Late last week, Blackwater Security filed a legal malpractice claim against Wiley Rain, one of the law firms defending the company in a wrongful death suit brought by four former employees. The reports on the suit make allegations that attorneys, including current White House counsel Fred Fielding, were sloppy in their attempts to have the suit removed from state court to the Eastern District of North Carolina. Blacwater is arguing that this change of venue is denying them the opportunity to mount a more vigorous defense.
The reports on the suit are limited so it’s difficult to know the exact substance of Blackwater’s claims. But it’s hard to see from the information available how Blackwater can prove that it would have prevailed on the matter in federal court but lost in state court. The one situation I could foresee that happening is if the employees’ contracts had waivers or limitations of liability that might be enforced in federal court but not in state court. Regardless, it will be interesting to watch how this case plays out.
Bill Childs at the TortsProf blog has additional coverage on this legal malpractice claim.
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