Justice Scarpula wades into a hotly contested multi-state, multi-party case to discuss, inter alia, Judiciary Law § 487.  In SPV-LS LLC v Citron  2018 NY Slip Op 30681(U)  April 16, 2018
Supreme Court, New York County  Docket Number: 152783/2017 she deftly describes the reach of Judiciary Law § 487 in the first department:

“An attorney may be civilly liable for treble damages to an injured party for a violation of Judiciary Law §487 if the attorney is found to be “guilty of any deceit or collusion, or consents to any deceit or collusion, with intent to deceive the court or any party.” Judiciary Law §487(1). Allegations of the defendant attorney’s deceit “must be . stated with particularity.” Facebook, Inc. v DLA Piper LLP (US), 134 AD3d 610, 615 (1st Dept 2015) (internal citation omitted); Briarpatch Ltd., L.P. v Frankfurt Garbus Klein & Selz, P.C., 13 AD3d 296, 297 (1st Dept 2004).

Relief under this statute.”‘is not lightly given’ and requires a showing of ‘egregious conduct or a chronic and extreme pattern of behavior’ on the part of the defendant attorneys that caused damages.” Facebook, Inc., 134 AD3d at 615 citing Chowaiki & Co. Fine Art Ltd. v. Lacher, 115 A.D.3d 600, 601 (1st Dept 2014) and Savitt v. Greenberg Traurig, LLP, 126 A.D.3d 506, 507 (1st Dept 2015); see also Kaminsky v Herrick, Feinstein LLP, 59 AD3d 1, 13 (1st Dept 2008); Solow Mgt. Corp. v Seltzer, 18 AD3d 399, 399-400 (1st Dept 2005).

For conduct to be actionable under Judiciary Law §487, the alleged deceit must have either been directed at a court or have occurred during the pendency of a judicial proceeding. Costa/as v Amalfitano, 305 AD2d 202, 204 (1st Dept 2003); see also Jacobs v Kay, 50 AD3d 526, 527 (1st Dept 2008). Further, the “reach of [Judiciary Law §487] extends only to misconduct by attorneys in connection with proceedings before New York courts.” All. Network, LLC v Sidley Austin LLP, 43 Misc 3d 848, 864-65 (Sup Ct, NY County 2014) (internal citations omitted) citing Schertenleib v Traum, 589 F2d 1156, 1166 (2d Cir 1978); Weksler v. Kessler, 2008 WL 2563483 (Sup Ct, NY County 2008); S. Blvd. Sound, Inc. v Felix Storch, Inc., 165 Misc 2d 341, 344 (Civ Ct, NY County
1995), affd as mod, 167 Misc 2d 731 (App Term, 1st Dept 1996)  Accord A.R.K. Patent Intern., LLC v Levy, 50 Misc 3d 1204(A) (Sup Ct, Monroe County 2014), affd sub nom. A.R.K. Patent Intern., L.L.C. v Levy, 134 AD3d 1460 (4th Dept 2015); Kaye Scholer LLP v CNA Holdings, Inc., 2010 WL 1779917, at* 1 (SDNY 2010); Cindy Royce Creations, Ltd. v Simmons & Simmons, 1993 WL 288291, at *5 (SDNY 1993); Nardella v Braff, 621 F Supp 1170, 1172 (SDNY 1985). But see Cinao v.
Reers, 27 Misc 3d 195 (Sup Ct, Kings County 2010). “

Email this postTweet this postLike this postShare this post on LinkedIn
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.