Anthony Lin in the NYLJ writes that:

“The church group suing Weil, Gotshal & Manges for allegedly steering it into a “disastrous” bankruptcy is accusing the firm of withholding from discovery e-mail correspondence of the partner who led the 2004 Chapter 11 filing. The St. Louis-based National Benevolent Association, which sued Weil Gotshal in bankruptcy court in Texas last fall, said in a motion filed Oct. 13 that the firm had failed to produce all the e-mails of partner Deryck Palmer, the lead lawyer in the group’s bankruptcy. To support its contention, the nonprofit, which is the social services arm of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), pointed to the variance from the number of pages of e-mails it had received from other individuals in the case, including other Weil Gotshal lawyers. The association said the firm had produced only 650 pages of Mr. Palmer’s e-mails, compared to over 70,000 pages for another partner, Alfredo Perez, and 37,000 pages for a third partner, Nellie Camerik. “There is no reasonable explanation for this discrepancy,” the group said in its motion, “especially in light of the fact that Palmer was NBA’s lead counsel from the inception of Weil’s representation.” But Weil Gotshal general counsel Richard Davis said yesterday that the discrepancy was explained by the partners’ different approaches to document retention. Unlike the other partners cited in the motion, Mr. Palmer did not archive his e-mails, he said, and the firm purged unarchived messages every 90 days. Mr. Davis said he expected the discovery dispute to be settled shortly with that explanation. In its suit, the association claims Mr. Palmer’s “unreasonable negotiating positions” prevented it from reaching an agreement with its creditors to forestall bankruptcy. The nonprofit, which once had 2,500 employees in 20 states and annual revenues and contributions of $145 million, shrank to 365 employees in five facilities after bankruptcy, though it retained a $70 million endowment. Weil Gotshal maintains that the Chapter 11 filing was necessary because the creditors had commenced litigation and were poised to seize the group’s assets. – Anthony Lin

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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.