Dismissal of action on statute of limitations grounds

In Kreutzberg v Law Offices of John Riconda, P.C., 210 AD3d 884, 884-85 [2d Dept 2022], the court upheld the dismissal of the client’s action on statute of limitations grounds, holding:

On a motion to dismiss a cause of action pursuant to CPLR 3211 (a) (5) on the ground that it is barred by the statute of limitations, a defendant bears the initial burden of establishing, prima facie, that the time in which to sue has expired (see Van Der Velde v New York Prop. Underwriting Assn., 205 AD3d 970, 971 [2022]; Joseph v Fensterman, 204 AD3d 766, 769 [2022]; Tulino v Hiller, P.C., 202 AD3d 1132, 1134-1135 [2022]; Deutsche Bank Natl. Trust Co. v Blank, 189 AD3d 1678, 1679 [2020]). “If the defendant satisfies this burden, the burden shifts to the plaintiff to raise a question of fact as to whether the statute of limitations was tolled or otherwise inapplicable, or whether the plaintiff actually commenced the action within the applicable limitations period” (Deutsche Bank Natl. Trust Co. v Blank, 189 AD3d at 1679 [internal quotation marks omitted]).

The statute of limitations for a cause of action to recover damages for legal malpractice is three years (see CPLR 214 [6]; Tulino v Hiller, P.C., 202 AD3d at 1135), which accrues at the time the malpractice is committed, not when the client discovers it (see Shumsky v Eisenstein, 96 NY2d 164, 166 [2001]; Goodman v Weiss, Zarett, Brofman, Sonnenklar & Levy, P.C., 199 AD3d 659, 661 [2021]; Sclafani v Kahn, 169 AD3d 846, 848 [2019]).

Richard A. Klass, Esq.
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Richard A. Klass, Esq., maintains a law firm engaged in civil litigation at 16 Court Street, 28th Floor, Brooklyn, New York. He may be reached at (718) COURT●ST or RichKlass@courtstreetlaw.com with any questions.

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