Successful claims under Judiciary Law 487 are rare.  In recent years they have been applied widely and with diminishing success.  Here, the claim is essentially that the corporation’s attorneys defended a law suit and in doing so engaged in deceit.  In Dial Car Inc. v Tuch & Cohen, LLP  2021 NY Slip Op 30407(U) February 10, 2021 Supreme Court, Kings County
Docket Number: 514138/20 Judge: Leon Ruchelsman the court dismissed.

“The plaintiff is a black car livery service catering to high end clients in Brooklyn. In 2015 Yakov Guzman initiated a shareholder derivative action against Michael Kordonsky and Jeffrey Goldberg, members of the corporation on the grounds they wasted corporate assets. The defendants represented Dial in that proceeding. The complaint alleges the defendants, who should have championed the allegations of Guzman instead acted in ways which benefitted Kordonsky and Goldberg to the detriment of Dial. Specifically, the defendants agreed with a motion to dismiss that was filed by Kordonsky and Goldberg. Further, the defendants unsuccessfully opposed Guzman’s motion to replead the complaint and a further motion to dismiss the amended complaint.
Further, the complaint alleges the defendants negotiated retirement payments to Goldberg in violation of the By-Laws which require a shareholder vote. Moreover, the complaint alleges the defendants negotiated a general release in favor of Goldberg following the service of the Guzman complaint in violation of the By-Laws. ”

“Concerning Judiciary Law §487, it is well settled that to establish such a cause of action the plaintiff must present evidence an attorney acted “with intent to deceive” either the court or any party (see, Moormann v. Perini Hoerger, 65 AD3d 1106, 886 NYS2d 49 [2d Dept., 2009]). The allegations concerning the deception must be pled with particularity (Betz v. Blatt, 160 AD3d 696, 74 NYS3d 75 [2d Dept., 2018]). Moreover, the cause of action is only applicable if the conduct alleges took place in a proceeding where the plaintiff was a party (Barouh v. Law offices
of Jason L. Abelove, 131 AD3d 988, 17 NYS3d 144 [2d Dept., 2015]). First, it must be noted that the Second Department no longer maintains a cause of action pursuant to Judiciary Law §487
based upon an attorney’s egregious, extreme or chronic delinquent
activities. Rather, “the only liability standard recognized in
Judiciary Law §487 is that of an intent to deceive” (Dupree v.
Vorhees, 102 AD3d 912, 959 NYS2d 235 [2d Dept., 2013]). Second,
considering the intent to deceive, such intent can hardly be
demonstrated. The complaint merely alleges in conclusory fashion
that the defendants “have continuously consented to deceit or
collusion, with the intent to deceive and harm Dial” (see, Complaint, ¶157) without elaborating upon those allegations. The mere pursuant of the dismissal of the Guzman lawsuit can hardly be considered an intent to deceive the plaintiff. Further, since that is the only conduct alleged wherein Dial was a party in a pending action all of the other allegations of the complaint cannot sustain a cause of action in this regard.”

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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.