Roedelbronn v Borstein & Sheinbaum LLC 2023 NY Slip Op 05670 Decided on November 09, 2023 Appellate Division, First Department demonstrates the interplay between appeals (and other findings) in the underlying case and success in a subsequent legal malpractice case. Here, the court initially found that the continuing representation doctrine successfully tolled the statute of limitations for legal malpractice. It went on to hold that a subsequent appeal from the matrimonial judgment undercut the legal malpractice claims.

“Plaintiff’s contention that the continuous representation doctrine tolled the statute of limitations has merit given that the attorneys who represented plaintiff in the divorce proceeding when the alleged malpractice occurred, continued to represent plaintiff in the same proceeding, “albeit while at different law firms” (Boesky v Levine, 193 AD3d 403, 405 [1st Dept 2021]). Nevertheless, plaintiff’s argument with respect to her malpractice claim is unavailing.

On appeal, plaintiff limits her claim to the value and percentage award of the Agrifos business assets based upon the alleged malpractice of Borstein & Sheinbaum at the 2015 hearing, i.e., that the Special Referee and Supreme Court ignored the justifications for the 40% award in two other assets by awarding her only 10% of the value of Agrifos, her former husband’s fertilizer business. However, this Court previously affirmed the 10% award of the Agrifos assets, applying the well-settled rule that marital assets do not have to be divided equally (Cotton v Roedelbronn, 170 AD3d, 595, 595-596 [1st Dept 2019], citing Arvantides v Arvantides, 64 NY2d 1033, 1034 [1985]). Plaintiff’s attempt to relitigate this issue is unavailing and the conclusory allegations do not adequately state a claim for malpractice (see Garr Silpe, P.C. v Gorman, 192 AD3d 633 [1st Dept 2021]; Olsen v Smith, 187 AD3d 675, 675 [1st Dept 2020]; Sitomer v Goldweber Epstein, LLP, 139 AD3d 642, 643 [1st Dept 2016], lv denied 28 NY3d 908 [2016]).THIS CONSTITUTES THE DECISION AND ORDER”

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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.