PKSLLP Wins on Appeal of Demurrer
The 2nd Appellate District Court in Reza Fateh Manesh v. Geoffrey G. Melkonian affirmed the trial court’s order sustaining Melkonian’s demurrer on all counts involving legal malpractice claims. Justice Carl H. Moor found, with Justices Lamar W. Baker and Dorothy C. Kim concurring, there was no continued representation to effectively toll the statute of limitations on appellants’ action because an attorney’s failure to formally withdraw from representation does not necessarily mean the attorney continues to represent the client.
The Court cited Flake v. Neumiller & Beardslee (2017) 9 Cal.App.5th 223, 230–231 stating “[T]he failure to formally withdraw as attorney of record, standing alone, will not toll the statute of limitations under the rubric of continued representation.” In other words, tolling under the continuous representation exception ends when “a client has no reasonable expectation the attorney will provide further legal services.” Ibid.
The Appellate court also agreed the most significant evidence showing there was no continued representation, which the firm unearthed and presented via request for judicial notice, was appellant Manesh’s amended statement of assets for his pending bankruptcy in which he identified he had ripe malpractice claims against Melkonian.