On March 30, 2017, the Virginia Supreme Court applied its “continuous-representation rule” to the legal malpractice claims in Moonlight Enterprises, LLC v. Mroz, No. 160381. It affirmed grant of plea in bar to one lawyer and reversed and remanded plea in bar to another lawyer on statute-of-limitations grounds by Fairfax County Circuit Court. Id.at 1, 12.

Moonlight declared that as a general rule “the cause of action arises from the time when [legal] malpractice occurred, …without any reference to the circumstances whether the client then knew the fact or not”. Id. at 4. It then delineated the “continuous-representation rule,” a tolling principle that “the statute of limitations begins to run when the attorney’s services are rendered in connection with that particular undertaking or transaction have terminated, notwithstanding the continuation of a general attorney-client relationship”. Id.at 5.

Moonlight emphasized that such tolling ends when the lawyer renders his “last professional services” – even if he “technically remained counsel of record even after [another lawyer] took over sole responsibility for the case”. Id. at 8-9. It rejected extending the “continuous representation rule” to “imputed work,” a minority rule. Id. 9-12.

Currently Mr. Waterman is representing a Williamsburg motor vehicle victim who subsequently was victim of legal malpractice in Sydow v. Geddy Harris Franck & Hickman, No. CL16001318-00. Defendant law firm nonsuited the underlying motor vehicle accident suit and failed to refile on time, thereby extinguished its claim for her for $500,000.00 in damages plus legal interest retroactive to the 2011 car crash, despite the offending motorist having $2,000,000.00 in insurance coverage for the claim.