Here is a decision from Justice Diamond in New York County, dismissing a legal malpractice case on collateral estoppel.  Tydings v, Greenfield, Stein & Senior LLP.  The case is reported in today’s NYLJ [subscription].

"It is ordered that: This is a legal malpractice action. Plaintiff Frieda Tydings is a former trustee of an irrevocable inter vivos trust created in 1993 by and for the benefit of an individual named Ricki Singer. On January 1, 1997, plaintiff resigned as trustee and was replaced by a successor. On August 21, 2003, Singer commenced a proceeding in the Surrogate’s Court, New York County, in which she sought a compulsory accounting from both plaintiff and the successor trustee. Plaintiff retained the defendant law firm, Greenfield, Stein & Senior, LLP, to represent her in the accounting action. Plaintiff claims that defendant never filed an answer or any other response to Singer’s petition for a compulsory accounting and that, as a result, on September 24, 2003, the Surrogate’s Court issued an order requiring her to provide an accounting. Thereafter, defendant withdrew as plaintiff’s counsel in the Surrogate’s Court proceeding and plaintiff filed a final accounting on November 14, 2004.

On November 16, 2005, Singer filed objections to plaintiff’s accounting and sought to charge plaintiff with respect to matters that occurred before her resignation as trustee in 1997. Plaintiff, through her new counsel, filed a motion to dismiss the objections, pursuant to CPLR 3211(a)(5), on the ground that the six-year statute of limitations for accounting actions had expired prior to the filing of Singer’s petition to compel an accounting. On January 27, 2006, the Surrogate’s Court (Renee Roth, J.) denied plaintiff’s motion on the grounds that (1) the accounting six-year statute of limitations had not yet expired by the filing date of the petition and (2) plaintiff waived the statute of limitations defense by failing to assert it in a timely manner. See In re Singer, 12 Misc3d 621, 624-26 (Surr’s Ct NY Co 2006). On appeal, the order was affirmed solely on the issue of waiver. See In re Singer, 30 AD3d 211 (1st Dept 2006). The First Department did not address the issue of whether the plaintiff’s statute of limitations defense would have been valid if it had been timely asserted. This legal malpractice action then followed. The defendant now moves to dismiss the complaint, pursuant to CPLR 3211 (a)(1), (5) and (7), on the grounds that the complaint fails to state a cause of action and/or is barred by collateral estoppel. "

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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.