Professional malpractice, other than for physicians and some medical providers is three years.  Even with tolling for continuous representation, that three years can go by very quickly.  In Schembre v Saggese  2018 NY Slip Op 30191(U)  February 1, 2018  Supreme Court, New York County  Docket Number: 656328/2016  Judge: Saliann Scarpulla too much time went by for plaintiffs to continue the case.

“In November 2012, Saggese proposed that plaintiffs, as part of a “joint venture” between themselves, Saggese, and defendant Timothy Joint (“Joint”), provide a $2.5 million short-term loan to refurbish a Boeing 737 (FAA# N-146JS), to be owned by defendant Charles Wright (id.,, ‘ii 20). Saggese allegedly represented to plaintiffs that Joint was a sophisticated moneylender, that Joint would provide $500,000 of the $2.5 million, and that the plane was “airworthy and in active service” (id.,21-22). ”

“At the closing, inDecember 2012, plaintiffs allege that Saggese tran~ferred more than $2 million from plaintiffs to various defendants through a bank account owned by defendant. JVC 1000 Corporation (“JVC 1000”) (id., iJ 30). JVC then took title to all three aircraft (id., iJ 31 ). The most recent communication between the parties regarding the loan was on February 14, 2013, at which time Saggese assured Kerry that Wright was busy with upgrades on the Boeing, and that Wright and Joint would be in touch to discuss repayment shortly (id., iJ 33).

Plaintiffs allege that the “joint venture was a scam” and that Wright and Joint, facilitated by Saggese, obtained “by false pretense and deceit” more than $1 million of money from Executive’s pension fund (id., iii! 38-40). Saggese allegedly failed to conduct due diligence of the loan offer, by, among other things, letting Wright choose the appraiser for the Boeing, which was appraised at $2.5 million (id., iJ 41). Further, Saggese allegedly failed to file the appropriate Uniform Commercial Code forms with respect to the three planes, and failed to prevent Joint from transferring the titles to the two other planes to unknown parties before the loan was repaid (id., iii! 36, 41).”

“In their fifth cause of action, plaintiffs allege that Saggese, and GAF, as Saggese’s employer, gave bad advice and failed to conduct appropriate due diligence on the proposed loan, rising to the level of professional malpractice (complaint, iii! 63-66). GAF argues that professional malpractice claims are governed by a three-year statute of limitations. It points out that the last acts of malpractice alleged in the complaint are Saggese’ s issuance of checks to himself and Joint in January 2013, and his alleged misrepresentation to Kerry on February 14, 2013. ”

“Here, the last act of malpractice and/or misrepresentation concerning the loan that is alleged in the complaint is the February 14, 2013 email between Saggese and Kerry, and plaintiffs were aware, by March 2013 at the latest, that the loan. had not been repaid in accordance with its terms (complaint, iii! 33-34). Accordingly, the statute of limitations for professional malpractice expired in March 2016, almost nine months before plaintiffs filed their complaint (see Maya NY, LLC v Hagler, 106 AD3d 583, 586 [1st Dept 2013] [accounting malpractice claims accrued “at the time the negligent
investment advice was given, or, at the very latest, when Hagler, without apparent explanation, failed to pay both the loan when due … and the initial payment on the investment that was due”]). Because malpractice claims accrue at .the time that advice was given, rather than upon discovery, it is irrelevant that plaintiffs allegedly learned that the transaction was a scam in June 2015 (Williamson, 9 NY3d at 7-8). ”

“Accordingly, that branch of GAF’s motion to dismiss the fifth cause of action for professional malpractice is granted. “

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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 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.