Its a huge legal malpractice case, and we reported it over the summer.  Now WG moves for summary judgment against the National Benevolent Association of the Christian Church, which claims malpractice in their Chapter 11 Bankruptcy filing.  We’ll follow for the decision.  In the meantime, Anthony Lin of the NYLJ writes:

"Weil Gotshal Moves to End Legal Malpractice Suit

Weil, Gotshal & Manges has moved for summary judgment in a legal malpractice suit brought against it in Texas by a former bankruptcy client. The National Benevolent Association of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), one of the largest non-profits ever to file for bankruptcy, sued Weil Gotshal in September 2005, claiming the New York law firm pushed it into a "disastrous" Chapter 11 filing rather than exploring a negotiated settlement with creditors. The St. Louis, Missouri-based group, which runs shelters for the elderly and teens, once had 2,500 employees in 20 states and annual revenues and contributions of $145 million. Following the 2004 bankruptcy, the group shrank to 365 employees in five facilities, though it retained a $70 million endowment. But in its summary judgment motion filed last week, Weil Gotshal said the group’s claims were based on "nothing more than speculation, conjecture and surmise." The law firm said there was no evidence that the group’s creditors had ever offered it any out-of-court restructuring, much less a "better deal" than the group got through its bankruptcy filing. Weil Gotshal also noted that the malpractice suit was filed by the association’s current board of trustees, not the one it had represented. The firm said all of the board members in office at the time were fully apprised of the bankruptcy and alternatives, and none held Weil Gotshal to blame for the outcome. The firm’s motion will be heard Jan. 27 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Texas, where the group filed its Chapter 11 petition." – Anthony Lin

Email this postTweet this postLike this postShare this post on LinkedIn
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.