JAMES J. BRUDNY, JR.
65 E. State Street
Columbus, OH 43215
Direct Dial: (614) 232-2415
Facsimile: (614) 232-2410
STATE-TO-STATE LEGAL MALPRACTICE
STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS
October 2009 Up-Date*
STATE CITE STATUTORY LIMITATION
Alabama AL ST § 6-5-574 Within 2 years after the act of omission of
failure giving rise to the claim, or within 6
months of discovery, or of learning facts,
which would reasonably lead to discovery,
whichever is earlier. In no event may the
action be commenced after 4 years.
Alaska AS § 09.10.070;AS § 09.10.053 In 2 years for tort actions after Plaintiff
discovers or reasonably should discover
elements of his/her cause of action
(pursuant to § 9.10.070); in 3 years for
contract actions (pursuant to § 9.10.053). In
6 years for property actions (pursuant to §
Arizona A.R.S. § 12-542 Within 2 years after Plaintiff knows or
should know of attorney’s negligent
conduct and the damages are ascertainable,
not speculative or contingent. 6 month
Saving Statute, in court’s discretion
(pursuant to A.R.S. § 12-504).
Arkansas A.C.A. § 16-56-105 Within 3 years after cause of action accrues
= cause of action begins to run, in the
absence of concealment of the wrong, when
the negligence occurs, not when it is
discovered by the client.
California Ann. Cal. C.C.P. § 340.6 (a) For an action other than actual fraud, 1
year after discovery or Plaintiff should have
reasonably discovered or 4 years from
cause of action, whichever occurs first. The
4 years is tolled if attorney continued
representation on the matter. If Plaintiff is
required to establish factual innocence in
underlying criminal claim, 2 years after
Colorado C.R.S. § 13-80-102 Within 2 years after Plaintiff discovers or
should have discovered the attorney’s
Connecticut C.G.S.A. § 52-577 Within 3 years for actions in tort. 1 year
Savings Statute under certain criteria
(pursuant to § 52-592). Statute of
limitations is tolled under the continuous
representation rule, which states the
statute of limitations does not begin to run
until the attorney-client relationship
terminates as to the matter which gives rise
to the cause of action.
Delaware 10 Del. C. § 8106 3 years after Plaintiff discovered or should
have discovered the cause of action. 1 year
Savings Statute under certain criteria
(pursuant to 10 Del. C. § 8118).
District of Columbia D.C. Code §12-301 3 years after actual injury has occurred, not
when the act causing the injury occurred.
Florida F.S.A. § 95.11 (4) Within 2 years from redressable harm of
injury has been established, and injured
party knows or should have known of the
injury or act; Claimant must be in privity
with professional, otherwise limitation is 4
years (see § 95.11(4)(a)).
Georgia Ga. Code Ann. § 9-3-25; Ga. Actions for legal malpractice are subject to
Code Ann. § 9-3-33 4 years, which commence from date of
attorney’s alleged wrongful act (pursuant
to § 9-3-25). Actions sounding in breach of
contract are subject to 4 years (pursuant to
§ 9-3-25). Tort actions are subject to 2
years (pursuant to § 9-3-33).
Hawaii HRS § 657-1 6 years after Plaintiff knew or should have
known of attorney’s negligence.
Idaho ID Code § 5-219 Within 2 years of the occurrence, act or
omission complained of unless the fact of
damage has been fraudulently and
knowingly concealed from the injured
parties to escape responsibility, in which
case cause of action shall accrue when the
injured party knows, or he should have
been put on reasonable inquiry regarding
the matter complained of, and even if the
damage has been fraudulently and
knowingly concealed, the action must be
brought within 1 year following the date of
accrual or 2 years following the occurrence,
whichever is later.
Illinois 735 ILCS § 5/13-214.3 Within 2 years after Plaintiff knew or
reasonably should have known of the injury
for which damages are sought. This period
of time cannot exceed 6 years after the
negligent act or omission.
Indiana IN Code Ann § 34-11-2-4 Within 2 years after the act or the omission
Iowa IA ST § 614.1(2), (4). Within 2 years after the cause of action
accrues if contract or tort based (pursuant
to § 614.1(2)). Within 5 years unwritten
contract, injury to property, and fraud
(pursuant to § 614.1(4)).
Kansas K.S.A. § 60-511; K.S.A. § 60- Within 5 years for causes of action based
512; K.S.A. § 60-513 upon written contract (pursuant to § 60-
511); within 2 years for causes of action
based upon tort (pursuant to § 60-513);
within 3 years for any cause of action based
upon expressed or implied contract not in
writing (pursuant to § 60-512). Statute of
limitations does not begin to toll until the
underlying litigation is finally determined.
Kansas follows the continuous
representation doctrine which tolls the
statute of limitations until the attorney –
client relationship ends with respect to the
Kentucky KRS § 413.245 Within 1 year from the date of occurrence
or from the date when the cause of action
was, or reasonably should have been,
discovered by the party injured.
Louisiana LSA–R.S. § 9:5605 Within 1 year from the date of the alleged
act, omission, or neglect, or within 1 year
from the date that the alleged act, omission,
or neglect is discovered or should have
been discovered whichever is later, but the
action must be brought within 3 years of
the alleged negligent act or omission.
Maine 14 M.R.S. § 752 and 753 B Within 6 years from the time the negligent
act or omission occurred, but if a real estate
action the cause of action accrues from
when the act was discovered or should have
Maryland MD Code Ann. § 5-101 Within 3 years from the time the Plaintiff
discovers or reasonably should have
discovered the injury.
Massachusetts A.L.M. GL Ch 260 § 4 Within 3 years after Plaintiff discovers or
reasonably should have discovered he/she
sustained appreciable harm as a result of
the attorney’s conduct.
Michigan M.C.L.S. 600.5805 (6) Within 2 years of the date the attorney last
provides a legal service related to the
action initiated against him or within 6
months after Plaintiff discovers or should
have discovered the claim, whichever is
later. But, cause of action does not accrue
until the attorney-client relationship ceases
with respect to the underlying matter.
Minnesota M.S.A. § 541.05 Within 6 years. A right of action accrues
and the statue of limitations begins to run
when damage occurs; ultimate damage need
not be known or predictable, and Plaintiff
need not have discovered that he/she has a
cause of action.
Mississippi Miss. Code Ann. § 15-1-29; Within 3 years after cause accrues for
Miss. Code Ann. § 15-1-49 actions based in tort (pursuant to § 15-1-
49). 3 years for action based in contract
(pursuant to § 15-1-29). Cause of action
accrues from the date the client learns or
should have discovered the negligence of
Missouri V.A.M.S. 516.100 and 516.120 Within 5 years once the effective damage is
capable of ascertainment even though the
amount of damage is not yet ascertainable.
Montana MCA 27-2-206 Within 3 years after Plaintiff discovers or
through the use of reasonable diligence
should have discovered the act, error, or
omission, whichever occurs last. But in no
case may the action be initiated more than
ten years after the allegedly negligent act.
Nebraska R.R.S. Neb. § 25-222 Within 2 years after the alleged act or
omission unless the cause of action is not
discovered and could not reasonably be
discovered within such 2 year period, then
the action may be commenced within 1 year
of the date of discovery or from the
discovery of facts which would reasonably
led to such discovery, whichever occurs
earlier. The claim may not be initiated
more than ten years after the alleged
negligent act in any case.
Nevada N.R.S. 11.207 Within 4 years after the Plaintiff sustains
damage or within 2 years after the Plaintiff
discovers or through the use of reasonable
diligence should have discovered the
material facts, which constitute the cause of
action, whichever occurs earlier.
New Hampshire N.H. Rev. Stat. § 508:4 Within 3 years of the act or omission
complained of, except that when the injury
and its causal relationship to the act or
omission were not discovered and could not
reasonably have been discovered at the
time of the act or omission, the action shall
be commenced within 3 years of such
discovery or at the time that it would have
reasonably been discovered.
New Jersey N.J.S.A. 2A:14-1 Within 6 years after the cause of any such
action shall have accrued, which occurs
when the client suffers actual damages and
discovers, or through the use of reasonable
diligence should have discovered facts
essential to the malpractice claim.
New Mexico NMSA § 37-1-4 Within 4 years of the time when the harm
or damage is ascertainable or discoverable
by the injured party, and when actual loss
of damage has occurred to the client.
New York NY CPLR § 214(6) Within 3 years regardless of whether the
underlying claim is based in tort or
contract. Such action accrues not when
Plaintiff discovers the legal malpractice,
but when the malpractice is committed. De
Carlo v. Ratner (2002), 204 F.Supp.2d 630,
affirmed 53 Fed.Appx. 161, 2002 WL
North Carolina N.C.G.S.A. § 1-15 and § 1-52 Within 3 years. Cause of action for legal
malpractice accrues at time of occurrence of
last wrongful act of defendant.
North Dakota N.D.C.C. 28-01-18(3) Within 2 years. Cause of action accrues
when the Plaintiff suffers actual damages
and discovers or should have discovered
the fact essential to the malpractice. North
Dakota has adopted a "continuous
representation rule" in legal malpractice
actions, which tolls the statute of
limitations or defers accrual of the cause of
action while the attorney continues to
represent the client and the representation
relates to the same transaction or subject
matter as the allegedly negligent acts.
Ohio O.R.C. § 2305.11 Within 1 year. Under Ohio law, legal
malpractice claim "accrues," and statute of
limitations begins to run, when there is
cognizable event whereby the client
discovers or should have discovered that
his injury was related to his attorney's act
or omission and client is put on notice of
need to pursue his possible remedies
against attorney, or when attorney-client
relationship for that particular transaction
or undertaking terminates, whichever is
later; court must examine both dates, and
later of the two will control when statute
begins to run.
Oklahoma 12 Okl.St.Ann. § 95 (A) (3) Action for legal malpractice is action in
tort, and so is governed by 2-year statute of
limitations for tort actions. The cause of
action accrues when the Plaintiff could
“first maintain an action to a successful
conclusion.” Sherwood Forest No. 2 Corp., v.
City of Norman, 632 P.2d 368, 370 (Okl.
Oregon O.R.S. § 12.110 Within 2 years. Cause of action accrues
when Plaintiff knew or should have known
of the facts necessary to establish a claim.
Pennsylvania 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 5524 (7); 42 Within 2 years for actions based in tort
Pa.C.S.A. § 5527 (pursuant to § 5524). Within 6 years for
actions based in contract (pursuant to §
5527). Cause of action accrues when there
is a breach of duty unless the injury could
not have been discovered despite his due
diligence, and then the claim is tolled until
the Plaintiff discovered or should have
discovered the breach of duty.
Rhode Island RI ST § 9-1-14.3 Within 3 years of the occurrence of the
incident which gave rise to the action. In
respect to those injuries due to acts of legal
malpractice which could not in the exercise
of reasonable diligence be discoverable at
the time of the occurrence of the incident
which gave rise to the action, suit shall be
commenced within 3 years of the time that
the act or acts of legal malpractice should,
in the exercise of reasonable diligence, have
South Carolina SC ST § 15-3-530 Within 3 years. The cause of action accrues
when the Plaintiff discovered, or in the
exercise of due diligence should have
discovered the resulting injury.
South Dakota SDCL § 15-2-14.2 Within 3 years after the alleged
malpractice, error, mistake or omission
shall have occurred. This jurisdiction
follows the continuous representation
doctrine which tolls the statute of
limitations while the attorney-client
relationship still exists for the matter at
Tennessee T.C.A. § 28-3-104 Within 1 year, which starts to run when
the client suffers a legally cognizable injury
resulting from an attorney's negligence or
other wrongdoing, and the client knows or
should know the facts sufficient to give
notice of that injury.
Texas Tex Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § Within 2 years. The cause of action
16.003 accrues when the Plaintiff discovers or
should have discovered the risk of harm.
Utah U.C.A. § 78B-2-307 Within 4 years of when the act complained
of is discovered or, in the exercise of
reasonable care, should have been
Vermont 12 V.S.A. § 511; 12 V.S.A. § Within 6 years for injuries other than
512(4) personal injuries (pursuant to § 511).
Within 3 years for injuries to person or
property after discovery of the injury
(pursuant to § 512(4)). Cause of action
accrues when Plaintiff discovers or should
have discovered both the injury and the
Virginia Va.Code Ann. § 8.01-246 Within 3 years for actions based upon oral
contracts. Within 5 years for actions based
upon written contracts. Cause of action
accrues on the date of the breach of duty.
Virginia tolls the statute of limitations if
there is continuous representation.
Washington A.R.C.W. § 4.16.080; Within 6 years for actions based upon
A.R.C.W. § 4.16.040 written contract (pursuant to § 4.16.040).
Within 3 years for actions based upon
contract or liability, express or implied, not
in writing (pursuant to § 4.16.080). Cause
of action accrues when the Plaintiff
discovered on in the exercise of due
diligence should have discovered the facts
which give rise to a cause of action.
Washington follows the continuous
West Virginia W.Va. Code § 55-2-12; W.Va. Within 5 years for actions based upon
Code § 55-2-6 contract. Within 2 years for other personal
actions. West Virginia has adopted the
continuous representation doctrine.
Wisconsin Wis. Stat. § 893.53 Within 6 years. Legal malpractice action is
governed by the six-year blanket limitation
on tort actions. Acharya v. Carroll (App.
1989) 448 N.W.2d 275, 152 Wis.2d 330,
review denied 451 N.W.2d 297. Cause of
action does not accrue until Plaintiff knows
or should have known of the facts giving
rise to his cause of action.
Wyoming Wyo. Stat. § 1-3-107 Within 2 years of the alleged act, error, or
omission except if the injury or negligence
was not discoverable even in the exercise of
due diligence during that time period, then
2 years after the plaintiff discovered or
should have discovered the act or omission.
* This document is only a guide, and does not replace advice of legal counsel. Actual
limitation periods may vary due to specific fact patterns and/or situations. Refer to
most recent state statutes for more complete description, including, but not limited to,
Should you have any questions regarding professional liability claims of any kind in Ohio,
please feel free to contact any of our Professional Liability Practice Group members.
James J. Brudny, Jr. Facsimile: (216) 687-1841
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65 E. State Street
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Columbus, Ohio 43215 One Riverfront Plaza
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