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California Legal Malpractice Statute of Limitations

On Behalf of | Apr 28, 2016 | Articles, Legal Malpractice


If you believe that you have been wronged by an attorney, and have experienced damages as a result, then you will be required to file your lawsuit within a certain period of time in order for the case to be considered by the Californian court.

This period of time is known as a statute of limitations, and the laws and rules surrounding this concept are often highly complicated. In some circumstances, even if you are convinced that the deadline for the statute of limitations on your case has already passed, it may have been extended as a result of an exceptional circumstances.

Statute of Limitations Deadlines

Legal malpractice statutes range from 1 to 4 years for civil disputes and there are four additional circumstances that can extend the statute to make the time allowed to seek justice even longer.

SOL Extenders

The factors that may extend the statute of limitations in any given case include:

  1. If the client has sustained an actual injury after the wrongdoing date, the statute of limitations time clock will start at the time of the actual injury instead of the time of the wrongdoing or the discovery of the wrongdoing.
  2. If the attorney in question continues to represent the client in the same case following the time at which the wrongdoing took place, the clock for the statute of limitations will start at the time that representation has ended, instead of at the date of the wrongdoing, or the discovery of the wrongdoing.
  3. If the attorney in question willfully, or deliberately conceals the facts that he or she knows about which contribute to the attorney wrongdoing, the statute of limitations will automatically be extended. However, the extension will only go as far as the four-year limitation.
  4. If the client is under a physical or legal disability that will present him or her from filing an action, the statute of limitation will extend until the disability period has ended.

Legal Malpractice

It’s worth noting that all mistakes an attorney makes will not necessarily be classed or considered legal malpractice. Rather, legal malpractice is only deemed to have taken place when an attorney has handled a case poorly due to an intent to cause harm to a client, or simply through negligence. As a result, in order to obtain damages for the injuries done to you, you will need to prove a number of essential factors as part of your case.

To learn more about legal malpractice and how you can look into establishing your own case, or to simply find out more about the statute of limitations that applies to your circumstances, speak to a lawyer at Makarem & Associates. You can contact us either at [email protected], or by phone at 310.312.0299.

If you want your legal malpractice case handled by an expert lawyer, give us a call. Ron Makarem is a certified legal malpractice specialist by the California State Bar.