The Madison-St. Claire Record prints more aritlcles about law and legal malpractice than almost any publication, including Law.Com  Here is an article about the inner workings of the Class Action litigation world.

"When the Lakin Law Firm filed its newest class action complaint in Madison County Circuit Court Jan. 22, long time co-counsel Paul Weiss of Freed & Weiss in Chicago was noticbly missing from the complaint.

According to attorney Richard Burke, Lakin’s former class action boss who was fired Jan. 4, firm president Brad Lakin also severed ties with Freed & Weiss.

Burke, who filed a breach of contract suit against Lakin and the firm in federal court this week, claims Lakin ordered that all clients be issued letters informing them that they had to choose between representation by the Lakin Firm or the Freed & Weiss firm.

Freed & Weiss is listed as co-counsel on at least 77 class action cases in Madison and St. Clair Counties.

Burke claims Lakin was acting the way he did because he was personally under investigation by the Illinois Bar for accusations of ethical misconduct; he and members of his family had been under investigation by law enforcement authorities; and the Lakin Firm was being excluded from participation by other plaintiffs class counsel in class action litigation pending in other jurisdictions.

He also claims that defendants in class actions were beginning to attack the Lakin firm as adequate class counsel, all as a result of the personal scandals of the Lakin family and Bradley Lakin.

According to Burke, the Lakin Law Firm does not have sufficient experienced and competent staff to prosecute the class actions already filed.

Burke believes the Lakin firm has replaced him with younger, inexperienced attorneys whom may not be able to properly represent the interests of the class.

With his termination and the termination of the Freed & Weiss, Burke claims Lakin removed from the putative class clients almost all of the institutional knowledge related to the representation of these clients solely for his own personal gain.

Burke claims Lakin wanted to terminate his employment with because he knew that he would not allow Lakin to subvert the best interest of the class action clients and the certified classes to the personal interest of Bradley Lakin and the Lakin family.

He claims his firing was done to humiliate him and cause emotional distress to satisfy Lakin’s desire to inflict suffering. "

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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.