The theme of time slipping away is fodder for song lyrics in all genres.  In legal malpractice as well as in professional malpractice it is a constant theme.  Things happen and clients do not discover it immediately; the objective wrongfulness of conduct does not become immediately apparent.  Cases are started too late, as in Schwartz v Leaf, Salzman, Manganelli, Pfiel & Tendler, LLP  2017 NY Slip Op 07764  Decided on November 8, 2017  Appellate Division, Second Department.  With little explanation (not even a discussion of the type of representation), the AD2 affirms the dismissal of this pro-se case.

“Actions to recover damages for malpractice against nonmedical professionals are governed by the three-year statute of limitations set forth in CPLR 214(6) (see Matter of R.M. Kliment & Frances Halsband, Architects [McKinsey & Co., Inc.], 3 NY3d 538, 539; 730 J & J, LLC v Polizzotto & Polizzotto, Esqs., 69 AD3d 704, 705). A cause of action alleging professional malpractice against an accountant accrues upon the client’s receipt of the accountant’s work product (see Williamson v PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, 9 NY3d 1, 8; Ackerman v Price Waterhouse, 84 NY2d 535, 541; CRC Litig. Trust v Marcum, LLP, 132 AD3d 938, 939; Rodeo Family Enters., LLC v Matte, 99 AD3d 781, 783).

The defendants established their prima facie entitlement to judgment as a matter of law dismissing the complaint insofar as asserted by the plaintiff Madeleine E. Schwartz (hereinafter the plaintiff) by demonstrating that the professional malpractice causes of action accrued more than three years prior to the commencement of the action (see Meredith v Siben & Siben, LLP, 130 AD3d 791, 792; Farage v Ehrenberg, 124 AD3d 159, 164; Napoli v Moisan Architects, 77 AD3d 895, 895-896). In opposition, the plaintiff failed to raise a triable issue of fact as to whether the statute of limitations was tolled by the continuous representation doctrine (see Rodeo Family Enters., LLC v Matte, 99 AD3d at 784; M.G. McLaren, P.C. v Massand Eng’g, L.S., P.C., 51 AD3d 878, 878; Giarratano v Silver, 46 AD3d 1053, 1055; Booth v Kriegel, 36 AD3d 312, 314; Mitschele v Schultz, 36 AD3d 249, 253).”

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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.