Yesterday we reported on the Thomas Hyland letter in support of his firm’s position in the Wilson Elser Legal Malpractice case.  Today, a bar association rejoinder.  This second letter is not directed to the arguments that WEMED made, but to the entire concept of arguing the merits of a law suit in the letters to the Editor venue.:

"Letter to the Editor

Letter Is Disservice To Bench and Bar

New York Law Journal
April 11, 2007

I write with reference to the letter published on April 9, 2007, from Thomas W. Highland of Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker. I am disturbed both by the fact of Mr. Highland’s letter and by its contents. The letter itself takes exception with no statement contained in an April 5 story to which the letter purports to respond. Indeed, that story reports the Wilson Elser firm’s disappointment with the court’s decision. But, Mr. Highland’s letter goes beyond that perfectly natural response. He offers a one sided, condensed version of the arguments he says he looks "forward to presenting . . . to a higher court," together with the citation of cases and rehashing of evidence. His letter seems more appropriate for an appellate brief rather than a letter to the editor.

I believe that such letters, especially from lawyers associated with a case pending in the courts, are inappropriate for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the potential threat they pose to judicial independence. As a lawyer, Mr. Highland is presumably aware that his criticism of the judge cannot be answered by the judge herself because of ethical constraints upon a judge’s comments about pending cases. In that sense, the letter is patently unfair to the judge because it was composed with knowledge that the judge would not and could not respond in kind. I hope that Wilson Elser’s adversaries refrain from submitting some counter-letter for publication because such partisan sparring in the press detracts from the independence of the bench, the role of appellate courts, and the dignity of the organized bar.

I hope that no members of the judiciary will be deterred from "calling them like they see them" by the potential threat of litigants or their lawyers presenting their one sided views to the media about pending or impending litigation. I urge all members of the bar to refrain from writing or circulating such letters during the course of litigation in which they are so clearly partisans. Such letters as that April 9 letter are a far cry from the scholarly and thoughtful commentary by objective lawyers, for which the Law Journal is esteemed to publish. That sort of commentary is a service to both the bench and the bar. I submit that the April 9 letter is disservice to both.

Edwin David Robertson
The author is president of the New York County Lawyers’ Association. "

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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.