Thursday, September 4, 2008
The District of Columbia Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of a legal malpractice action, concluding that the suit was initiated well after the three-year statute of limitations had expired. The lawyer had filed suit in federal court alleging denial of the client's disability benefits. The suit was dismissed, the client discharged the lawyer and new counsel filed a motion for reconsideration. The motion was denied and no appeal was taken.
When the malpractice suit was initiated, the lawyer moved to dismiss, contending that the statute had begun to run when the district court entered its dismissal order. The court here agreed with the trial court's determination that the malpractice action had accrued when the lawyer missed a contractual deadline for commencing an action against the employer. The client became aware of this more than three years prior to filing suit against the lawyer. The motion for reconsideration did not operate to toll the statute of limitations. (Mike Frisch)