Continuous representation of a client by an attorney allows a law suit within [in NY – 3 years]  a statutory period of time.  That is, the statute of limitations does not kick in until the reprsentation has ended.  When this happens is the subject of many cases.  Here is a Texas case which holds that in a divorce legal malpractice, transactional work on collecting or enforcing the decree does not count as continuous representation.

"’Legal work incident to enforcement of divorce decree does not trigger Hughes tolling rule
This entry was posted on 4/28/2007 9:48 PM and is filed under Limitations and Tolling.

Limitations on a client’s claim that she received erroneous legal advice from an attorney that caused her to receive an inadequate share of the marital estate in her divorce decree was not tolled by the Hughes rule, which tolls limitations on a legal malpractice action in some instances of continuous representation. In Brennan v. Manning, No. 07-06-0041-CV, (Tex. App.—Amarillo April 12, 2007), the court found that the lawyer’s post-decree work on enforcement issues was not enough to trigger the Hughes tolling rule.

The court first determined when the malpractice claim accrued, applying the legal injury rule to find that the claim accrued when the divorce decree was entered:

Legal malpractice claims are governed by a two year statute of limitations. Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem.Code Ann. § 16.003(a); Apex Towing Co. v. Tolin, 41 S.W.3d 118, 120 (Tex. 2001). A legal malpractice claim accrues when the legal injury occurs, unless there is a legal basis for tolling limitations. Hughes v. Mahaney & Higgins, 821 S.W.2d 154, 156 (Tex. 1991). Appellant’s legal malpractice claim centers upon her allegation that she received an inadequate division of community property when Manning incorrectly advised her that she was not entitled to a share of referral or contingency fees from lawsuits pending at the time of her divorce. Therefore, Appellant’s legal malpractice claim accrued when she sustained a legal injury, which would have been at the time the community property was divided by the entry of a decree of divorce. Smith v. McKinney, 792 S.W.2d 740, 742 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 1990, writ denied). "

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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.