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Wiley Rein has tapped Zuckerman Spaeder partners Mark Foster and Elizabeth Taylor to defend the firm and former partner Margaret Ryan in the $30 million legal malpractice suit Blackwater filed against the firm in D.C. Superior Court in January. The complaint alleges that Wiley Rein and Ryan, now a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, neglected to cite relevant cases and statutes when defending the private security contractor in a wrongful death suit brought on behalf of four employees who were killed in Faluja in 2004. Richard Wiley, the firm’s managing partner, says he hired Foster at the recommendation of the firm’s insurer. “We were impressed with him,” says Wiley, citing Foster’s experience in Superior Court and with malpractice matters. “He knew the whole scene.” Foster co-chairs Zuckerman Spaeder’s professional practice group, which takes on a galaxy of law firm issues, including malpractice cases, ethics counseling, partnership agreements, and mergers. The firm is currently representing Milberg Weiss in its criminal case, and Foster has been outside general counsel to McKee Nelson since the firm’s founding in 1999. Foster and Taylor declined to comment, but the firm will file an answer to Blackwater’s complaint on March 13. Barry Nace of D.C.’s Paulson & Nace, is representing Blackwater.
Attila Berry can be contacted at [email protected].

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