The Appellate Division has ruled that plaintiff bank has lost its attorney-client privilege with subsequent attorneys over the securities gone bad legal malpractice case against Chadbourne & Parke. 

"Order, Supreme Court, New York County (Barbara R. Kapnick, J.), entered November 23, 2005, which, to the extent appealed from as limited by the briefs, declared that plaintiffs waived the attorney-client privilege as to legal advice they received regarding compliance of their Russian operation with Russian tax laws and licensure requirements, affirmed, without costs.

Defendant sufficiently demonstrated that the advice it gave in the course of its allegedly negligent representation was framed, in this malpractice action, as the sole cause of plaintiffs’ injury in Russia. Invasion of the attorney-client privilege is necessary, under these circumstances, to determine the validity of such claims, and is vital to the defense (see Orco Bank v Proteinas Del Pacifico, 179 AD2d 390 [1992]).

We have considered plaintiffs’ remaining arguments and find them unavailing." 

Note Justice McGuire’s dissent: " For these reasons, I would hold that by bringing this action plaintiffs did not put at issue, and thereby waive the attorney-client privilege with respect to, any advice they received on tax and licensure issues (Stark v Greenberg, Dauber & Epstein, 219 AD2d 571, 572 [1995] [communications between plaintiffs and their attorneys over issues not raised in malpractice action remain privileged]; TIG Ins. Co. v Yules & Yules, 1999 US DIST LEXIS 17607, *4-5, 1999 WL 1029712, *1 [SD NY, Nov 12, 1999] ["at issue" waiver recognized "where the party is in fact invoking the substance of the privileged conversation . . . or where the claim or defense is of such a nature that an assessment of its merits requires an examination of the substance of a privileged conversation"] [construing New York law] [emphasis added

Email this postTweet this postLike this postShare this post on LinkedIn
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.