That title implies the progression of the attorney into debtorhood. However, the story is different here. The case

Bell v. Hubbert, 05 Civ. 10456
Decided: December 22, 2006

"In or around November 1992, Bell retained the Defendants’ law firm, known as Lester, Hubbert & Gill, P.C. ("LH&G"), to prosecute a cause of action in New York Supreme Court. Defendants’ then – law partner, LeRoi Gill ("Gill"), neglected to respond to a summary judgment motion in that matter, and judgment was subsequently entered against Bell on default. Gill failed to advise Bell of the default, instead representing on several occasions between October 1993 and July 1994 that the summary judgment motion was still pending. Bell discovered these misrepresentations in July 1994, and discharged LH&G shortly thereafter.

Following Gill’s suspension from the practice of law for three years on October 3, 1996, the Defendants continued to practice under the name of Lester & Hubbert, P.C. ("L&H").

On March 26, 1998, Bell filed an action in New York Supreme Court against Gill, alleging breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud and malpractice. On May 24, 2000, Bell was awarded a default judgment in the amount of $138,533.67 against Gill and L&H. No judgment was entered against Hubbert or Lester personally.

Bell discovered in or about July 2000 that neither LH&G nor L&H was incorporated as a professional corporation.

Bell filed an action in New York Supreme Court on July 14, 2000, alleging malpractice and fraud by Hubbert and Lester. Upon the default of Hubbert and Lester, a judgment in the amount of $142,037.23 was filed on October 2, 2001.

Lester filed for bankruptcy on December 12, 2001. By order dated July 9, 2003, the Honorable Novalyn L. Winfield of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey held that the judgment of $142,037.23 was non-dischargeable debt pursuant to 11 U.S.C. §523(a)(2). On or about July 23, 2003, Lester moved to voluntarily dismiss his bankruptcy petition.

By order to show cause filed in the New York Supreme Court, Lester succeeded in having the $142,037.23 judgment opened. The underlying action against Hubbert and Lester, originally filed on July 14, 2000, was dismissed as time-barred by opinion of the Honorable Richard F. Braun of the New York Supreme Court. Bell v. Hubbert, No. 115509/00 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. Nov. 3, 2004).

Although this Court generally permits amendment of a fee-paid action to cure any defects before dismissing the case, Hughes v. Albany, 76 F.3d 53 (2d Cir. 1996), there is no need to do so here as Bell presents no arguably meritorious issue. See Mallard v. United States Dist. Court, 490 U.S. 296, 307-08 (1989) ("Section 1915 . . . authorizes courts to dismiss a ‘frivolous or malicious’ action, but there is little doubt they would have power to do so even in the absence of this statutory provision."); cf. Pillay v. Immigration & Naturalization Serv., 45 F.3d 14, 17 (2d Cir. 1995) (per curiam) (discussing appellate court’s inherent authority to dismiss meritless and/or frivolous fee-paid cases). Repleading would also be inappropriate here in light of Bell’s "history of abusing the process of this and other courts by repeatedly filing actions based on the same allegations." Malley v. N.Y.C. Bd. of Educ., No. 94 Civ. 7186 (JFK), 1997 WL 570501 (Sept. 15, 1997) (enjoining plaintiff from filing further complaints in any federal court based on given allegations without prior permission). In addition to filing several state court complaints alleging fraud and malpractice on the part of Defendants, Bell has been a frequent litigant in this District. In the last three years, he has filed at least eleven complaints, many involving similar facts and allegations. See Bell v. Schaeffer Buick BMW, Inc., No. 03 Civ. 10315 (PKC) (FM) (S.D.N.Y. filed Dec. 31, 2003); Bell v. Classic Chevrolet/Buick and BMW, Inc., No. 04 Civ. 0693 (PKC) (S.D.N.Y. filed Jan. 29, 2004); Bell v. Zavell, No. 04 Civ. 9733 (RWS) (S.D.N.Y. filed Dec. 10, 2004); Bell v. Gordon, No. 05 Civ. 2163 (NRB) (S.D.N.Y. filed Feb. 4, 2005); Bell v. Stephens, No. 05 Civ. 7182 (LTS) (RLE) (S.D.N.Y. filed Aug. 12, 2005); Bell v. Hubbert, No. 05 Civ. 10456 (RWS) (S.D.N.Y. filed Dec. 13, 2005); Bell v. Gotham Process Service, Inc., No. 06 Civ. 0470 (JGK) (S.D.N.Y. filed Jan. 23, 2006); Bell v. South Bay European Corp., No. 06 Civ. 0472 (PKC) (GWG) (S.D.N.Y. filed Jan. 23, 2006); Bell v. Manhattan Motorcars, Inc., No. 06 Civ. 4972 (GBD) (S.D.N.Y. filed June 28, 2006); Bell v. Carlsen Motor Cars, Inc., No. 06 Civ. 4974 (LBS) (DFE) (S.D.N.Y. filed June 28, 2006); Bell v. Brace Engineering and Investment Corp., No. 06 Civ. 5742 (KMK) (S.D.N.Y. filed July 28, 2006).

For the reasons stated above, Lester’s motion is granted and the Complaint is dismissed with prejudice as to both Defendants.

It is so ordered. "

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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.