Brothers-in-law can be a problem to a successful car sales operation as is sadly set forth in Brausch v Devery  2018 NY Slip Op 31929(U) August 7, 2018  Supreme Court, Suffolk County
Docket Number: 11-28918  Judge: Denise F. Molia.  Plaintiff has a nice little used car lot and allows his brother-in-law to help him run it.  When he has to, Plaintiff tells others that the brother-in-law is the COO.  Nice title for a used-car salesman.  Everything grinds to the end when checks start to be forged, and the mother-in-law claims that she lent money to the used car lot.  It’s even worse when the law firm forgets to file a reply to a counterclaim and the answer/reply is stricken.

“Initially. the Devery defendants contend that the plain ti ff lacks standing to bring this action. as the claims against the third-party defendants in the underlying action belonged solely to A&A. and that he does not have standing to assert claims of legal malpractice on behalf or A&A. With respect to standing. It is u threshold determination. resting in part on policy considerations. that a person should be allowed access to the courts to adjudicate the merits of a particular dispute that satisfies the other justiciability criteria (see Society of Plastics Industries v. County  of Suffolk. 77 NY2d 761. 570 NYS2d 778 [ 19911). .. Standing … requires an interest in the claim at issue in the lawsuit that the lav,1 wi II recognize as a sufficient predicate for determining the issue at the litigant’s rcquc.!st … Without … standing. a party lacks authority to sue” (Caprer v. Nussbaum. 36 AD3d 176, 825 NYS2d 55 [2d Dept 2006] [internal citations and quotation marks omitted]). It is well settled that. in addition to the elements discussed above the elements or a cause of action for legal malpractice include the existence or an attorney-client relationship between the plaintiff and the defendant.  Lindsay v, Pasternack Tilker Ziegler Walsh Stanton & Romano LLP.129 AD3d 790. 780 N’YS3d 124 (2d Dept 2015)  Terio , Spodek. 63 AD3d 719, 880 NYS2d 679; 2d Dept 2009) and that the relationship must exist at the time of the alleged malpractice (Tabner v. Drake, 9 AD3d 606, 780 NYS2d 85 [3d Dept 2004). Here,  it is undisputed that the plaintiff retained the Dcvner firm to reprcscnt his corporation and him indivually and that said firm remained the attorney of record at all times relevant herein. The issue of the relative culpability of the defendants docs not alter these basic fact that the plaintiff had an attornye-client relationship with Devery and the Devary firm.”

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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.