One recurring theme in lawsuits against lawyers is whether the plaintiff can sue for breach of contract and thereby obtain a longer statute of limitation. In Illinois, the statute of limitations for a breach of contract is either 5 years (oral) or 10 years (written). In Connecticut, the contract statute of limitation is 6 years, but the legal malpractice statute is 3 years.
Here, the court concluded that the action (filed more than three years after the claim arose) was untimely because the action was based upon a legal malpractice theory, not a contract theory. In particular, the plaintiffs’ allegations that the lawyer breached the Rules of Professional Conduct convinced the court that the case was a malpractice case not a contract case.
This case is similar to the Evanston Insurance v. George Riseborough case, 5 N.E. 158 (2014) decided by the Illinois Supreme Court earlier this year. Both cases held that the legal malpractice statute of limitations applied to the lawyer’s conduct.
Edward X. Clinton, Jr.