Architectural malpractice would normally be governed by CPLR 214(6) and have a three year statute of limitations.  In Architect v Kodsi, 2019 NY Slip Op 01398  Decided on February 27, 2019  Appellate Division, Second Department the contract called for a 1 year contractual statute of limitations.  However, as we see below, that 1 year period is subject to a continuous representation analysis.

“This breach of contract action arises from an architectural contract in which the plaintiff agreed to provide architectural services for the construction of an ambulatory surgery center in Brooklyn. The defendant Robert Kodsi (hereinafter the defendant) asserted two counterclaims against the plaintiff. The first counterclaim alleged professional malpractice based, inter alia, on the failure of the constructed ambulatory surgery center to obtain accreditation from the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care because the center did not comply with applicable design and construction standards. The plaintiff moved for summary judgment dismissing the defendant’s first counterclaim, arguing that it fell outside of the one-year statute of limitations provided for in the contract. The Supreme Court denied the motion, finding that a triable issue of fact existed as to whether the continuous representation doctrine tolled the statute of limitations based on work the plaintiff had done within the limitations period in an attempt to remedy the accreditation problem. The plaintiff appeals.

In opposition to the plaintiff’s prima facie showing that the defendant’s counterclaim alleging professional malpractice was commenced outside of the applicable one-year statute of limitations, the defendant raised a triable issue of fact as to whether the continuous representation doctrine applied to toll the running of the limitations period. “The law recognizes that the supposed completion of the contemplated work does not preclude application of the continuous representation toll if inadequacies or other problems with the contemplated work timely manifest themselves after that date and the parties continue the professional relationship to remedy those problems” (Regency Club at Wallkill, LLC v Appel Design Group, P.A., 112 AD3d 603, 607). Under the circumstances, the evidence of continuing communications between the parties and evidence of the plaintiff’s efforts [*2]to remedy the alleged errors or deficiencies in the architectural plans supported the denial of the plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment dismissing the defendant’s counterclaim alleging professional malpractice (see Bronstein v Omega Constr. Group, Inc., 138 AD3d 906, 908; Regency Club at Wallkill, LLC v Appel Design Group, P.A., 112 AD3d at 607).”

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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 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.