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Current Developments in the Commercial Divisions of the
New York State Courts by Schlam Stone & Dolan LLP
Posted: July 22, 2020

Continuous Representation Doctrine Saves Legal Malpractice Action from Being Time-Barred

On July 15, 2020, the Second Department issued a decision in Keshner v. Hein Waters & Klein, 2020 NY Slip Op. 03907, holding that the continuous representation doctrine saved a legal malpractice claim from being time-barred, explaining:

The statute of limitations for a cause of action alleging legal malpractice is three years. However, causes of action alleging legal malpractice which would otherwise be barred by the statute of limitations are timely if the doctrine of continuous representation applies. The rule of continuous representation tolls the running of the Statute of Limitations on the malpractice claim until the ongoing representation is completed. The two prerequisites for continuous representation tolling are a claim of misconduct concerning the manner in which professional services were performed, and the ongoing provision of professional services with respect to the contested matter or transaction.

Here, the defendants met their initial burden of establishing, prima facie, that the legal malpractice cause of action was untimely. In opposition, however, the plaintiff raised a question of fact as to whether the statute of limitations was tolled by the doctrine of continuous representation.

(Internal quotations and citations omitted).

We both bring and defend professional malpractice claims and other claims relating to the duties of professionals such as lawyers, accountants and architects to their clients. Contact us if you have questions regarding such claims or appeals of such claims.

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