DeLeo v. Nusbaum
Connecticut Supreme Court
263 Conn. 588, 821 A.2d 744 (2003)
David DeLeo (plaintiff) sued his divorce attorney, Edward Nusbaum, and Nusbaum’s law firm (collectively, Nusbaum) (defendants) for malpractice more than three years after Nusbaum stipulated to an agreement allowing DeLeo only supervised visitation with his children. The trial court found the malpractice action time-barred and directed a verdict for Nusbaum. No appellate decision had yet addressed whether Connecticut followed the continuous-representation doctrine, which tolls legal-malpractice claims while representation continues. The trial judge also reasoned the doctrine would not protect DeLeo anyway because his relationship with his attorneys had deteriorated to the point that it had essentially terminated. DeLeo had written to his wife stating that her lawyers had committed malpractice and billing fraud and that his had “not done much better,” but he admitted Nusbaum could not mitigate the damage the stipulation caused. Meanwhile, a Connecticut appellate court adopted the continuous-representation doctrine in another case. The Connecticut Supreme Court transferred DeLeo’s appeal to itself to decide.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Sullivan, C.J.)
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