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When Must Suit Be Filed?

Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations for malpractice claims based on negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, and violations of the DTPA is two years. As a result, a client must generally sue an attorney within two years of the date of the malpractice or the client loses his claim. However, if the client is unable to discover the attorney's malpractice, then the discovery rule applies. In that case, the statute of limitations is extended and the client must sue within two years of the date he discovers the malpractice or the date he should have discovered the malpractice if he had exercised reasonable care and diligence.

The general rule also has an exception that occurs for malpractice that occurs in a lawsuit. In that case, the two year period for the negligence and breach of fiduciary duty claims does not begin to run until the lawsuit, including all appeals, is completed. This delay occurs even if the client fired the lawyer he intends later to sue. This tolling or delay period does not apply to DTPA claims.


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