Statute of Limitations/Repose

Short v. Grayson

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The District Court for the Northern District of Illinois granted in part and denied in part motions to dismiss legal malpractice claims. The court dismissed the plaintiff’s claim that his attorneys committed malpractice by failing to bring derivative claims in the underlying action because the plaintiff had sold his stock in the relevant company before initiating the underlying litigation and, thus, lacked standing to bring any derivative claims on its behalf. The court further dismissed a claim that the plaintiff alleged should have been asserted against an individual because the statute of limitations on that claim had expired before the defendant attorney took over the underlying case for the plaintiff. The court denied the motion as to the plaintiff’s various other claims generally holding that the plaintiff had alleged sufficient facts to survive the motions to dismiss.

Short v. Grayson , No. 16 C 2150, 2017 WL 977001 (N.D. Ill. Mar. 14, 2017)

Hill v. Simmons

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In this unpublished opinion, the First District held that a complaint against a lawyer was properly dismissed as time-barred.   The court held that the plaintiff’s claims for fraud, aiding and abetting fraud, breach of fiduciary duty and conspiracy were properly subject to the two year attorney statute of limitations, and that the statute began to run when the plaintiff learned of the lawyer’s alleged misrepresentations.

Hill v. Simmons, 2017 IL App (1st) 160577-U

(This is for informational purposes and is not legal advice.)

Recent Illinois Case: Webb v. Maclin

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In this unpublished opinion, the Fifth District reversed the grant of summary judgment in favor of the defendant on statute of limitations and statute of repose grounds.  The Appellate Court held that there was an issue of fact regarding when the plaintiff knew or should have known of the alleged wrong; therefore, summary judgment was inappropriate with respect to the statute of limitations.   The court also held that summary judgment was inappropriate on the statute of repose because there was an issue of fact as to when the defendant’s last act of negligence occurred.

Webb v. Maclin, 2016 IL App (5th) 150230-U

(This is for informational purposes and is not legal advice.)

 

Recent Illinois Case: Slater v. Freeman

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In this unpublished opinion, the First District vacated the order granting leave for an interlocutory appeal under Supreme Court Rule 308. The court held that the issues presented — when can an attorney be liable to a non-client, and is the discovery rule applicable to the statute of repose — were not appropriate for interlocutory review.

The court held that the first issue, as decided by the trial court, involved questions of fact, not questions of law, and therefore did not qualify for Rule 308 review. As to the second issue, the court held that Rule 308 review was inappropriate because there were no substantial grounds for difference of opinion regarding the statute of repose; the discovery rule does not apply.

Thus, even though the appellate court’s discussion of the statute of repose implicitly held that the trial court incorrectly denied summary judgment, the appellate court dismissed the appeal because it did not involve the “exceptional circumstances” required for an appeal pursuant to Rule 308.

Slater v. Freeman, 2016 IL App (1st) 143904-U

(This is for informational purposes and is not legal advice.)

 

Recent Illinois Case: Terra Foundation for American Art v. DLA Piper LLP

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The First District affirmed the dismissal of a legal malpractice case on statute of repose grounds.  The court held that, in both transactional and litigation malpractice cases, the statute of repose begins to run when the event giving rise to the malpractice claim occurs, regardless of whether an injury has occurred or been recognized.  The court rejected the argument that the statute does not begin to run in transactional malpractice cases until the last act of representation.

Terra Foundation for American Art v. DLA Piper LLP, 2016 IL App (1st) 153285.

(This is for informational purposes and is not legal advice.)

Recent Illinois Case: Harmata v. Scott & Kraus LLC

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In this unpublished opinion, the First District affirmed the dismissal of a legal malpractice claim on statute of repose grounds.   The court noted that the statute of repose is not tolled by the discovery rule and begins to run when the event giving rise to the claim occurs, regardless of whether the plaintiff’s injury has been realized.   The court also held that the attorneys did not waive or forfeit  their statute of repose defense when they asserted an attorney’s lien after the expiration of the repose period.

Harmata v. Scott & Kraus LLC, 2016 IL App (1st) 152359-U

(This is for informational purposes and is not legal advice.)

Recent Illinois Case: Dobbins v. Zager

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In this unpublished order, the First District affirmed the dismissal of a legal malpractice claim on statute of repose grounds.   The court held that neither equitable estoppel nor fraudulent concealment saved the claim.  The court emphasized that misrepresentations that toll the statute of repose must be different from the representations that constitute the alleged malpractice.

Dobbins v. Zager, 2016 IL App (1st) 151175-U

(This is for informational purposes and is not legal advice.)