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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 118725
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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My divorce was final in Jan of 2013, I found out in Jan.

Customer Question

My divorce was final in Jan of 2013, I found out in Jan. 2016, via my credit report just HOW bad my case was neglected. I was lied to, the court was lied to, I was bullied by my own attorney...I did file a complaint with the Board of Professional Responsibilities and He is under investigation. After reading his responses, as I filed two, He contradicted his own words. They advised that i obtain an attorney because of statues of limitations. First, when i found out what happened and how bad it was, was jan of 2016, will the statue start there. Or will it start in Jan of 2013, when my divorce actually was completed, again to lies my attorney told to the judge, i began to cry and left the courtroom. This was in court trying to get a retrial for my divorce as the papers did not match what i agreed to..
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
The statute of limitations for legal malpractice is one year from the time the cause of action accrues. See: Tenn. Code Ann. § 28-3-104(a)(2). When your of action accrues is determined by applying the discovery rule. Under the discovery rule, a cause of action accrues when the plaintiff knows or in the exercise of reasonable care and diligence should know that an injury has been sustained as a result of wrongful or tortious conduct by the defendant. See: Shadrick v. Coker, 963 S.W.2d 726, 733 (Tenn. 1998).
In legal malpractice cases, the discovery rule is composed of two distinct elements: (1) the plaintiff must suffer legally cognizable damage - an actual injury - as a result of the defendant's wrongful or negligent conduct, and (2) the plaintiff must have known or in the exercise of reasonable diligence should have known that this injury was caused by the defendant's wrongful or negligent conduct. See: Carvell v. Bottoms, 900 S.W.2d 23, 28-30 (Tenn. 1995).
The statute of limitations begins to run when the plaintiff has actual knowledge of the injury as where, for example, the defendant admits to having committed malpractice or the plaintiff is informed by another attorney of the malpractice. Under the theory of constructive knowledge, however, the statute may begin to run at an earlier date - whenever the plaintiff becomes aware or reasonably should have become aware of facts sufficient to put a reasonable person on notice that an injury has been sustained as a result of the defendant's negligent or wrongful conduct. See: Carvell v. Bottoms, 900 S.W.2d 23, 28-30 (Tenn. 1995).
So, if you only just now reasonably discovered the malpractice, then the statute runs from that date.