It’s not always true that plaintiff can rely upon the filing date of a consent to change attorney as the end of continuous representation.  In certain circumstances it can end much earlier.  Nevertheless, in Farina v Katsandonis, P.C.2021 NY Slip Op 05078 Decided on September 28, 2021
Appellate Division, First Department it was the date from which the statute of limitations was calculated.

“Supreme Court properly determined that plaintiff’s complaint, filed April 22, 2019, is barred by the three-year statute of limitations applicable to legal malpractice causes of action, and thus, amendment of the complaint would be futile (see generally McCoy v Feinman, 99 NY2d 295, 301 [2002]). The documentary evidence submitted by defendants established, as a matter of law, that their representation of plaintiff ended no later than April 7, 2016, the day the fully executed consent to change attorney form was filed. The filing of that form automatically ended defendants’ obligation to represent plaintiff notwithstanding defendants’ pending motion to be relieved, and for a charging lien (see CPLR 321[b][1]). Plaintiff failed to allege sufficient facts showing that there was a mutual understanding of the need for further representation of plaintiff by defendants after April 7, 2016 (cf. Unger v Horowitz, 8 AD3d 62, 62 [1st Dept 2004]; see generally McCoy, 99 NY2d at 306 [2002]). Borelli had clearly assumed representation of plaintiff by April 7, 2016, because on March 29, 2016, it opposed defendants’ motion for a charging lien on plaintiff’s behalf, and on March 31, 2016, it received plaintiff’s file from defendants (see MacArthur v Hall, McNicol, Hamilton & Clark, 217 AD2d 429, 429-430 [1st Dept 1995]).

Plaintiff’s argument that defendants should be estopped from claiming that their representation ended before April 21, 2016, when their motion to be relieved as counsel and for a charging lien was resolved by so-ordered stipulation, because they did not previously withdraw their request to be relieved as counsel or inform the court that that request was moot, is not persuasive. In light of the foregoing, we do not reach the parties’ remaining arguments regarding collateral estoppel and failure to state a cause of action.”

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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.