Judiciary Law § 487 is a favorite tool to use against attorneys.  It is ancient and powerful.  However, in Doscher v Meyer  2019 NY Slip Op 08171
Decided on November 13, 2019 Appellate Division, Second Department it was totally inapplicable.

“We agree with the Supreme Court’s determination granting those branches of the respective motions of the Emerson defendants and the Greenberg Traurig defendants which were pursuant to CPLR 8303-a to impose sanctions against Devereaux. The Emerson defendants and the Greenberg Traurig defendants established that this action was without any reasonable basis in law or fact and that the primary purpose in commencing this action was to harass them (see Baxter v Javier, 109 AD3d 493, 495; Zysk v Kaufman, Borgeest & Ryan, LLP, 53 AD3d 482, 483; Nyitray v New York Athletic Club in City of N.Y., 274 AD2d 326, 327; Matter of Entertainment Partners Group v Davis, 198 AD2d 63, 64). Contrary to Devereaux’s contention, the allegedly defamatory statement made by Burrows was not actionable because it was absolutely privileged as a matter of law (see Brady v Gaudelli, 137 AD3d 951, 952; El Jamal v Weil, 116 AD3d 732, 734; Bisogno v Borsa, 101 AD3d 780, 781; Kilkenny v Law Off. of Cushner & Garvey, LLP, 76 AD3d 512, 513), and does not support a finding of a violation of Judiciary Law § 487 (see Seldon v Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP, 116 AD3d 490, 491; Ticketmaster Corp. v Lidsky, 245 AD2d 142, 143). In [*2]addition, a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct, in itself, does not give rise to a private cause of action against an attorney or law firm (see Cohen v Kachroo, 115 AD3d 512, 513; DeStaso v Condon Resnick, LLP, 90 AD3d 809, 814; Kallman v Krupnick, 67 AD3d 1093, 1096; Weintraub v Phillips, Nizer, Benjamin, Krim, & Ballon, 172 AD2d 254, 254). Furthermore, with respect to the Emerson defendants, it is undisputed that they were not present when the allegedly defamatory statement was made and, significantly, the complaint is bereft of any allegations setting forth a basis to hold them liable for Burrows’s statement (see Bostich v United States Trust Corp., 233 AD2d 193, 194).

In opposition to the motions, Devereaux did not even attempt to defend the merits of this action, and, instead, submitted a 48-page affirmation repeating the same arguments that he raised, on behalf of Doscher, in the accounting action related to, among other things, the Supreme Court’s alleged bias and the receiver’s alleged improper conduct (see Corsini v Morgan, 123 AD3d 525, 527; Sicignano v Town of Islip, 41 AD3d 830, 831). Contrary to Devereaux’s contention, he was afforded a reasonable opportunity to be heard concerning whether his conduct in commencing this action constituted frivolous conduct under CPLR 8303-a (see Matter of Ruth S. [Sharon S.], 125 AD3d 978, 980; Selletti v Liotti, 104 AD3d 835, 836; cf. Grant v Frank, 150 AD3d 706, 707).”

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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.