Walk v Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP, 2022 NY Slip Op 50031(U) Decided on January 20, 2022 Supreme Court, New York County Borrok, J.  The claims were that the attorneys failed adequately to advise on the settlement of an employment dispute, costing Plaintiff up to $ 60 Million.   The claim failed.

“Upon the foregoing documents and for the reasons set forth on the record (1.18.22), the motion to dismiss pursuant to CPLR 3211(a)(1) and (7) must be granted. The gravamen of the complaint against Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP and Marc E. Kasowitz (collectively, hereinafter, the Defendants) is that Charlie Walk alleges that he entered into a certain Settlement Agreement (hereinafter defined) without being fully informed by counsel as to the meaning of the Settlement Agreement and his alternatives for not settling such that if he had been fully informed he would have restored his reputation and would have gone on to earn approximately $60 million over the course of the next few years. At its core, Mr. Walk complains that the Defendants did not make certain arguments to Universal Music Group (UMG), his former employer, when they were investigating serious public sexual harassment and assault claims made against him and otherwise advised him to accept the Settlement Agreement which he now thinks was inadequate. The arguments fail. Dismissal is required because the entire premise of this lawsuit is based on a false narrative. The substantial documentary evidence in the record consisting of emails sent by Mr. Walk or letters sent by the Defendants on his behalf is such that the facts are simply not as Mr. Walk alleges.

To wit, the documentary evidence (CPLR 3211[a][1]) unequivocally establishes (i) that [*2]the Defendants did in fact make the very arguments that Mr. Walk asserts were not made to UMG, (ii) that the Defendants were not the only lawyers providing advice to him when he entered the Settlement Agreement, and (iii) that he has failed to state a claim (CPLR 3211[a][7]) because, among other things, his interpretation of his rights under his Employment Agreement (hereinafter defined) is wrong. He was not entitled to his 2017 bonus in the event of a for cause firing by UMG. Additionally, the emails and letters in the record firmly establishes that Mr. Walk was well aware of the very issues that he now feigns a lack of knowledge of and that these very issues were discussed with the Defendants and his other lawyers. Mr. Walk also fails to allege facts which would suggest that he could prove his case within a case and achieve a better result than the Settlement Agreement (Katz v Essner, 136 AD3d 575, 576 [1st Dept 2016]).

Although Mr. Walk may allege today that he wishes that he pursued a different legal strategy, and further contested the many detailed sexual harassment and assault claims made against him, this is not actionable (Brook Plaza Ophthalmology Assoc., P. C. v Fink, Weinberger, Fredman, Berman & Lowell, P. C., 173 AD2d 170, 171 [1st Dept 1991]). His decision can not be said to have been uninformed or based on faulty advice. The fact that he resigned from his employment from the television program The Four: Battle for Stardom prior to hiring the Defendants and in the wake of these detailed allegations against him highlights the speculative failure of his claim against these Defendants. Finally, Mr. Walk’s envious allegation that others accused of misconduct have received more money in their settlements with their employers is simply not a fact leveled against these Defendants that they gave him bad advice to settle based on the specific allegations made against him and the shroud of predatory conduct with which he was cloaked.”

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…

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.