More Bello Malpractice Cases
Last week we reported on the disbarment of Tom Bello of Staten Island in Matter of Bello ;2013 NY Slip Op 06859 ; Decided on October 23, 2013 ; Appellate Division, Second Department ; Per Curiam.
Today, we see some of the after effects of his representation of other clients. in Stein v Research Found. City Univ. of N.Y. ; 2013 NY Slip Op 51812(U) ; Decided on October 28, 2013 ; Supreme Court, Richmond County ; Maltese, J.
"In or about September of 2006, the plaintiff was terminated by the Small Business Development Center (hereinafter "SBDC") located on the campus of the College of Staten Island. The SBDC is one of twenty four regional centers of the New York State Small Business [*2]Development Center and receives funding from the City and State Universities of New York."
"In the years following his termination, plaintiff contacted the Public Integrity Bureau of the New York State Attorney General's office, the Civil Rights Center of the United States Department of Labor, the Department of Investigation for the City of New York, the United States Department of Justice and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission before ultimately filing suit against the City University of New York, the SBDC, the College of Staten Island and Dean Balsamini in April of 2011.The plaintiff indicated that he, along with others from the college, retained the services of Attorney Thomas Bello to assist them in the legal proceedings. The record is unclear as to how long this relationship lasted, but the plaintiff's submissions indicate Attorney Bello failed to file necessary documents even though he provided the plaintiff with notarized documentation and advised him the case was proceeding smoothly. Attorney Bello has previously been the subject of a legal malpractice suit brought by a different individual and is under investigation by the Staten Island District Attorney.[FN1] The record is also unclear as to the status of any proceeding brought by plaintiff against Attorney Bello concerning their relationship. However, on October 23, 2013 the New York Supreme Court Appellate Division, Second Department in Matter of Thomas F. Bello, an attorney and counselor-at-law, discipline number D38484 issued an order accepting the resignation of Attorney Thomas F. Bello from the bar and thereby disbarred him and struck his name from the roll of attorneys and counselors-at-law.[FN2] "
"Moreover, the plaintiff's instant action is not based on legal malpractice but instead is centered on the alleged actions of the Research Foundation. While the court recognizes the plaintiff may have a malpractice action based on Attorney Bello's failure to appropriately file documents in the 2011 case before the statute of limitations period expired,[FN11] any such claim does not bear on the res judicata analysis since the malpractice suit is separate and apart from his claim against this defendant. The substance of his current claim against the Research Foundation is the same as his previous claim and thus cannot be re-litigated. The plaintiff's claims against Attorney Bello would be best pursued in a separate action provided it is not filed outside the three year statute of limitation which runs from the date of the original malpractice.[FN12]