There can be liability for negligent referrals to other attorneys, and there can be vicarious liability for the acts of attorneys who are hired together or at the behest of one another.  Moncho v Miller  2021 NY Slip Op 06960
Decided on December 14, 2021, Appellate Division, First Department makes this point.

“Plaintiff 261 East 78 Realty Corp. (Realty) commenced a bankruptcy proceeding on December 6, 2011. On January 4, 2013, Realty retained defendants Pasternak and DelBello to represent it in the proceeding. Plaintiffs then commenced this action, asserting claims for, inter alia, fraud and legal malpractice against defendants Pasternak and DelBello arising out of their representation of Realty in the bankruptcy proceeding.”

“The ninth cause of action alleges malpractice based on Pasternak’s breach of his duty of loyalty to plaintiffs. “It is well settled that the [attorney-client] relationship imposes on the attorney the duty to deal with undivided loyalty”] (Ulico, 56 AD3d at 9 [internal quotation marks and some brackets omitted]).

The vicarious liability claim against DelBello should not be dismissed. DelBello does not dispute that it employed Pasternak or that Pasternak was acting within the scope of his employment (see Riviello v Waldron, 47 NY2d 297, 302 [1979]). Its only argument is that it cannot be vicariously liable if all claims against Pasternak are dismissed. In view of our reinstatement of some claims against Pasternak, this argument is unavailing.

By contrast, the negligent supervision claim against DelBello cannot proceed, because DelBello will already be held liable for damage caused by any negligence of Pasternak, who was acting within the scope of his employment (see Weinberg v Guttman Breast & Diagnostic Inst., 254 AD2d 213 [1st Dept 1998]; Segal v St. John’s Univ., 69 AD3d 702, 703 [2d Dept 2010]).”

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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.