It’s a question of professional malpractice and it involves horses.  Tichner v Goldens Bridge Inc.  2018 NY Slip Op 31488(U)  July 2, 2018  Supreme Court, New York County  Docket Number: 651517/13  Judge: Nancy M. Bannon is about a girl who gets her pony.  She rides the pony, competes with the pony, and then sues the farm who sold her the pony.  Was it their fault, was it the Vet’s fault, and most importantly, for us, can the Vet be sued for his opinion?

The short answer is no.  The longer answer is that absent actual misrepresentation, the opinion that the pony was sound cannot be attacked on the basis that the pony was not sound some time later.

“Briefly, as alleged in the complaint, Tichner sought to purchase a horse for her daughter to use in beginner horse competitions. In March 2012, Tichner contacted the Heritage Farm defendants to find a suitable horse to be used for competitions and for potential resale at a later time. The  complaint asserts that the Heritage Farm defendants eventually found a horse named Sports Talk, who was “the perfect horse” for Tichner’s needs, and “an incredible jumper.” Tichner then requested that the Heritage Farm defendants obtain a pre-purchase medical exam of the horse, and they arranged such an exam with Miller, a veterinary practice. Miller conducted the pre-purchase  examination of Sports Talk, including radiography, and the Heritage Farm defendants advised Tichner that Sports Talk was “sound, healthy, possessed no physical defects, was fit for competitive jumping and was a good investment pony.”

“Miller established its prima facie entitlement to judgment as a matter of law dismissing the negligent misrepresentation and fraudulent misrepresentation causes of action against it with the
affidavit of Christopher B. Miller, in which he asserts that he properly rendered an opinion based on his veterinary expertise, and that he made no misleading statements to the plaintiff. The plaintiff does not oppose or address these arguments. Since the plaintiff thus did not raise a triable issue of fact in opposition to Miller’s showing in this regard, Miller is entitled to summary judgment dismissing those causes of action against it. “

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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.