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NY: Statute of Limitations CPLR 214 (6) 3 years!

Kahn v. Hart, 270 A.D.2d 231 (N.Y. App. Div. 2d Dep’t 2000)

NY: Underlying loan transaction

Student Contributor: Melissa Goldberg

Facts: The Plaintiff commenced this action against Defendants alleging legal malpractice arising from representation on two loan transactions. The Plaintiff alleged that he did not learn until ten years later, after defaults on the loans, that Defendants failed to record two mortgages executed to secure the loans.

Issue: Was this action barred by the statute of limitations?

Result: the Plaintiff’s claims of legal malpractice should have been dismissed as time-barred.
1) Pursuant to CPLR 214 (6), an action to recover damages for legal malpractice must be commenced within three years of the accrual of the claim;
2) A claim to recover damages for legal malpractice accrues when the malpractice is committed, not when it is discovered;
3) The legal malpractice complained of occurred more than three years before the commencement of this action, and the Statute of Limitations.

Lesson: This is a harsh rule for Plaintiffs. It does not matter when a Plaintiff learns of a potential legal malpractice action. It only matters when the malpractice occurs. 

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Posted in: Commercial, New York, Statute of Limitations