Appellate Law & Practice of California reports this legal malpractice case:

"CA1: Legal malpractice claims by 3d-party based on defrauded ponzi scheme fail
International Strategies v. Greenberg Traurig, 06-1790. This case involves a lot of people and firms that I really don’t want to smear. Not because I don’t like smearing, but because I think that most of the defendants here were trying to represent their clients in a good way, but their clients did a lot of bad things. If any of the people involve want to chime in, send me an email and I will prominently post your version of events or the law, or correct anything I got wrong (based on the published opinion.)

The underlying transactions are quite complex. But they ended in their ex-client suing their lawyers. ISG “invested” money with Corporation of the BankHouse ("COB"), who seemed to promise the impossible, and, of course, was a ponzi scheme. COB claimed that it was the victim of another scheme, and its CEO declared that "I have chosen to move to prepare litigation against the parties utilizing the law firm of Greenberg & Traurig [sic]. I have utilized the law firm of Seamin Cherin & Melott [sic] for the criminal assistance against the parties." Specifically, A. John Pappalardo began representing COB, and somehow COB convinced ISG to not independently sue the people that “defrauded” COB, because they would take care of it. Therefore, “ ISG alleges that these representations, and other events that we detail below, led it to believe that Pappalardo was ISG’s legal representative and that an attorney-client relationship had been formed.”

Pappalardo kept telling everyone that he would recover the funds, but he never sued anyone. Eventually, “ISG finally retained outside counsel on November 7, 2001. Through counsel, ISG filed suit against COB and Pomeroy in March 2002. ISG obtained a $10 million judgment in that suit, but the award has proven uncollectible.” Then, ISG sued everyone.

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.