In the news recently are the results of a legal malpractice case that played out in California court. Plaintiff Elise Sharon claimed legal malpractice against her former lawyer Peter Porter. And guess what? He admitted to it. Which you’d think would make for a cut and dry case, right? Unfortunately, Sharon did not meet the statute of limitations for suing for legal malpractice. Thus, a tumultuous story had a less than happy ending.

The results from Sharon’s case are not an anomaly, and neither is legal malpractice. But filing a case for legal malpractice can be intimidating. After all, you’re going up against a legal professional in a court of law. It is manageable, provided a plaintiff follows the rules provided. As can be seen with Sharon’s story, meeting deadlines is extremely important.

What is the timing deadline for filing legal malpractice?

Life gets busy sometimes, and it’s hard to keep up with what can feel like tornado of daily tasks. But when it comes to matters of the law, it is extremely important to keep up to date on whatever process you might be involved with. Whether it be making a claim, gathering evidence, so on and so forth. If you want to file for legal malpractice, the initial filing date needs to follow the guidelines below.

  • Date of an attorney wrongdoing plus four years
  • Date that client actually discovers the wrongdoing plus one year

Are there exceptions to this?

Certainly! Not everyone who wishes to file for legal malpractice is actually able to do so. This can come from the fact that some may physically not be able to do so.

Also, if the wrongdoing occurs and the attorney continues to represent the client, then the start of the deadline becomes when that representation has ended. There are other exceptions to the rule, and the exact timing can change out depending on the scenario. This can include whether the lawyer committed breach of duty or simply inflicted emotional distress.

Legal malpractice is prevalent and the statute of limitations that come with it mean that late cases of it get disbarred. People like Elise Sharon have become firsthand accounts of the importance of following those rules. If you have discovered that lawyer committed malpractice seeking legal help is a great first step. It’s common to feel intimidated by taking a lawyer to court, or to put trust in another lawyer. However, if you want to be able to navigate the justice system successfully, getting professional help is a great option.