Lautman v 2800 Coyle St. Owners Corp. 2024 NY Slip Op 00068 Decided on January 10, 2024 Appellate Division, Second Department is one of those inexplicable cases in which a plaintiff loses all, and then waits too long to sue the attorney. The question of how plaintiff lost it all never comes up for review.

“The plaintiff is the former proprietary lessee of a cooperative apartment located in Brooklyn. He owned shares of stock in the defendant 2800 Coyle St. Owners Corp. (hereinafter the co-op), the cooperative corporation that owns the building where the subject apartment is located. In 2012, the co-op commenced a nonpayment proceeding in the Civil Court of the City of New York against the plaintiff. In September 2013, a default judgment of possession was entered against the plaintiff. Thereafter, the plaintiff’s shares were sold at auction, and he was evicted from the apartment.

In 2019, the plaintiff commenced this action against the co-op, the Board of Directors of the co-op, Dependable Property Management, Inc. (hereinafter collectively the co-op defendants), and Sauchik & Giyaur, P.C. (hereinafter Sauchik), the law firm that represented the co-op in the nonpayment proceeding. The co-op defendants moved, inter alia, pursuant to CPLR 3211(a)(1), (5), and (7) to dismiss the complaint insofar as asserted against them. Sauchik separately moved pursuant to CPLR 3211(a)(5) and (7) to dismiss the complaint insofar as asserted against it. The [*2]plaintiff cross-moved, among other things, for leave to enter a default judgment against the defendants based upon their alleged failure to timely answer or move to dismiss the complaint. In an order dated June 16, 2020, the Supreme Court granted that branch of the co-op defendants’ motion, granted Sauchik’s separate motion, and denied the plaintiff’s cross-motion. The plaintiff appeals. We affirm.”

“Here, in their respective moving submissions, the co-op defendants and Sauchik demonstrated, prima facie, that the first, second, third, fourth, sixth, seven, eighth, ninth, and twelfth causes of action insofar as asserted against each of them were time-barred (see Chao v Westchester Med. Ctr. Advanced Physicians Servs., P.C., 131 AD3d 1130). In opposition, the plaintiff failed to raise a question of issue of fact (see Heritage Hills Socy., Ltd. v Heritage Dev. Group, Inc., 56 AD3d 426, 426-427). Contrary to the plaintiff’s contention, the application of the savings provision of CPLR 205(a), raised for the first time on appeal, “does not involve a pure question of law that appears on the face of the record and could not have been avoided if brought to the Supreme Court’s attention” (U.S. Bank N.A. v Doura, 204 AD3d 721, 723).”

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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.