A big change in the False imprisonment law, coupled with an analysis of 42 USC 1983 changes comes from the "lawyer Dude’s" blog.

"This is a hopefully going to be a short post. Last week (in fact the day after the court heard argument in Rita/Claiborne) it announced its decision in Wallace v. Kato. The issue effects both criminal lawyers and civil rights attorneys (or for those of us at The Law Offices of Anthony J. Colleluori & Associates, PLLC. both sides of our brains.)
Up until now it was always the procedure, that after a person was arrested (and imprisoned) he would be able to sue the government, whether or not he filed a notice of claim against the county, by alleging the same behavior(e.g. false arrest and unlawful imprisonment) through the use of a 42 USC 1983 suit. In the US District Courts in NY, The statute of limitations was always thought to be within three years of the end of his incarceration and his prosecution whichever came later. "


The court in its decision in Wallace has changed a number of things dealing not only with filing but also with pleading the case.

1. False arrest is a subset of unlawful imprisonment.
2. The statute of limitations for a 42 USC 1983 claim arising from an unlawful imprisonment claim is as long as the time one has to file a personal injury suit in the state where the action accrues. In New York State, that means 3 years.
3. The date of accrual begins on the date of arrest and the tort ends at the time of arraignment.
4. All the damages that occur after arraignment are properly recompensed in a Malicious Prosecution based suit not by a false arrest/unlawful imprisonment cause of action.
5. While a Malicious Prosecution based suit’s statues of limitations may be tolled by the case of Heck v. Humprey, 512 US 477(1994), actions for false arrest and unlawful imprisonment are not so tolled.

Now here’s the thing, we all know that it is easier to win a false arrest/unlawful imprisonment case, because it does not require that we win the underlying criminal action. We can accept a dismissal that is favorable on the issue of the arrest not the prosecution (ACOD’s [ACD’s for NYC Guys]; Dismissal in the interest of Justice, speedy trial dismissals). Malicious Prosecution based causes of action, requires a favorable termination of the prosecution itself. So in order to preserve the clients right to compensation, we have to go to trial, or at least get a "full surrender" from the DA on the prosecution’s merits(a "no true bill" from a grand jury counts.) "

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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.