Illinois Court Ruling on Statute of Limitations in Legal Malpractice

A recent decision in Malek v. Chuhak & Tecson, P.C., 2023 IL App (1st) 220723, highlights how critical it is for plaintiffs to act quickly to avoid losing because of the statute of limitations on their claim. In Malek, the court confirmed that the statute of limitations for bringing actions for damages against attorneys commences when a plaintiff has enough information to know of her injury that she is on inquiry notice of a defendant’s involvement. In that case,plaintiff ex-wife filed a complaint against defendant ex-husband’s attorney, alleging that the attorney aided and abetted a fraudulent transfer. The court dismissed her complaint as time-barred, explaining that she was on inquiry notice of her injury and defendant’s wrongful conduct by December 2014, when her divorce attorney filed a motion on her behalf alleging a scheme devised by her then-husband to deplete the marital estate prior to the divorce. The court found that even if plaintiff did not have actual knowledge of defendant’s involvement, such inquiry knowledge was enough to start the clock on the statute of limitations, barring her suit filed in 2019 as it exceeded Illinois’ two-year statute of limitations. It is therefore critical to act quickly if you may have a legal malpractice claim to avoid the disastrous effect of the statute of limitations.

If you have a question about legal malpractice, contact Michael Haeberle at

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