Missing a statute of limitations is the surest way of receiving a malpractice claim. About all you can do is hope there are no damages and, if there are, ask where to send the check. Since limitations periods are subject to change, you cannot rely on past experience or checklists, but must research limitations periods for all new matters.
For example, are you aware of these 2014 KRS changes?
- KRS 413.090(2) and 413.160 change the limitations period for actions upon written contracts executed after July 15, 2014 to 10 years from 15 years. (Editor’s note: Be sure to confirm that none of the special situation exceptions in KRS 413.090 are applicable.)
- KRS 413.090(5) establishes a new limitations period of 15 years for actions to recover unpaid child support arrearages.
We recommend you read KRS 413.090 and 413.160 and use the following statute of limitations risk management procedures for all new matters:
- No new matter is opened without researching statute of limitations periods. Applicable statutes should be noted in the file in writing by a lawyer and a copy included in the file. If there are none, a note for file to that effect should be made.
- Stamp on the front of the file applicable limitations periods and set reminder notice dates in the firm’s docket system providing ample lead-time to meet limitations periods.
- The responsible lawyer, after meeting a deadline, should record the next deadline on the file and set a reminder notice in the docket system.
- Assign an alternative lawyer responsibility to respond to a reminder notice if the responsible lawyer is unavailable or fails to respond.