Legal Malpractice Statute of Limitations Texas
When does statute of limitations start running in legal malpractice cases ?
In an ordinary negligence case, the filing date would be the date of "legal injury" because the tort was complete then. See McClung v. Johnson, 620 S.W.2d 644, 646 (Tex. Civ. App.-Dallas 1981, writ ref'd n.r.e.).
But in a malpractice case, the statute of limitations does not begin to run until the claimant discovers or should have discovered through the exercise of reasonable care and diligence the facts establishing the elements of his cause of action. Willis,760 S.W.2d at 645-46.
The attorney's conduct must raise only a risk of harm to the client's legally protected interest for the tort to accrue; the harm need not be finally established or an inevitable consequence of the conduct. See Zidell v. Bird, 692 S.W.2d 550, 557 (Tex. App.-Austin 1985, no writ).
A cause of action accrues on a fact specific basis when the client discovers a risk of harm to his economic interests, whether at the time of judgment or otherwise. See Ponder v. Brice & Mankoff, 889 S.W.2d 637, 641-42 (Tex. App.-Houston [14th Dist.] 1994, writ denied).