Attorneys and clients enter into contingent fee retainer agreements, which do not directly address the question of an appeal.  Is the legal fee for an appeal the responsibility of the client or the attorney in this situation?  Here is a case from Madison/St.Clair which discusses this question:

"A legal malpractice claim filed by Donel Johnson claims Belleville attorneys Jodee Favre and Laura Allen breached their fiduciary duty and appropriated fees greater than they were entitled to in a wrongful termination claim he filed in 1998.

According to Johnson’s suit filed in St. Clair County Circuit Court on Dec. 21, 2007, he entered into a contingency fee agreement with Favre and Allen on April 9, 1998.

Johnson, a tank washer with Rogers Cartage Co., was fired in 1998 after he refused to dump chloronitrobenzene into the sewer, the suit claims. In 2001, a St. Clair County jury awarded Johnson $2.13 million plus costs. Defendants Rogers and Tankstar appealed, and in 2002, a settlement was reached in which Johnson would receive $800,000 in cash and an annuity at a cost and present value of $439,022.

Johnson claims he was damaged in that his annuity is owned by his former employer and it does not guarantee payment to him and his heirs.

"Plaintiff has been further damaged in that Plaintiff paid Defendants in excess of $334,000 more than they were entitled to pursuant to their fee agreement with Plaintiff," the complaint states.

Johnson also claims that his contract with Favre and Allen entitled them to one-third of any sum he recovered.

"Because this agreement did not specifically exclude the handling of an appeal, Defendants Favre and Allen were deemed to have agreed to include any and all appellate work regarding Plaintiff’s claim," the complaint states. "

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 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.