Here is a case from Middletown spriling up and up, with new plaintiffs grabbing on as the case continues. As reported in the Herald Press/

By MELISSA BAILEY, The Herald Press10/30/2005

MIDDLETOWN — “Dennis Anziano, a former Madison chief of police convicted of robbing his elderly parents, is the latest to file a lawsuit against Stephen T. Gionfriddo, stating that as his lawyer, Gionfriddo, milked him for thousands of dollars in 2004.

Gionfriddo, a retiring member of Middletown’s Common Council and former mayor, gave up his law license in July after a Middletown couple claimed he misappropriated $98,000 from the sale of their home. Five former clients and Gionfriddo’s father and brother have all filed suits against Gionfriddo, claiming legal malpractice and thousands of dollars in disappearing funds.

Anziano was charged in July 2004 of fraudulently gaining power of attorney over his elderly parents’ estate, then using that power to embezzle over $400,000 from the estate. Anziano’s wife, Patricia, a co-plaintiff in this suit, was charged with conspiring with her husband in that embezzlement.

Patricia Anziano has also filed a recent suit. Hers claims Three Rivers Community College unjustly fired her from her job as director of the criminal justice program after the bilking incident.

Dennis and Patricia Anziano hired Gionfriddo on three matters — the criminal case and two others. Anziano claims Gionfriddo took a total of $10,500 in retainers but failed to properly represent him in court.

He hired Gionfriddo in January 2004 to represent him in a challenge by his sister over who should have power of attorney over the estate. Anziano claims Gionfriddo took $1,500 but failed make a full defense against Anziano’s sister, who accused Anziano of fraudulence in acquiring power of attorney.

Anziano again hired Gionfriddo in August 2004 in defense against his parents’ newly appointed conservator. He claims Gionfriddo was reckless and negligent in presenting his case after accepting a $15,000 legal fee.

Anziano, 57, is serving five years’ probation, suspended after 10 years, after pleading no contest in April to first-degree larceny. He has been ordered to pay restitution to his parents for their lost funds.”

�The Middletown Press 2005

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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.