“Those who disregard procedural requirements play a dangerous game and do so at their peril.” Thus said the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in United States v. McBride, 94 F.4th 1036 (10th Cir. 2024), where the court declined to reach the appellant’s merits arguments due to procedural errors, including invited error, failure to articulate the applicable standards of review, and failure to request plain error review for unpreserved issues. The opinion underscores the procedural requirements to preserve issues for review in both the trial court and on appeal.

Factual Background 

Whitney McBride and her company, Odyssey, won a $99 million government contract. To do so, Odyssey had to be “HUBZone-eligible,” meaning at least 35% of its employees must live in a Historically Underutilized Business Zone. Odyssey was ineligible, but McBride made it appear it was “by cooking the books and fudging the numbers,” according to the opinion.