We started the discussion of attorney-client privilege on Friday.  In this case, plaintiff  loaned money to corporation, and eventually, the corporation stops paying it back.  From there, the UCC-1, Security Agreements and Transfers are simply too complicated for a blog entry such as this.  Suffice it to say, there are multiple law firms, making multiple claims against the parties and eachother, and a huge question of attorney-client privilege.  Justice O’Neill Levy sorts it all out in a primer on attorney -client privilege in Priestley v Panmedix Inc. 2017 NY Slip Op 30054(U)  January 12, 2017 Supreme Court, New York County, Docket Number: 114874/10.  Today we examine the crime-fraud exception to attorney-client privilege.

“Crime Fraud Exception

“A party may not invoke the attorney-client privilege where ‘it involves client communications that may have been in furtherance of a fraudulent scheme, an alleged breach of fiduciary duty or an accusation of some other wrongful conduct.'” Art Capital Group LLC v Rose, 54 AD3d 27 6 I 277 (1st Dept 2008) I quoting Ulico Cas. Co. v Wilson, Elser, Mo-skowitz, Edelman & Dicker, 1 AD3d 223, 224 (1st Dept 2003). “A party seeking ‘to invoke the crime-fraud exception must demonstrate that there is a factual basis for a showing of probable cause to believe that a fraud or crime has been committed and that the communications in question were in furtherance of the fraud or crime.'” Matter of New York City Asbestos Litig., 109 AD3d 7, 10-11 · (lst Dept 2013), quoting United States v Jacobs, 117 F3d 82, 87 (2d Cir 1997) (other citations omitted). The crime-fraud exception also applies· to the attorney work product privilege. See Meyer v Kalanick, F Supp 3d, 2016 WL 3981369 , * 5 , * 6 n 5 , 2016 US Dist LEXIS 96583, *16, *22 n 5 (SD NY 2016) .

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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.