Blackwater Security Consulting is hoping to revive its malpractice suit against Wiley Rein, which was dismissed in D.C. Superior Court late last month. Read more about the dismissal here.
Barry Nace of D.C.’s Paulson & Nace represents Blackwater. Earlier this week, he filed a motion for reconsideration of Judge Judith Retchin’s May 27 order dismissing the suit.
Blackwater sued Wiley in January, alleging that lawyers from the D.C. law firm botched their representation of the defense contractor in a wrongful death case brought on behalf of four Blackwater guards killed in Fallujah, Iraq, in 2004. In the malpractice complaint, Blackwater argued that the underlying case would have been dismissed if it were heard in federal court, but that it remained in a North Carolina court because Wiley lawyers failed to invoke a critical statute in their motion to get the case removed.
In her dismissal, Judge Retchin said the assertion that the wrongful death suit would’ve been dismissed in federal court was “legal conclusion couched as factual allegation.” Ultimately, though, Retchin tossed out the malpractice suit because Blackwater could not prove damages.
Blackwater’s June 10 motion for reconsideration says the judge misunderstood the malpractice case: “Based upon a correct understanding of the facts, this Court’s reason for dismissal, i.e. that Blackwater cannot establish actual loss or damage, is turned upside down.” Blackwater argues that it has already proven damages of at least $500,000 and that discovery will prove that damages “far exceed” that amount.
Zuckerman Spaeder partner Mark Foster represents Wiley Rein in the matter. “The judge’s view is the only view that matters,” he says.