Legal malpractice claims frequently arise over real estate. in Mandour v Rafalsky
2024 NY Slip Op 31086(U) April 1, 2024 Supreme Court, New York County
Docket Number: Index No. 651819/2022 Judge: Andrea Masley there is the added (frequent) dispute between siblings with death and incompetency issues thrown in.

“Plaintiffs Nariman M. Mandour, as both beneficiary and trustee of Nariman’s
Trust, together with Martin Wm. Goldman and Harvey I. Krasner as trustees of
Nariman’s Trust, on behalf of Nariman’s Trust individually, and derivatively on behalf of
10/3 Realty Corp. (RC) initiated this action on April 22, 2022 to invalidate agreements
related to the 2014 development of 47 Third Avenue in New York City.”

“Nariman’s Trust (the Trust) was established under the last will and testament of
decedent Peter Stein (Peter) for the lifetime benefit of Mandour, his spouse. (NYSCEF
Doc No. [NYSCEF] 26, FAC ,i 1; see NYSCEF 27, Last Will and Testament at§ 1 [E]
[1].) Mandour, Goldman, and Krasner serve as trustees. (NYSCEF 26, FAC ,i
2.) During his lifetime, Peter owned 10 shares, or one-third of all shares, in nominal
defendant RC, a New York corporation, and served as its president. (Id. ,i,i 1, 14,
27.) Schlesinger, Peter’s uncle, owns 10 shares in RC. (Id. ,i,i 5, 28.) Peter’s brothers,
Fredrick and Richard each own 5 shares, or one-sixth of the shares in RC. (Id. ,i,i 6-7,
28.) In January 2019, Peter fell ill and he passed away on September 4, 2020. (Id. ,i,i
5, 27.) Peter’s shares in RC passed to the Trust under Peter’s will. (Id. ,i 1.)

Rafalsky is an attorney who, individually or through his law firm Wood, Rafalsky
& Wood LLP (WRW), has represented RC and/or TSFH. (Id. ,i,i 8-9.) Rafalsky owns
and/or operates TRRKY, a New York corporation. (Id. ,i 8.) Rafalsky served as RC’s
attorney on the Capital Contribution Agreement. (NYSCEF 28, Capital Contribution
Agreement ,i 11.6 [B].)”

“The Rafalsky defendants argue that the legal malpractice claim is time-barred. A
three-year statute of limitations governs a cause of action for legal malpractice (CPLR
214 [6]), which begins to “accrue when the malpractice is committed, not when the client learns of it.” (Palmeri v Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP, 156 AD3d 564, 567 [1 st Dept
2017] [citations omitted].) Where the alleged malpractice claim is predicated upon the
attorney’s failure to disclose a conflict of interest, the claim accrues from that date. ( See
Kvetnaya v Tylo, 49 AD3d 608, 609 [2d Dept 2008].)
In this case, the predicate acts underlying the malpractice claim occurred prior to
May 21, 2003, when the Development Agreement was executed. Plaintiffs commenced
this action in April 2022. As discussed supra, plaintiffs have failed to raise an issue of
fact that the continuous representation doctrine tolled the limitations period. Thus, the
legal malpractice claim is dismissed as time-barred.”

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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.