In Cohen Tauber Spievack & Wagner P.C. v Mehulol  Publs., LLC
2022 NY Slip Op 30401(U) February 1, 2022 Supreme Court, New York County Docket Number: Index No. 652426/2021 Judge Bluth determined the merits of a case alleging that the attorneys failed in both the Supreme Court case as well as in a Rabbinical court and never obtained “forgiveness” for the client.

“This attorneys’ fees case arises out of plaintiff’s representation of defendants. Plaintiff alleges that in February 2018, defendants hired plaintiff to represent them in a trademark infringement case in the Eastern District of New York. This case eventually settled on June 27, 2018. The parties offer wildly divergent views on the nature of the representation and the
underlying disputes.

Defendants claim that plaintiff was hired for two cases, the EDNY case and a rabbinical proceeding. Both involved the use and ownership of the name and logo “Biz Tank.” Although
the counterclaim does not provide much detail about the nature of the alleged counterclaim, defendants submit the affidavit of defendant Rabbi Yitzchok Frankfurter who asserts that
plaintiff informed him it could settle both disputes quickly. Rabbi Frankfurter complains about Here, the Court finds that defendants’ numerous complaints about plaintiff’s representation fails to state a counterclaim for legal malpractice. As an initial matter, it is unclear exactly how plaintiff erred in its representation of defendants sufficient to state a
counterclaim for legal malpractice.”

“Defendants detail how they are upset with plaintiff’s representation but do not allege that they have suffered any actual damages as a result. The undisputed factual contentions are that plaintiff secured a settlement on defendants’ behalf and defendants received a $2,500 payment. It seems that defendants were understandably upset with the statement from Mr. Klein demanding $1.5 million in order to effectuate forgiveness. But that statement did not invalidate the EDNY settlement. Plus, defendants do not claim they did anything in the EDNY case to vacate the settlement (such as hiring a new lawyer to bring such a motion). They apparently moved on after expressing their frustration with the Kleins’ statement.
Defendants do not allege that the Kleins refused to pay or that anything happened in the rabbinical proceeding. That the Kleins may do something in the future is not sufficient to state actual damages nor does it show that plaintiff was negligent (Kahan Jewelry Corp. v Rosenfeld, 295 AD2d 261, 261, 744 NYS2d 664 (Mem) [1st Dept 2002] [finding that pending foreclosure actions meant plaintiffs had not yet sustained any actual damages]). Clearly, there was (and might still be) animosity between defendants and the Kleins. But, as plaintiff observes, there has not been any adverse action against defendants in the three years since the settlement relating to the Biz Tank litigation.”

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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.