Anna White filed a petition against her niece, attorney Elizabeth Richert, alleging violation of Richert’s duty of honesty and loyalty as White’s attorney and as trustee of a trust from which both women were to receive distributions. Richert moved for summary judgment on both claims, arguing that they were time-barred.
With respect to White’s claim against Richert as an attorney, White affirmatively pleaded that she discovered the injury giving rise to her claim in February, 2013, but did not file her complaint until July, 2015. Thus, the court held that the claim was time-barred. Illinois’ statute of limitations for actions “against an attorney arising out of an act or omission in the performance of professional services,” requires that they “be commenced within 2 years from the time the person bringing the action knew or reasonably should have known of the injury…” Id. at 5; 735 ILCS 5/13-214.3.
As for White’s claim against Richert as a trustee, the court held that Illinois’ five-year catch-all provision applied, since “Illinois does not provide a specific statute of limitations for claims of breach of fiduciary duty by a trustee.” Id. at 6; 735 ILCS 5/13-205. The Court held that the statute of limitations had not lapsed, since White could not have known about this claim against Richert until shortly before she amended her complaint in 2017 to include it, “when it became evident during discovery that there was more than one version” of the trust. Id. at 7.
(This is for informational purposes and is not legal advice.)