California statute of limitations bars legal malpractice claim

by Christopher J. Graham and Joseph P. Kelly

Eastwood Ranch, LP, et al v. Dyess, et al, Case No. G046526 (Cal. App. 4th Jan. 16, 2013) (unpublished)

California’s one-year statute of limitations barred plaintiffs’ legal malpractice claim. Plaintiffs discovered in 2007 that defendants didn’t include a significant provision in purchase option documents, but didn’t file suit until 2010. Court stated under California law (§ 340.6) “the limitations period is one year from actual or imputed discovery, or four years (whichever is sooner), unless tolling applies” and that the trigger for the one year limit is the client’s “discovery of ‘the facts constituting the wrongful act or omission,’ not by his discovery that such facts constitute professional negligence…” Plaintiffs discovered the facts constituting purported negligence in 2007 – three years before filing suit.

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