SEYBURN KAHN GINN BESS DEITCH & SERLIN PC V KIRIT BAKSHIAnnotate this Case
STATE OF MICHIGAN
COURT OF APPEALS
SEYBURN, KAHN, GINN, BESS, DEITCH AND
April 1, 2008
Oakland Circuit Court
LC No. 1999-018126-CK
Advance Sheets Version
Before: Saad, P.J., and Jansen and Beckering, JJ.
JANSEN, J. (concurring).
I fully concur in the result reached by the majority. I write separately, however, because
I would decide this appeal in a less complex manner. An attorney-client relationship typically
terminates at the same time that a potential legal-malpractice claim accrues. In general, "a legal
malpractice claim accrues on the attorney's 'last day of professional service' in the matter out of
which the claim for malpractice arose," or "'upon completion of a specific legal service that the
lawyer was retained to perform.'" Kloian v Schwartz, 272 Mich App 232, 238; 725 NW2d 671
(2006) (citations omitted). "In general, once an attorney has discontinued serving the plaintiffclient, additional acts by the attorney will not delay or postpone the accrual of a legal malpractice
claim." Id. at 238 n 2. In other words, follow-up and incidental activities—such as copying and
forwarding a client's file—do not serve to extend an otherwise terminated attorney-client
relationship. See Bauer v Ferriby & Houston, PC, 235 Mich App 536, 539; 599 NW2d 493
The attorney-client relationship in this case terminated when plaintiff withdrew on
September 30, 1993, see Kloian, supra at 238, and plaintiff's subsequent ministerial acts of
copying and transmitting defendant's file did not extend the otherwise terminated professional
relationship beyond that date, see Bauer, supra at 539. Consequently, plaintiff's contract-based
cause of action for the recovery of attorney fees also accrued on September 30, 1993. See
Pellettieri, Rabstein & Altman v Protopapas, 383 NJ Super 142, 149 n 7; 890 A2d 1022 (2006)
(observing that "[t]he generally accepted rule is that an attorney's cause of action for legal fees
accrues, for statute of limitation purposes, when the suit is completed or the attorney-client
relationship is terminated, whichever happens first"); see also Jenney v Airtek Corp, 402 Mass
152, 154; 521 NE2d 388 (1988) (observing that "an attorney's cause of action for fees accrues no
later than when his services terminate").
I would reverse and remand for entry of judgment in favor of defendant.
/s/ Kathleen Jansen