As we have said before, New York real estate is strongly associated with New York legal malpractice claims.  Ramos v Goldberg, Schudieri & Lindenberg, P.C.  2020 NY Slip Op 07147 Decided on December 01, 2020
Appellate Division, First Department is another example. Here, the question was whether Plaintiff owned a coop or not.

“In the underlying matter, a not-for-profit housing cooperative brought a holdover proceeding against plaintiff that sought past use and occupancy as well as challenged his rights to the unit he occupied. Plaintiff commenced a separate action in Supreme Court seeking a declaration that he was the owner of the cooperative unit in question. The housing cooperative [*2]counterclaimed in the Supreme Court action for a declaration that plaintiff’s claim of right to ownership in the apartment was invalid. The holdover proceeding was stayed pending a determination of the Supreme Court action pursuant to the parties’ stipulation. Defendants attorneys represented plaintiff in the Supreme Court action, which ultimately was resolved adversely to plaintiff, as the court granted the relief sought by the housing cooperative in its counterclaim.”

“Plaintiff’s factual allegations fail to establish that but for defendants’ alleged negligence in not calling the cooperative’s attorney to testify in the Supreme Court action, the attorney’s testimony would have established that the unit was validly transferred to him at a July 1995 closing (see generally Ambase Corp. v Davis Polk & Wardwell, 8 NY3d 428, 434 [2007]). Plaintiff’s complaint offers no factual allegations as how or why the testimony from the attorney could have established the validity of a transfer of the unit to plaintiff. Moreover, it is speculative to state that the cooperative attorney’s testimony could have established the validity of the transfer when the real participants that had the authority to effect the transfer (i.e., the cooperative’s board members) either denied having participated in such a transfer and/or that the signatures alleged to be by theirs on the transferring documents were in fact their signatures. Accordingly, testimony from the cooperative’s attorney would not have altered the outcome of the Supreme Court action.

Furthermore, there are no factual allegations in the complaint to demonstrate that plaintiff would have been successful in the holdover proceeding, and would not have sustained any damages in such proceeding, but for defendants alleged negligence in having plaintiff stipulate to making the holdover proceeding dependent upon the outcome of the Supreme Court action. The issues in the two proceedings were interrelated. As recognized by the motion court, the question of whether plaintiff was subject to eviction in the holdover proceeding necessarily depended upon whether plaintiff was found to be a shareholder of the cooperative corporation, the very issue being litigated in the Supreme Court.”

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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.