Try to make sense of this case. It involves legal malpractice and the representations of Chinese hair importers. See below for a discussion of the "discovery statute of limitations" which is very, very rarely invoked successfully.
"On January 9, 2006, pro se plaintiff, Chuanyu Xie ("Xie" or "Plaintiff"), filed a legal malpractice complaint against his former lawyer Chris Lin (a/k/a Xiaoyun Lin), the law firm of Chen, Lin, Li, & Jiang, LLP, the law office of Lin and Li, and the law office of De Hong (collectively "Defendants"). Upon Plaintiff’s request, the complaint was dismissed with prejudice against the law office of De Hong. The remaining Defendants now move to dismiss the complaint against them pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b) (1), (2), and (6) – lack of subject matter and personal jurisdiction, failure to state a claim, as well as expiration of the statute of limitations. In the alternative, the law offices of Lin & Li request that all allegations in the complaint related to them be stricken pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(e), motion for a more definite statement. For the reasons set forth below, the 12(b) motion is GRANTED and thus, I need not reach the 12(e) motion. "
"Defendants also argue that Plaintiff’s legal malpractice claim is time-barred. I agree.
The legal malpractice cause of action must be brought within three years of the alleged malpractice, irrespective of whether the claim is based in contract or tort. N.Y. C.P.L.R. §214(6). Here the claim that gave rise to the cause of action for legal malpractice arose on November 6, 2001 when Judge Cote issued her opinion and held Xie personally liable for the damages. Xie filed his legal malpractice action on January 9, 2006, almost six years later. Nothing in the papers suggests otherwise.
Plaintiff contends however, that he did not discover the malpractice, specifically the alleged collusion between his lawyer, Chris Lin, and his adversary until three years after the conclusion of the case. Even if true, it does not salvage the Plaintiff’s case. It is well-established that a cause of action for legal malpractice accrues on the date of the allegedly improper action, not on the date the malpractice was discovered. Rafter v. Liddle, 2006 WL 2255093, *7 (S.D.N.Y. 2006); see also Wells Fargo Home Mortg., Inc. v. Zeichner, Ellman & Krause, LLP, 771 N.Y.S.2d 892, 893 (N.Y. App. Div. 2004).
Although Xie’s opposition motion (and to a lesser extent, his complaint) is littered with allegations of fraud, these allegations arise out of the same conduct that forms the basis of Xie’s legal malpractice claim. Under New York law, the fraud claim in these circumstances is considered duplicative of the malpractice claim, and thus, must be dismissed. See, e.g., id. at 9; see also Laruccia v. Forchelli, Curto, Schwartz, Mineo, Carlino & Cohn, LLP, 744 N.Y.S.2d 335, 335 (N.Y. App. Div. 2002). As a result, the six year statute of limitations associated with a fraud cause of action is not applicable here. "