Monday, September 7, 2015

Illinois court of appeals reaffirms state's (unfair) approach to legal malpractice

In the past, I have criticized the fact that Illinois has adopted a statute of repose for legal malpractice cases.  But that is just the beginning of the problem.  Not only is there a statute of repose, it is very short and it can't be tolled.

Now, about two weeks ago, in a case called Lamet v Levine, available here, the Illinois court of appeals has reaffirmed the unfairness of the use of this type of statute.  The court explained that the statute of repose begins to run not when the negligent act is discovered by the client but when the negligent act occurred.  In other words, the statute of repose in a legal malpractice case begins to run as soon as an event giving rise to the malpractice claim occurs, regardless of whether plaintiff knows of the attorney's conduct or whether the plaintiff's injury has been realized.  Also, the court followed the consistently held view in the state that the statute of repose is not tolled merely by the continuation of the attorney-client relationship.

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