As Rondeau v Houston 2024 NY Slip Op 00987 Decided on February 27, 2024 Appellate Division, First Department, reminds us, relief in Judiciary Law 487 is not “lightly given.”

“Order and judgment (one paper), Supreme Court, New York County (Charles E. Ramos, J.), entered on or about September 15, 2015, which, to the extent appealed from as limited by the briefs, granted defendants’ motions to dismiss, with prejudice, the claims in plaintiff’s two actions captioned Rondeau v Houston (Sup Ct, NY County, index No. 159541/2014) (the third action) and Rondeau v Dolan (Sup Ct, NY County, index No. 151239/2015) (the fourth action), and granted defendants’ motion for sanctions to the extent of enjoining plaintiff from commencing any further actions against defendants or any other individual or entity arising out of or concerning his prior lawsuits against defendants without prior written approval of the court, unanimously affirmed, with costs.

The doctrine of res judicata applies to preclude plaintiff’s claims asserted in the third action, as those claims arise out of the same transaction or series of transactions that were brought to a final conclusion in the first action by plaintiff against, among others, defendant Allan Houston (Rondeau v Houston, 2013 NY Slip Op 33363[U] [Sup Ct, NY County 2013], affd 118 AD3d 638 [1st Dept 2014], lv dismissed 24 NY3d 999 [2015]; see In re Hunter, 4 NY3d 260, 269 [2005]; Pitcock v Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman, LLP, 80 AD3d 453, 454 [1st Dept 2011], lv denied 16 NY3d 711 [2011]). Furthermore, in the third action, plaintiff failed to state a cause of action for fraud, as he did not sufficiently allege out-of-pocket losses that stemmed from any alleged fraud, but rather, asserted only speculative losses (see Lama Holding Co. v Smith Barney, 88 NY2d 413, 421 [1996]).”

“Similarly, Supreme Court providently dismissed plaintiff’s Judiciary Law § 487 claim in the fourth action. The record presents no evidence that defendants’ counsel intended to deceive this Court when they offered a characterization of plaintiff’s claims and his conduct in the litigation (see e.g. Seldon v Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP, 116 AD3d 490, 491 [1st Dept 2014], lv dismissed 25 NY3d 985 [2015]).”

ondeau v Houston
2024 NY Slip Op 00987
Decided on February 27, 2024
Appellate Division, First Department
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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.