In this matrimonial action, Defendant attorneys were retained 8 months + after the Note of Issue.  The custody trial started the day after retention and the financial trial thereafter.  Plaintiff claims in Lijun Feng v Passonneau  2021 NY Slip Op 31507(U) April 29, 2021 Supreme Court, New York County Docket Number: 156765/2020 Judge: Richard G. Latin that it was a departure to permit a joint forensic accounting into evidence.  The Court disagrees.

“Here, it is evident that plaintiff’s complaint must be dismissed as it consists entirely of speculation of future events and the second guessing of her prior attorney’s reasonable strategic choices. Defendants, who were not plaintiff’s first counsel, were retained on the eve of the
custody trial, eight months and twenty days after the note of issue was filed, and after plaintiff and her ex-husband jointly retained the forensic accountant. The decision to stipulate to the admission of the jointly retained forensic accountant’s report and then object to the report’s
conclusions, as detailed by the appellate record, is not an unreasonable strategic choice.

Additionally, it is entirely speculative to assume that the court would have vacated the note of issue, or that the ultimate outcome would have been better for plaintiff if defendants did not stipulate to the report’s inclusion, if documents that were already listed as sources of
information for the report were offered as separate evidence, if the report’s author would have been cross-examined, or if defendants proffered another expert to testify using plaintiff’s alternative marital property valuation (see F.L. v J.M., 173 AD3d 428 [1st Dept 2019](the
Appellate Court in the underlying action found that “the claimed patent errors in the report, such as omissions of certain stock grants, can be explained by FRA’s mandate to value only the stock options and GSUs held by defendant as of the date of the commencement of this action);
Greenwald v Greenwald, 164 AD2d 706 [1st Dept 1991]). “

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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.