September 18, 2007
Blackwater Case Moved to Arbitration (a few months ago); Blackwater Sues Estate Administrator for $10M (more months ago)
Turns out that, back in May, it was sent to arbitration per Reuters:
Lawyers for both sides declined comment on the move but Blackwater spokeswoman Anne Tyrrell confirmed that hearings would begin soon under the rules of the American Arbitration Association, a private group whose proceedings are confidential and its rulings binding.
“This is a very important decision,” said Jeffrey Addicott, a retired Special Forces lawyer and director of the Center for Terrorism Law at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio. “It is a recognition that the contract is iron-clad and that its terms absolve the company of liability. In future cases, this will be cited as a precedent.”
But some legal experts see the removal of the Fallujah case from the judicial process as an ominous development.
“This may be a victory for the Blackwater legal team but it is a defeat for the principle of transparency,” said Eugene Fidell, an expert on military law and president of the non-profit National Institute of Military Justice.
“This means that the shadow army (of contractors) will slip even further into the shadows.”
Contemporaneous with the motion to compel arbitration, Blackwater evidently filed a claim against the estates' administrator for $10 million for breach of contract. (BlackwaterVictims.com, Washington Post).
All very messy.
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