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When Blackwater Security Consulting was hit with a wrongful death suit in January by the families of four contractors brutally murdered in Fallujah last year, the North Carolina-based company turned to Wiley Rein & Fielding. But just last month those attorneys, including partners Fred Fielding and Margaret Ryan, pulled out as counsel, according to filings in Wake County, N.C. The withdrawal came just after Blackwater brought on a new general counsel, Joseph Schmitz, the former inspector general of the Pentagon. Schmitz brought in his former Patton & Boggs partners, C. Allen Foster (who practiced law in North Carolina for many years) and Eric Rowe, now at Greenberg Traurig. Also on the team are Joe Reeder and Michael Socarras. “He wanted to get people involved in the case that he had practiced law with, so we decided that it was best to let them go and do it on their own,” Ryan says. Although Reeder says the Wiley attorneys are still helping out, the Greenberg attorneys are handling an appeal to have the case moved into federal court
Emma Schwartz can be contacted at [email protected].

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