A judge has disqualified 85-lawyer Bressler, Amery & Ross from the defense of a $3.5 million legal malpractice claim because its expert witness was in the same firm as the plaintiff’s expert at the outset and spent 15 minutes working on the matter.

The defense expert, Bruce Ackerman of Pashman Stein in Hackensack, also was disqualified from the litigation — a suit against Giordano, Halleran & Ciesla of Middletown by a former real estate client.