BUFFALO:  Experts are important, no?  The short answer is “of course!”  The longer answer is that they are necessary, absolutely necessary, to plaintiff’s legal malpractice case, as Murray v Lipman 2018 NY Slip Op 04484  Decided on June 15, 2018  Appellate Division, Fourth Department tells us.

“Memorandum: Plaintiff commenced this legal malpractice action seeking damages based on defendants’ representation of her in matters involving workers’ compensation. Defendants moved for summary judgment dismissing the complaint, and Supreme Court granted the motion. We affirm. In order to establish their entitlement to judgment as a matter of law, defendants had to present evidence in admissible form establishing that plaintiff is “unable to prove at least one necessary element of the legal malpractice action” (Giardina v Lippes, 77 AD3d 1290, 1291 [4th Dept 2010], lv denied 16 NY3d 702 [2011]), e.g., ” that the defendant attorney failed to exercise that degree of care, skill, and diligence commonly possessed by a member of the legal community’ ” (Phillips v Moran & Kufta, P.C., 53 AD3d 1044, 1044-1045 [4th Dept 2008]). Here, defendants met their initial burden on the motion with respect to that element (see generally Zuckerman v City of New York, 49 NY2d 557, 562 [1980]). To the extent that plaintiff alleged a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct (22 NYCRR 1200.0) in opposition to defendants’ motion, we note that “such an alleged violation does not, without more, support a malpractice claim” (Cohen v Kachroo, 115 AD3d 512, 513 [1st Dept 2014]). Inasmuch as plaintiff did not submit an expert’s affidavit “delineating the appropriate standard of professional care and skill’ to which defendants were required to adhere under the circumstances present here,” she failed to raise an issue of fact concerning defendants’ compliance with the applicable standard of care (Zeller v Copps, 294 AD2d 683, 684 [3d Dept 2002]; see Merlin Biomed Asset Mgt., LLC v Wolf Block Schorr & Solis-Cohen LLP, 23 AD3d 243, 243 [1st Dept 2005]; see also Zeller v Copps, 294 AD2d 683, 684-685 [3d Dept 2002]).

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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.