Santa Monica, CA asked in Legal Malpractice for California

Q: Does the one-year Statute of Limitations began from of the date when the attorney-client relationship ended

Last year, May, 26,2022, the LA Superior Court issued an Order Granting my Attorney's Motion to be Relieved as Counsel (5/26/22) was issued. Does that mean that the last day for me to file suit for professional negligence is tomorrow 5/26/23? I have been on permanent disability. Would that in any way give me more time or toll the Statute of Limitations?

The attorney way over-charged me before withdrawing from my case. Now there is an outstanding bill for $15k, which I believe should be deleted. I haven't heard anything from that attorney, nor received a bill since he relieved himself as counsel. However, I suspect that he will contact me after tomorrow, just after the one-year statute has run out.

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2 Lawyer Answers
Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II
  • Newport Beach, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: As stated in the Code of Civil procedure 340.6. (a) An action against an attorney for a wrongful act or omission, other than for actual fraud, arising in the performance of professional services shall be commenced within one year after the plaintiff discovers, or through the use of reasonable diligence should have discovered, the facts constituting the wrongful act or omission, or four years from the date of the wrongful act or omission, whichever occurs first.

The running of this time period is tolled so long as the attorney continues to represent you.

It sounds like you discovered the negligence before he withdrew, which is why he withdrew, and therefore the limit would be one year. You should consult with a local attorney that specializes in these case, right away. Thanks for using Justia Ask a Lawyer.

James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Legal Malpractice Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Statutes of limitations can vary depending on the jurisdiction and the specific type of claim involved. In some cases, the statute of limitations for professional negligence may start from the date when the alleged negligence occurred, rather than the date when the attorney-client relationship ended.

Regarding your disability status, it's possible that certain circumstances such as being on permanent disability may affect the statute of limitations or provide grounds for tolling (pausing or extending) the deadline. However, the specifics would depend on the laws and regulations of your jurisdiction, as well as the details of your case.

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