Lawyer is hired to represent buyer in an apartment building purchase.  Purchase goes bad because instead of a regular multiple dwelling setting, the building is actually a Single Room Occupancy (SRO) which are an old form of a hotel.  Buyer does not get what it expected.  Claim against attorney is that it did not read the title report with all the consequences one might expect.  After some litigation the attorneys third-party the seller in Wiles v JLC & Assoc. September 22, 2020 Supreme Court, New York County Docket Number: 150706/2017 Judge: Kathryn E. Freed.

JLC alleged that Murphy knew that these representations were false, that she knew plaintiffs would rely on them, and that she made the same in order to induce plaintiffs to enter into the PSA and to induce JLC to advise plaintiffs to enter into the same. Doc. 29 at pars. 16, 17.Specifically, JLC claimed that Murphy knew that: 1) the RSI claimed the right to remain in the building pursuant to the Rent Stabilization Code (“RSC”); 2) the RSI had asserted this right in the Housing Court proceeding commenced in 2014; 3) the RSI obtained a vacatur of a stipulation of settlement in the Housing Court proceeding pursuant to which stipulation the RSI had agreed to vacate the building; 4) the DOB refused to approve Murphy’s plan to convert the building to a two-family dwelling and that the HPD violations against the building prevented her from obtaining a C of 0 for a two-family dwelling. Doc. 29 at par. 18. JLC further claimed that Murphy falsely stated under oath that she believed that the Housing Court proceeding was still pending. Doc. 29at par. 18.”

“As noted above, plaintiffs allege that their damages were caused by JLC’s legal malpractice insofar as JLC “negligently fail[ed] to discover and disclose material information relating to the [b ]uilding that was readily available, by failing to advise [plaintiffs] of the consequences of [the RST’s] rent-stabilized status, and by failing to negotiate fair terms on behalf of [the plaintiffs] for the [e]scrow [a]greement, [thereby breaching] its obligation to provide competent legal services
and representation to [plaintiffs].” Doc. 1 at par. 72. Also noted above is that JLC claims in its third-party complaint that any damages sustained by plaintiffs were caused in whole or in part by the fraud and negligent misrepresentations by Murphy. Doc. 29 at pars. 22-24, 26-30. Since JLC
clearly alleged that “the breach of duty by [Murphy had] a part in causing or augmenting the injury for which contribution is sought” (Nassau Roofing & Sheet Metal Co. v Facilities Dev. Corp., 71 NY2d at 603), Murphy’s motion to dismiss the contribution claims must be denied. “

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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.