This decision affirms a summary judgment in defendant’s favor based on the one-year-after-discovery limitations period for attorney malpractice. The client “discovered” his claim when the other party to the transaction that the defendant lawyer had structured for the client threatened to sue the client based on the transaction’s structure. At that point, a reasonable person would have suspected that there might be something wrong with the legal advice given with respect to the transaction’s structure. Even if the client didn’t receive the transaction documents until later, allowing him only then to confirm the suspicion, a reasonable, but unconfirmed suspicion is enough to start the limitations period running. Also, the client suffered actual damages when he was billed and paid more than $2,000 in attorney fees defending the suit that the other party to the transaction filed against the client. $2,000 is more than nominal damages and enough to start the limitations period running.
California Court of Appeals, Sixth District (Elia, Acting P.J.); October 16, 2018 (published November 14, 2018); 29 Cal. App. 5th 45