Attorneys performing work for which there can be no liability ?  Immunity from being sued ?  When and why would this be permitted ?

Law guardians, selected by a judge, assigned to a child, supposed to protect the kid’s rights often do a wonderful job.  However, the field of legal malpractice is devoted to the fringe group of poor performers.  Does this social policy of immunity held or hinder the social policy of protecting children?

This article from Kentucky thinks not:

"A recently released report on legal representation for foster children gave Kentucky a "D" for the representation it provides to abused and neglected children, according to officials from Kentucky Youth Advocates.

First Star, a national child advocacy organization based in Washington, issued the report, giving grades to states based on mandates for representation, training requirements, children’s involvement in proceedings and attorney immunity from malpractice.

Kentucky was one of six states to receive a "D" grade based on a 100-point index; 15 states received failing grades. Kentucky received a score of 60 out of 100. Neighboring states received a range of grades. Illinois, Indiana, and Missouri were given failing grades, Ohio received a C, Tennessee got a B, and West Virginia got an A.

The group made recommendations to the Kentucky legislature that included developing training for attorneys, requiring that children keep the same attorney if possible, and giving children the right to legal representation during the appeals process.

The First Star report also recommended that children’s attorneys have caseload and compensation levels that allow for "effective assistance of counsel."

"While Kentucky guarantees attorneys for children in its child welfare system, the issue of quality representation is simply not adequately addressed," said Dr. Terry Brooks, executive director of Kentucky Youth Advocates. "At a broad level, we can do more to support the quality issue through proactive legislation in 2008 and a focused commitment from the legal profession. On a pragmatic basis, issues like increasing fees for court-appointed attorneys are imperative if we really want to tackle the quality issue."


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.