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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

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Attorney Malady

I think an argument can be made for the opposite proposition. Kracht v. Perrin, Gartland & Doyle (1990) 219 Cal.App.3d 1019, 1022-23 citing to Southland Mechanical Constructors Corp. v. Nixen (1981) 119 Cal.App.3d 417, 428-29 (overruled on other grounds) and Jackson v. Rogers & Wells (1989) 210 Cal.App.3d 336, 346, 349 states that the statute of limitation governing malpractice claims applies to the complaint whether pled as a breach of contract or a tort claim if the gravamen of the claim is legal malpractice. While violation of B&P 17200 is not necessarily a contract or a tort claim, an argument can be made that the gravaman of the claim is still legal malpractice and that the 1 year or 4 year SOL, whichever is less, applies.

Kimberly A. Kralowec

That's very interesting. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I was thinking of the question in terms of how far back you could reach to recover, but if the malpractice occurred 3 years and 11 months ago, far outside the usual one-year limitations period, and that was the reason for suing under the UCL, that could be a different story. Also, I still think there seems to be little point in using the UCL to try to pursue a malpractice claim because of the narrow remedies.

JRH

I agree with Kim's original post. Following the Cortez decision, it doesn't matter what the gravemen of the claim is -- the UCL statute of limitations is 4 years. I think the limitation on remedies is key. Under the UCL, you are not extending the limitations period for the underlying claim itself and you cannot seek remedies aside from UCL remedies. This presents a different situation than the Kracht case and the other cases considering which of two limitations periods would apply to an actio nfor damages since the UCL does not allow recovery of damages.

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