The underlying history of Oberlander v Wolf  2020 NY Slip Op 50263(U)
Decided on February 25, 2020 Supreme Court, Suffolk County St. George, J. goes way back to issues surrounding Felix Sater.  If you recognize that name, you can see the depth of history associated with this case.  The story of the case and present day politics are beyond the scope of a modest blog such as this.

Here, the question is whether an extension should be granted in the filing of a complaint.

“The named defendants in this action are also New York attorneys/law firms who previously represented an individual named Felix Sater in New York courts, mostly in the federal Eastern and Southern Districts. Plaintiffs represented individuals suing Sater on various theories. The federal litigation is long-standing, somewhat complex, and it has resulted in disciplinary action taken by the District Court, Eastern District (one-year suspension commencing September 1, 2018) against Mr. Oberlander, which matter is on appeal.[FN1]

By Motion Sequence 001, plaintiffs request an enlargement of time to serve the complaint through February 8, 2019. With respect to Motion Sequence 001, defendants Robert Wolf and Moses & Singer LLP (the Wolf/LLP) defendants oppose the requested relief. The Beys, Mobargha and Beys, Liston & Mobargha, LLP (the Beys/Mobargha/LLP) defendants did not oppose Motion Sequence 001, but on the same date that opposition to Sequence 001 was filed by Wolf/LLP, the Beys/Mobargha/LLP defendants filed a notice of appearance and demand for a complaint. Asserting that, “in search of economy,” plaintiffs propose in Motion Sequence 002 that they “be allowed to litigate by one complaint;” therefore, they request that Sequence 001 and Sequence 002 be consolidated for determination by the Court.[FN2] Motion Sequence 002 requests an enlargement of time to serve the complaint to a date that the Court “sees fit.”[FN3] The Wolf/LLP defendants and the Beys/Mobargha/LLP defendants each oppose Motion Sequence 002.

The named defendants assert that both of the pending motions should be denied and that the action should be dismissed pursuant to CPLR § 3012 (b) since plaintiffs cannot demonstrate both a reasonable excuse for the delay in serving the complaint and a meritorious cause of action.”

“There is no support in the submissions to this Court supporting the hyperbolic claim of the plaintiffs in the unsworn summons with notice that the “defendants filed in court over a period of time repeated misrepresentations of fact they knew or recklessly indifferent in not knowing were false with the specific intent to frame plaintiffs for attempted murder (sic)” (Notice, paragraph 45).

Although plaintiffs fail to delineate their basis for claiming that the defendants violated the Judiciary Law, it appears that the claim is based upon the same allegations constituting their claim for common law fraud. In this same vein, as supported by the submitted records of the federal court proceedings and decisions, it is evident that Sater’s attorneys both past and present, who are the named defendants in this action, appear to have engaged in appropriate representation of their client’s interests, without any evidence having been submitted to this Court that remotely supports plaintiffs’ claim that the defendants violated Judiciary Law § 487 making it a misdemeanor for an attorney who “[i]s guilty of any deceit or collusion, or consents to any deceit or collusion, with intent to deceive the court or any party” (Judiciary Law § 487 [1]; see also Lazich, supraat 754).”

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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.