Statute of limitations bars Mississippi legal malpractice claim

by Christopher J. Graham and Joseph P. Kelly

Evans v. Howell, Case No. 2011-CA-01414-COA (Miss. App. March 5, 2013)

Plaintiff filed suit alleging defendant lawyer prepared buy-sell agreements for plaintiff and plaintiff’s business partner’s various business entities. Under Mississippi law, a legal malpractice claim must be brought within three years after the claim accrued; and claims accrue on the date the client learns or, through the exercise of reasonable diligence, should learn of his lawyer’s negligence. Here, the alleged malpractice stems from defendant lawyer’s preparation of a buy-sell agreement in March 2005. Appeals court agreed with trial court that plaintiff knew or should have known of the alleged malpractice in March 2005 when he signed the agreement; and thus the complaint was barred by the three-year statute of limitations.

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