Drasche v Edelman & Edelman  2022 NY Slip Op 00044 [201 AD3d 434]
January 6, 2022 Appellate Division, First Department is the story of an offer (or was there really one) which was not accepted, and if it was made, not communicated.  Beyond that information, the rest is hazy,

“Plaintiff retained defendant Edelman & Edelman, P.C. (the Edelman firm) to undertake an investigation and lawsuit against Banana Republic, LLC and/or The Gap, Inc. for injuries she allegedly sustained at the retail establishment. The Edelman firm commenced the underlying lawsuit in Supreme Court, New York County. The retainer agreement between the parties contained the following terms: “Edelman & Edelman is authorized to enter into negotiations regarding possible settlement, but will not settle or compromise this matter without the prior express consent of the Client. Edelman & Edelman will keep Client informed of the status of this matter and consult with Client when appropriate.”

The underlying defendants ultimately prevailed on a motion for summary judgment, which was affirmed by this Court in Turso-Drasche v Banana Republic, LLC (172 AD3d 485 [1st Dept 2019]). Plaintiff then commenced the instant action against the Edelman firm and two of its attorneys, asserting three causes of action, each of which sought to recover for alleged “damages” arising from defendants’ failure to “advise” her of a purported settlement offer by the underlying defendants. The first cause of action sounded in negligence/malpractice, the second for breach of contract, and the third for violation of rule 1.4 of the Rules of Professional Conduct (22 NYCRR 1200.0).

We find that Supreme Court correctly dismissed the complaint in its entirety. Plaintiff’s claim for legal malpractice is based upon a vague and conclusory assertion that after her deposition, counsel for the defendants in the underlying action made a settlement offer to her attorney, and that her attorney did not relay the offer to her. Regardless, the complaint fails to allege that plaintiff would have accepted the offer if she had known of it (see Rubenstein & Rubenstein v Papadakos, 31 AD2d 615, 615 [1st Dept 1968], affd 25 NY2d 751 [1969]).

Further, plaintiff fails to allege that, but for defendants’ alleged negligence, she would have accepted the settlement offer and would not have sustained any damages (see Magnacoustics, Inc. v Ostrolenk, Faber, Gerb & Soffen, 303 AD2d 561, 562 [2d Dept 2003], lv denied 100 NY2d 511 [2003]; Cannistra v O’Connor, McGuinness, Conte, Doyle, Oleson & Collins, 286 AD2d 314, 316 [2d Dept 2001], lv denied 97 NY2d 611 [2002]).”

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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.