Kelly v. Orr

Filed January 11, 2016, Fourth District, Div. One Cite as D067735

Within one year of the prior trustee’s resignation plaintiff successor trustee filed a professional negligence action against the prior trustee’s attorneys. The trial court sustained the attorney-defendants’ demurrer, holding the professional negligence action was time barred because plaintiff knew about the representation and the alleged professional negligence more than one year before he filed the action.

The appellate court reversed. The statute of limitations for professional negligence is tolled until the predecessor trustee’s attorney-client relationship is terminated. When a successor trustee replaces a predecessor, he steps into the predecessor’s shoes and succeeds to the predecessor’s tolling rights. Because the attorney-defendants represented the prior trustee until she resigned, and the successor trustee’s malpractice action was filed within the one-year statute of limitations, it was timely.

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