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N Cal Attorney
N Cal Attorney, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 9037
Experience:  Since 1983
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In a contract situation with a business attorney, does the

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In a contract situation with a business attorney, does the statute of limitations begin when the lawyer is first engaged, or when the contract is signed? Also, what if the attorney does several different types of contracts for the client? How does the statute of limitations work then?
I need to know the nature of the malpracice, when it occurred, when it caused arm, and when you discovered the harm and the malpractice.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Nature of malpractice: attorney permitted a clause to be included in a new employment agreement he was neotiatiating for me (re: fired without "cause"). Attorney knew I was previously fired without "cause" by the company and should not have permitted that clause to be entered in the new contract negotiation. Several months after signing the new contract, I was again fired without "cause," only it was worse this time because my attorney allowed an additional clause that said that if fired without "cause," the company had the right to take back my stock at a below-market price. Now, I have been fired three months after signing the new contract and the company is demanding my stock at a low price.


When occurred: On February 23 I was fired without "cause," and knowing it was going to happen, I brought my attorney with me. He was there when I was fired. I was asked to come back three months later. I had my attorney, with his firsthand knowledge of past occurrence, negotiate my new contract, signed May of that year.


When it caused harm: In September of that year I was, again, fired without "cause," and told to give back my stock at a reduced price and sign a ridiculous subordination.


When harm and malpractice discovered: On the day I was fired. Three months after new contract signed.


Please answer the question: Does the clock start on the sol at the time of engagement of an attorney, or when a contract is signed?

In this case the error occurred when the contract was signed that allowed them to fire you without cause. If the contract has a severability clause, the Court could choose to enforce the contract other than the arguably unconscionable provisions you described. The power to fire without cause and thereby invoke a forfeiture is not going to withstand judicial scrutiny because it makes the contract illusory.

Once you signed the contract, you presumably knew it did not require cause for termination, although I agree your lawyer should have known better than to let you sign it and probably committed malpractice when that happened. That was the date you suffered an "injury in fact", even though the damages did not happen till they invoked the unconscionable clause, but the statute of limitations on a claim against the lawyer probably runs from the date he allowed you to sign the contract.

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