Centre Lane Partners, LLC v Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher, & Flom LLP  2017 NY Slip Op 07221  Decided on October 17, 2017  Appellate Division, First Department illustrates two rules.  One of the rules is the borrowing statute, and the second is one that is both out-of-state and foreign to NY jurisprudence.

The borrowing statute, in appropriate circumstances, applies the statute of limitations of a foreign state to a NY case.  Here is is applied to the detriment of Plaintiff.

In NY a legal malpractice action is deemed to commence at the time of the mistake, not at the time of its discovery.  Oregon has a different statute, but in this case, it was deemed not to apply in plaintiff’s favor.

“Where the alleged injury is economic in nature, the cause of action is generally deemed to accrue in the state “where the plaintiff resides and sustains the economic impact of the loss” (Global Fin. Corp. v Triarc Corp., 93 NY2d 525, 529 [1999]; see Kat House Prods., LLC v Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker, LLP, 71 AD3d 580 [1st Dept 2010]). Here, the debtors’ principal places of business are in Oregon, and their financial losses were allegedly incurred in that state. Contrary to plaintiffs’ claim, the motion court’s application of Oregon’s two-year statute of limitations via New York’s borrowing statute (CPLR 202) in light of, inter alia, the situs of debtors’ Oregon-based businesses, the legal relationships existing between plaintiffs, debtors and defendants, and the nature of the instant action, was proper and the result would not be “absurd,” notwithstanding defendants’ place of business being located in New York (Insurance Co. of N. Am. v ABB Power Generation, 91 NY2d 180, 186 [1997]; see 2138747 Ontario, Inc. v Samsung C & T Corp., 144 AD3d 122 [1st Dept 2016]).”

“Given such factual pleadings, the motion court properly rejected plaintiffs’ argument that [*2]Oregon’s discovery/tolling rule for legal malpractice claims rendered this malpractice action timely commenced. The court properly concluded that a reasonable person, knowing the facts that the debtors had available to them at the time of the two challenged transfers, should have been aware of a substantial possibility of defendants’ conflicted representation, as well as the harm that such negligent representation had caused, and such knowledge could not have been gained later than when the debtors filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on December 31, 2013 (see Kaseberg v Davis Wright Tremaine, LLP, 351 Ore 270, 277-278, 265 P3d 777, 781-782 [2011]).”

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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.