Here is a reprint from a Legal Mutual Insurance newsletter about a distinguished Washington DC attorney who handles a large volume of legal malpractice cases. For the full article see the legal mutual site.

A View of Risk Management from the Plaintiff’s Side

Lawyer Who Specializes In Suing Lawyers Gives Advice On How To Stay Out Of Trouble
By Jaclyn Jaeger, Lawyers Weekly USA, Nov. 2003
Reprinted with permission.

Many lawyers fear him – a lawyer who earns his living suing other lawyers for malpractice. Others know him as an all around well-respected guy. But love him or hate him, Christopher Hoge sees first hand what gets lawyers into legal trouble. Hoge, an AV-rated lawyer based in Washington, D.C., has agreed to share his insights with Lawyers Weekly USA as a way to help lawyers avoid the humiliation of occupying the defendant’s chair in a legal malpractice suit. He has been practicing since 1975 and was elected as president of the Bar Association of the District of Columbia from 1998-1999. His other areas of practice include criminal law, civil litigation and professional negligence.

What percentage of your practice is devoted to suing lawyers?

I’d say at this point, probably 30 or 40 percent of my practice is devoted to representing plaintiffs in legal malpractice cases. It’s a little hard to be exact about that, because I have a lot of cases.

What are some of the more reoccurring complaints that get lawyers into trouble?

What gets lawyers in trouble with clients is not necessarily what gets the lawyers into trouble with me. What gets the lawyers into trouble with the client is not communicating with the client, not returning phone calls, blowing them off when they ask questions about their cases, being arrogant. The other thing that will get me a client is if they feel like a lawyer has overcharged them, and the lawyer sues them for a fee. Nothing will get a client into my office faster than if they got sued for a fee by a lawyer that they don’t think did a good job. But that’s not going to be enough for me to take the case. As much as I think it’s terrible that a lawyer doesn’t return phone calls, or a lawyer doesn’t give information about the case to a client, that’s not legal malpractice. What I’m looking for is: Was there a good case there to begin with, and did the case get blown because the lawyer didn’t do his or her job?

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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…

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.