Time Frame to File Legal Documents

I wrote last year about a unpaid wages issue and followed your suggestion to contact a lawyer. After looking at my case the lawyer agreed it was a solid case and accepted responsibility to recover my money. The lawyer sent several letters to the CEO and President of the company demanding money owed. After he talked to their legal counsel about the issue there has been no further activity. My lawyer assures me there is no problem but has not filed anything with the New York State Court. My question is;
Do I have any recourse against this lawyer if he drags his feet too long and does not file the correct papers to protect my claim. He has told me that they agree wages are owed to me but the time frame of weeks worked is the issue. Should I consider contacting a different Lawyer and insist that he file court documents?

1 answer  |  asked Jun 16, 2005 06:47 AM [EST]  |  applies to New York

Answers (1)

David M. Lira
Attorney Blowing the Statute of Limitations

I don't recall your earier query, and it doesn't matter. I can't comment on a specific situation because I don't know all of the details. I can make some very general observations.

Wage and hour claims in New York State have two statutes of limitations, two (and sometimes three) under the Fair Labor Standards Act (a federal law) and six years under state law. Each pay period starts a new limitations period for that pay period. The two sets of laws are different. The federal law is somewhat more advantageous because of the more generous liquidated damages provision.

With the assumption that you retained the attorney in a timely fashion, if an attorney fails to file a claim within the statue of limitations, that attorney opens him or herself up to a potential legal malpractice claim.

Legal malpractice claims have a three year statute of limitations in New York State.

posted by David M. Lira  |  Jun 16, 2005 1:58 PM [EST]

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