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Reed Smith Partner With Relatives in Mumbai Turns to Firm Expert

Posted Dec 2, 2008 12:41 PM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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The aunt and uncle of a Reed Smith partner staying at the Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai are safe, thanks to their own pluck. Lawyer Bradley Schmarak is thankful for his relatives' escape—and for the help of the law firm’s India practice leader.

The couple, Marilyn and Joe Ernsteen, were at first holed up in their hotel room during the attacks, the Legal Intelligencer reports. But they decided to make a run for safety after 11 hours in hiding when smoke began pouring onto the floor from a fire sparked by bombs.

They ran to a stairwell and to the roof, then made their way down a fire escape, the story says. In the meantime, the firm’s India practice leader Ajay Raju had called his contacts in the country for information. One of them even tried going to the hotel seeking information on the Ernsteens.

Even though Raju couldn’t get immediate answers about the Ernsteens, he told the Intelligencer it helps to have a firm with the reach and contact base of Reed Smith during such crises.

Now Raju is fielding calls from clients worried about the risks of doing business in the country.

Updated on July 20 to correct verb in the first paragraph.

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