The mathematics of calculating the statute of limitations in light of the Covid tolling periods is discussed in Lewner v Dahill 2023 NY Slip Op 30629(U) February 28, 2023
Supreme Court, New York County Docket Number: Index No. 805366/2021 Judge: Leslie A. Stroth. This decision serves as a template in adding days to the underlying statute of limitations for cases subject to Covid tolling between March 20, 2020 and November 2, 2020.

“The instant motion arises out of an action to recover damages for alleged breach of contract, legal malpractice, and breach of fiduciary duty. Plaintiff Charles Lewner (plaintiff), represented . by counsel, alleges that defendants William Dahill and Wollmuth Maher & Deutsch, LLP (together, defendants) failed \o properly represent-him in two separate legal proceedings – an Article 81 guardianship proceeding seeking guardianship of the person and property of his late father and a proceeding concerning the estate of his late mother.”

“Here, all claims are time-barred. With respect to plaintiff’s first cause of action, the Article 81 guardianship proceeding concerning plaintiff’s late father, plaintiff alleges in his amended complaint that defendants committed malpractice in agreeing to the terms of a stipulation involving the management of real property dated January 20, 2017, which was so-ordered by Honorable Tanya R. Kennedy. Defendants assert that the claim accrued on January 20, 2017 and that plaintiff was required to commence the subject action by January 20, 2020. Plaintiff commenced this action on November 18, 2021 – 1 year, 9 months, and 29 days after the statute of limitations expired. Additionally, even if this cause of action accrued following plaintiff’s counsel’s relief from representation on June 6, 2017 and even considering the ensuing 30-day stay, plaintiff’s claim is still untimely.”

“The Court notes that on March 20, 2020, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo issued Executive
Order (EO) No. 202.8, which tolled the statute of limitations on civil cases due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 1 This EO was extended until November 3, 2020.2 Regarding plaintiffs first cause of action, as discussed above, defendants correctly assert (and plaintiff has not objected) that the statute of limitations expired on January 20, 2020. This was before the EO was issued and, therefore, stands as the proper date of expiration of this claim. Even if the Court were to consider the accrual date to be July 6, 2017, after the 30-day stay, the statute of limitations would have expired on July 6, 2020 and plaintiff would have had slightly over three months to commence this action at the time the EO was issued. Therefore, the statute of limitations after the EO tolling period would have expired in February 2021, and given that the complaint was filed on November 18, 2021, it was still untimely.

Regarding plaintiffs second cause of action, again, the date of expiration of the statute of limitations was June 23, 2020. This fell during the EO’s tolling period. When the EO was put in place on March 20, 2020, plaintiff had approximately three months remaining to bring this claim before it would have expired on June 23, 2_020, but the tolling period moved the date of expiration to three months after the EO ended on November 3, 2020, or February 3, 2021. Plaintiff did not commence this action until November 18, 2021. Therefore, this claim is still untimely despite the EO tolling period.”

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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.