In days past Boston was known for mayors who served from inside jail. Here is a story in a similar vein. The leader in this judicial campaign may be kept off the bench for a legal malpractice/disciplinary problem.

“A deal struck with a southwest Alabama circuit judge candidate in a disciplinary action concerning his handling of a will does not penalize the candidate harshly enough, the state’s highest court ruled Friday.

The Alabama Supreme Court’s decision could cost Stuart DuBose his would-be judgeship — all because he wrote a will for a man he never met.

The rejected deal would have allowed DuBose — the unopposed Democratic candidate for the circuit court that covers Choctaw, Clarke and Washington counties — to serve a suspension between the Nov. 7 general election and the date he would be sworn in.


Now, he’ll again have to face the Alabama State Bar disciplinary commission. If he’s found guilty of the complaints and given a suspension of his law license that overlaps either of those two dates, he will not be qualified to serve as judge, according to the Alabama Constitution.

The dispute stems from a 2003 estate case in which DuBose was the attorney.

In that case, Cheryl Weaver visited DuBose and asked him to draw up a will for Joseph J. Sullivan. Weaver, Sullivan’s caretaker, informed DuBose the man was dying and wanted to leave his entire estate to her.

He drafted the will, but never met with the dying man. He also drafted a certificate of competency for Weaver to have signed by the man’s doctor.

According to court documents, Weaver soured on DuBose shortly after Sullivan died. After DuBose clarified in a letter that his cut of the estate was a fee of 40 percent, or about $1.2 million, she fired him as her attorney and tried to drop him as the estate’s lawyer.

Weaver then sued him, accusing him of acting inappropriately, including legal malpractice, misrepresentation, negligently administering the estate and capitalizing on the death by designating himself both the attorney for the estate and Weaver without ever informing her of a potential conflict of interest. That case was tossed out.

When the dispute over the estate was settled, a judge ruled the $1.2 million in fees was “reasonable and necessary” and allowed DuBose to remain the executor of the will.” Full Artile

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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.