“”An action to recover damages for legal malpractice must be commenced within three years after the accrual of the cause of action” (Bullfrog, LLC v Nolan, 102 AD3d 719, 719-720; see CPLR 214[6]).”  Thus starts and ends most legal malpractice case discussions of the onset of the statute of limitations.  That date might be extended by continuous representation.  However, in Golden Jubilee Realty, LLC v Castro, 2021 NY Slip Op 04541,Decided on July 28, 2021, Appellate Division, Second Department the Court applied a very rare exception.

“”In moving [*2]to dismiss a cause of action pursuant to CPLR 3211(a)(5) as barred by the applicable statute of limitations, the moving defendant bears the initial burden of demonstrating, prima facie, that the time within which to commence the cause of action has expired. The burden then shifts to the plaintiff to raise a question of fact as to whether the statute of limitations is tolled or is otherwise inapplicable” (Stein Indus., Inc. v Certilman Balin Adler & Hyman, LLP, 149 AD3d 788, 789 [citations omitted]). “An action to recover damages for legal malpractice must be commenced within three years after the accrual of the cause of action” (Bullfrog, LLC v Nolan, 102 AD3d 719, 719-720; see CPLR 214[6]). “A legal malpractice claim accrues ‘when all the facts necessary to the cause of action have occurred and an injured party can obtain relief in court'” (McCoy v Feinman, 99 NY2d 295, 301, quoting Ackerman v Price Waterhouse, 84 NY2d 535, 541). Under the circumstances of this case, the statute of limitations did not begin to run until specific performance was awarded in the Karpen action, on April 2, 2015 (see Frederick v Meighan, 75 AD3d 528, 531-532). The instant action was commenced on December 29, 2017. Thus, Pacht failed to meet his initial burden of establishing that the plaintiffs’ cause of action to recover damages for legal malpractice was time-barred.”

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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.