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MS: When Does the Clock Start to Tick?

Bennett v. Hill-Boren, P.C., 52 So. 3d 364 (Miss. 2011).

Facts: Plaintiff sued former attorney for malpractice. Attorney argued that the statute of limitations had expired and plaintiffs’ claim should be dismissed. Plaintiff argued that the statute of limitations doesn’t begin to run until the attorney’s representation ends. 

Issue: When did the statute of limitations begin to run? 

Ruling: Mississippi does not follow the "continuous representation doctrine." Consequently, the statute of limitations begins to run on the date that the plaintiff learns, or through reasonable diligence, should have learned, of the negligence of the lawyer: 

The discovery rule will toll the statute of limitations until a plaintiff should have reasonably known of some negligent conduct, even if the plaintiff does not know with absolute certainty that the conduct was legally negligent.

Lesson: In Mississippi, the three year statute of limitations will begin to run on the date the client reasonably should have known that the lawyer was negligent.

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Posted in: Discovery Rule, Mississippi, Statute of Limitations