I’d like to know if there’s a time limit for suing a bad attorney?

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I’d like to know if there’s a time limit for suing a bad attorney?

Is this done often or not? I was divorced 4 years ago and my attorney did nothing for me. When I questioned him about it and wanted to appeal the decision, he said there was no cause to appeal. I’m finding out now that yes, there was, he just didn’t do it. Is it too late now? I thought you were supposed to trust your own attorney. How should I handle this?

Asked on February 26, 2011 under Business Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Yes, of course it can be done.  The same way that a doctor can be negligent and sued, so can an attorney.  It is legal malpractice and there is a three year statute of limitations in Massachusetts.  When the statute begins to run is the key. It begins to run when you when you are harmed by malpractice or first learned of the harm (or could have learned of the harm through the exercise of "reasonable diligence"). But there are exceptions to that rule: (1) if that same attorney continues to represent you after the incident or event constituting the malpractice, the statute does not begin to run until the attorney's representation of you concludes; or (2) if the attorney actively takes steps to conceal his malpractice from you, the statute does not run until you learn of the concealment. Seek help.  Good luck.


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