Dillon v Peak Envtl., LLC  2019 NY Slip Op 04548  Decided on June 7, 2019  Appellate Division, Fourth Department is the story of an upstate commercial case which went through a lot of procedural wrangling, up to the Appellate Division, with little forward movement.  Legal malpractice is an important but not properly plead part.

“Memorandum: Plaintiffs commenced this action against defendants-third-party plaintiffs (third-party plaintiffs) seeking damages for, inter alia, fraudulent inducement and breach of contract. Third-party plaintiffs subsequently commenced this third-party action against third-party defendants, i.e., the law firm and the individual attorney representing plaintiffs in the main action. Third-party plaintiffs now appeal from an order that, inter alia, granted the motion of third-party defendants to dismiss the third-party complaint for failure to state a cause of action pursuant to CPLR 3211 (a) (7) and denied the cross motion of third-party plaintiffs seeking to disqualify third-party defendants from acting as counsel to plaintiffs in the main action. We affirm.”

“Further, although the third-party complaint alleges in support of third-party plaintiffs’ contribution claim that plaintiffs sustained damages as a result of legal malpractice committed by third-party defendants, the third-party complaint does not allege that third-party plaintiffs sustained damages as a result thereof (cf. Prudential Ins. Co. of Am. v Dewey, Ballantine, Bushby, Palmer & Wood, 80 NY2d 377, 380-381 [1992], rearg denied 81 NY2d 955 [1993]). To the extent that third-party plaintiffs’ submission of extrinsic evidence purporting to support a direct claim of legal malpractice could have been construed by the court as a request for leave to amend their third-party complaint, such a request was properly denied because third-party plaintiffs’ new claim is patently lacking in merit (see Broyles v Town of Evans, 147 AD3d 1496, 1497 [4th Dept 2017]). Third-party plaintiffs’ contention that they relied to their detriment on an email from third-party defendant Camille T. Kahler regarding the terms of the agreement between plaintiffs and third-party plaintiffs is belied by third-party plaintiffs’ own correspondence.”

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Andrew Lavoott Bluestone

Andrew Lavoott Bluestone has been an attorney for 40 years, with a career that spans criminal prosecution, civil litigation and appellate litigation. Mr. Bluestone became an Assistant District Attorney in Kings County in 1978, entered private practice in 1984 and in 1989 opened his private law office and took his first legal malpractice case.

Since 1989, Bluestone has become a leader in the New York Plaintiff’s Legal Malpractice bar, handling a wide array of plaintiff’s legal malpractice cases arising from catastrophic personal injury, contracts, patents, commercial litigation, securities, matrimonial and custody issues, medical malpractice, insurance, product liability, real estate, landlord-tenant, foreclosures and has defended attorneys in a limited number of legal malpractice cases.

 

Bluestone also took an academic role in field, publishing the New York Attorney Malpractice Report from 2002-2004.  He started the “New York Attorney Malpractice Blog” in 2004, where he has published more than 4500 entries.

Mr. Bluestone has written 38 scholarly peer-reviewed articles concerning legal malpractice, many in the Outside Counsel column of the New York Law Journal. He has appeared as an Expert witness in multiple legal malpractice litigations.

Mr. Bluestone is an adjunct professor of law at St. John’s University College of Law, teaching Legal Malpractice.  Mr. Bluestone has argued legal malpractice cases in the Second Circuit, in the New York State Court of Appeals, each of the four New York Appellate Divisions, in all four of  the U.S. District Courts of New York and in Supreme Courts all over the state.  He has also been admitted pro haec vice in the states of Connecticut, New Jersey and Florida and was formally admitted to the US District Court of Connecticut and to its Bankruptcy Court all for legal malpractice matters. He has been retained by U.S. Trustees in legal malpractice cases from Bankruptcy Courts, and has represented municipalities, insurance companies, hedge funds, communications companies and international manufacturing firms. Mr. Bluestone regularly lectures in CLEs on legal malpractice.

Based upon his professional experience Bluestone was named a Diplomate and was Board Certified by the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys in 2008 in Legal Malpractice. He remains Board Certified.  He was admitted to The Best Lawyers in America from 2012-2019.  He has been featured in Who’s Who in Law since 1993.

In the last years, Mr. Bluestone has been featured for two particularly noteworthy legal malpractice cases.  The first was a settlement of an $11.9 million dollar default legal malpractice case of Yeo v. Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman which was reported in the NYLJ on August 15, 2016. Most recently, Mr. Bluestone obtained a rare plaintiff’s verdict in a legal malpractice case on behalf of the City of White Plains v. Joseph Maria, reported in the NYLJ on February 14, 2017. It was the sole legal malpractice jury verdict in the State of New York for 2017.

Bluestone has been at the forefront of the development of legal malpractice principles and has contributed case law decisions, writing and lecturing which have been recognized by his peers.  He is regularly mentioned in academic writing, and his past cases are often cited in current legal malpractice decisions. He is recognized for his ample writings on Judiciary Law § 487, a 850 year old statute deriving from England which relates to attorney deceit.