The statute of limitations is well known to be 3 years for legal malpractice.  When it starts is firmly set in stone.  It starts when the mistake is made.  Continuous representation is also well known, but murkier.  In general, there must be a continuing relationship of trust and confidence between the client and the attorney with a shared understanding of the necessity of further required work with that work being undertaken by the attorney.  What happens when the client changes attorneys?  That should end the continuous representation tolling, no?

Not always.  Fulton Mkt. Retail Fish Inc. v Todtman, Nachamie, Spizz & Johns, P.C.
2018 NY Slip Op 30276(U) February 16, 2018 Supreme Court, New York County Docket Number: 151002/15 Judge: Shlomo S. Hagler discussed but did not decide what happens when law firm A is handling the case (using Attorney 1) and then Attorney 1 takes the case with him to law firm B.

“Plaintiffs were commercial tenants at Pier 17 of the South Street Seaport (“Seaport”) by virtue of certain written leases. Defendants in the Underlying Action, South Street Seaport Limited Partnership and Seaport Marketplace, L.L.C. (the “Landlord”) were plaintiffs’ landlord pursuant to certain leases and amendments between the City of New York and The South Street Seaport Corporation.

Plaintiffs commenced the Underlying Action against defendants for breach of contract alleging that they suffered lost profits as a result of the Landlord’s failure to maintain, repair, promote and/or market the Seaport.4 Defendants denied these allegations and asserted counterclaims against plaintiffs for ejectment, unpaid rent and additional rent, and for an award of attorney’s fees. Without reciting the entire lengthy history, all of the plaintiffs in the Underlying Action vacated their commercial spaces except for Simply Seafood. As such, the parties agreed in the Underlying Action to bifurcate the trial on the Landlord’s counterclaim for ejectment of Simply Seafood. The contentious litigation relating to the Underlying Action arose in 2004, continued for almost a decade, spawned more than sixty (60) motions, and culminated in a protracted trial spread over many months.”

“Todtman Nachamie argues that it is undisputed that it represented plaintiffs beginning in  August 2004 and ending in April 2005. In fact, the Amended Complaint itself specifically states
that Todtman Nachamie represented plaintiffs “in connection with matters relevant to the within
suit from approximately August, 2004 until in or around April, 2005 when the defendant RFS
commenced its representation of the plaintiffs” (Amended Complaint, 41; see Id., 40, 189-
190). Todtman Nachamie maintains that the statute of limitations expired no later than April
2008, three years after Todtman Nachamie’s representation of plaintiffs ended.
In opposition, plaintiffs argue that the continuous representation doctrine applies to·
Todtman Nachamie (McCoy v Feinman, 99 NY2d 295, 306 [2002]). The Amended Complaint
alleges that Todtman Nachamie represented plaintiffs from August 2004 until April 2005,
whereupon RFS represented plaintiffs from April 20058 until April 2012. 9 Plaintiffs rely on two
cases which apply the continuous representation doctrine to toll the statute of limitations as to a
prior law firm’s representation when attorneys from a prior firm left and moved to another firm (HNH Intl., Ltd. v Pryor Cashman Sherman & Flynn, 63 AD3d 534 [l st Dept 2009]; Waggoner v Caruso, 68 AD3d 1 [1st Dept 2009]).

Inasmuch as this Court has granted defendants’ motion to dismiss on other grounds as set
forth below, this Court need not decide whether plaintiffs’ cause of action for legal malpractice is
barred by the applicable three year statute.of limitations [CPLR 214(6)]). “

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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.