We’ve not heard the phrase before, but are familiar with the situation.  Plaintiff gets into financial trouble and looks to fix a mortgage with a modification, a refinance, or some other method.  Things go bad from there.  Ramirez v Donado Law Firm, P.C.  2019 NY Slip Op 01244 [169 AD3d 940] February 20, 2019 Appellate Division, Second Department is an example.

“The plaintiffs allegedly were the victims of a foreclosure rescue scam perpetrated by the defendants Donado Law Firm, P.C. (hereinafter Donado Law), Valmiro Donado, and Roberto Pagan-Lopez (hereinafter collectively the defendants), among others. The plaintiffs commenced this action alleging, inter alia, violations of Real Property Law § 265-b and General Business Law § 349, as well as fraud, fraudulent inducement, fraudulent misrepresentation, breach of contract, and legal malpractice. The defendants moved pursuant to CPLR 3211 (a) (7) to dismiss the complaint insofar as asserted against them. The Supreme Court, inter alia, denied the motion, and the defendants appeal.”

“To recover damages for legal malpractice, a plaintiff must establish “that the attorney failed to exercise the ordinary reasonable skill and knowledge commonly possessed by a member of the legal profession and that the attorney’s breach of this duty proximately caused plaintiff to sustain actual and ascertainable damages” (Dombrowski v Bulson, 19 NY3d 347, 350 [2012] [internal quotation marks omitted]; see Rudolf v Shayne, Dachs, Stanisci, Corker & Sauer, 8 NY3d 438, 442 [2007]; Dempster v Liotti, 86 AD3d 169, 176 [2011]). “To establish causation, a plaintiff must show that he or she would have prevailed in the underlying action or would not have incurred any damages, but for the lawyer’s negligence” (Rudolf v Shayne, Dachs, Stanisci, Corker & Sauer, 8 NY3d at 442; see Garcia v Polsky, Shouldice & Rosen, P.C., 161 AD3d 828, 830 [2018]; Kliger-Weiss Infosystems, Inc. v Ruskin Moscou Faltischek, P.C., 159 AD3d 683, 684 [2018]). Here, contrary to the defendants’ contention, the complaint sufficiently pleaded a cause of action to recover damages for legal malpractice (see Garcia v Polsky, Shouldice & Rosen, P.C., 161 AD3d at 830; Hershco v Gordon & Gordon, 155 AD3d 1007, 1009 [2017]). Accordingly, we agree with the Supreme Court’s denial of that branch of the defendants’ motion which was pursuant to CPLR 3211 (a) (7) to dismiss the cause of action sounding in legal malpractice insofar as asserted against them.”

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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.