There are three different statute of limitations periods for legal malpractice claims for this reason: the law recognizes a distinction between a written contract for legal services, an oral contract for legal services, and common law (non-statutory) rights to recover for damages caused by negligent conduct.
The law provides the greatest period of recovery for contract claims -- 10 years for written contract and 5 years for oral contracts -- but there are some limitations on rights of recovery. The shortest statute of limitations period is assigned to negligence claims against lawyers -- such claims must be brought within two years of the negligent conduct.
To establish a valid legal malpractice claim, one has to prove that:
- The statute of limitations has not expired;
- The attorney owed his or her former client a duty of professional care and breached that duty;
- The negligence resulted in substantial damage to the underlying case.
Don't get burned twice. Contact our office for a free consultation to discuss your situation. We would be glad to help to direct you toward your best resolution.
Call to speak to one of our attorneys: 304.594.1800 or after hours, 304.216.6695.