Plaintiffs often allege “professional negligence” in claims against brokers, insurance agents, financial planners, architects and others.  The question of who can be sued for “professional negligence” is not decided merely by an allegation.  Judd v Madison Advisory Servs., Inc.
2018 NY Slip Op 32298(U)  September 6, 2018  Supreme Court, New York County  Docket Number: 152895/2017  Judge: Frank P. Nervo explains:

“The third cause of action for professional negligence is dismissed. Plaintiffs completely fail to address this claim. A claim for professional negligence requires the plaintiff to allege that the defendant departed from the accepted standards of practice in the profession, and that departure proximately caused injury to the plaintiff (see D.D. Hamilton Textiles v Estate of Mate; 269 AD2d 214, 215 [ 1st Dept 2000]). Defendants are not professionals as required for a claim for professional malpractice (see Chase Scientific Research v NIA Group, 96 NY2d 20, 28 [2001]; Starr v Fuoco Group LLP, 137 AD3d 634, 634 [1st Dept 2016]; Leather v United States Trust Co. of N. Y, 279 AD2d 311, 312 [ 1st Dept 2001]). According to the Court of Appeals in Chase Scientific Research v NIA Group, a professional is one who has extensive formal training, is licensed and regulated, must follow a code of conduct imposing standards greater than those in the marketplace, and there are disciplinary actions for violations (96 NY2d at 28). “While [insurance] agents and brokers must be licensed, they are not required to engage in extensive specialized education arid training” (id. at 30). Similarly, financial planners are not professionals under the malpractice law (Starr v Fuoco Group LLP, 137 AD3d at 634 [a financial advisor is not a “professional”]; Leather v US: Trust Co. of N. Y., 279 AD2d at 312 [same]). “

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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.