A word search for “professional malpractice” brought up this story.  While not a legal malpractice report, this disciplinary proceeding explains why some legal malpractice cases are brought. Matter of Bloom 2019 NY Slip Op 09000 Decided on December 18, 2019
Appellate Division, Second Department Per Curiam is a curious mix of inappropriate conduct and a sense that aggression in litigation might solve all woes.

“Charge one alleges that the respondent engaged in conduct that adversely reflects on [*2]his fitness as a lawyer, in violation of rule 8.4(h) of the Rules of Professional Conduct (22 NYCRR 1200.0), as follows: On or about July 25, 2016, the respondent was present in the County Court, Nassau County, in connection with his representation of a criminal defendant in a pending proceeding before the Honorable Meryl J. Berkowitz. Two female Nassau County Assistant District Attorneys (hereinafter together the ADAs) were prosecuting the case on behalf of the People. During a recess prior to opening statements, the ADAs were standing in a public area of the courthourse outside the courtroom and were engaged in conversation with another attorney, a former Assistant District Attorney, Mary Murray. While the ADAs and Murray were speaking, the respondent approached them and initiated a conversation with Murray. In response to Murray’s inquiry regarding what the respondent was doing in court that day, the respondent stated, in sum and substance, “nothing, just doing a trial with these two sluts,” indicating the ADAs. One of the ADAs immediately admonished the respondent for making this statement, to which the respondent stated “stop being so sensitive, this is how I speak to ADAs.” Thereafter, the parties returned to the courtroom, where the ADA who admonished the respondent gave her opening statement.

Charge two alleged that the respondent neglected a legal matter entrusted to him, in violation of rule 1.3(b) of the Rules of Professional Conduct (22 NYCRR 1200.0), as follows: Beginning in or about 2009, the respondent represented Louis Wenger (hereinafter Wenger) in two related judicial dissolution proceedings commenced by Wenger’s son, David Wenger (hereinafter David), entitled David Wenger v L.A. Wenger Contracting, Co. and Louis Wenger, commenced in the Supreme Court, Suffolk County, under Index No. 31701-2008 (hereinafter Action No. 1), and David Wenger v Railroad Realty Group, Inc., ECS Realty Inc., GDS Realty Group, Inc., Woodglen Realty LLC, and Louis Wenger, commenced in the Supreme Court, Suffolk County, under Index No. 2149-2009 (hereinafter Action No. 2), respectively. David alleged that he was a 31% shareholder of five closely held corporations and that Wenger, the 69% shareholder of the corporations, was guilty of oppressive actions toward David and had looted, wasted, or diverted corporate assets for noncorporate purposes. After a nonjury trial before the Supreme Court, Suffolk County (Emily Pines, J.), the Supreme Court found that David was a 31% shareholder of each of the corporations and that Wenger had engaged in “oppressive conduct” toward him. In lieu of dissolution, the court appointed Robert P. Lynn, as temporary receiver, to, among other things, determine the net values of the real properties at issue and select properties worth 31% of the total assets to be transferred to David. The court’s decision was reduced to a judgment dated October 24, 2011.”

Read the balance of the decision for further acts leading to a final determinant of suspension.

Print:
EmailTweetLikeLinkedIn
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.