all aspects of government contracts, construction law, and
contract management for schools including Florida Institute of Technology’s Graduate
Program on Contract Management and George Washington University’s National Law
Center. He has lectured in 23 states, the District of Columbia, and four foreign countries.
Mr. Nagle has authored six books on federal contracting, including “Nash, Cibinic
and Nagle, Administration of Government Contracts, Fourth Edition,” (2006) and
“Whelan & Nagle, Cases and Materials on Federal Government Contracts, Third Edition”
(Foundation Press 2007). Mr. Nagle has also written 80 articles on subjects including
protests, changes, terminations, claims, and the Federal Acquisition Regulation, which
have appeared in such publications as the “Public Contract Law Journal,” “Military Law
Review,” “NCMA Journal,” and “Contract Management.”
Mr. Nagle is a past president of the Boards of Contract Appeals Bar Association
(recipient of its Life Services Award) and was also recognized by Washington Law &
Politics as a “Super Lawyer” in the Construction/Surety area for 2007-2010.

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