The New York Court of Appeals today declined to apply the "continuous representation" doctrine to toll the running of limitations on an auditor malpractice claim.  The court noted that the doctrine extends an applicable limitations period if the parties to a professional engagement (and not just a professional relationship) explicitly expect the engagement to continue after injury-causing conduct (malpractice) occurs — as where a patient keeps seeing the doctor after he malpracticed on her.  Because in this case the audit client’s allegations negated an expectation of further work on the bad audits at issue, the court affirmed dismissal of the complaint:

Plaintiff’s allegations make clear that for the years in question, the Funds entered into annual engagements with defendant for the provision of separate and discrete audit services for the Funds’ year-end financial statements, and once defendant performed the services for a particular year, no further work as to that year was undertaken.  Taken together, plaintiff’s allegations establish defendant’s failures within a continuing professional relationship, not a course of representation as to the particular problems (conditions) that gave rise to plaintiff’s malpractice claims.

Williamson v. PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, No. 64 (N.Y. June 8, 2007).

Barry Barnett

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