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Kingma Presented GA Professional Liability Section’s report on the Newell Recycling case

September 8, 2011

On September 8, 2011, Joe Kingma, Partner and head of the Firm’s Commercial Litigation practice group, presented the Georgia Professional Liability Section’s report on the Newell Recycling case to the Executive Committee of the State Bar of Georgia. The Georgia Supreme Court’s Newell decision suggests that the statute of limitations for professional liability claims against lawyers, accountants, engineers, architects and the like is six years when there is a written contract. For the past 50 years Georgia decisions had consistently ruled that the statute of limitations was four years for claims against most of these professionals. The report had been compiled and edited by Carlock Copeland’s Pete Werdesheim, who chaired the Section’s subcommittee on this report. Kingma argued to the State Bar that the confusion raised by the Newell decision would increase professional liability litigation and make insurance more expensive and difficult to obtain. It could also encourage professionals to avoid written engagement letters. Kingma suggested that the Section draft a comprehensive Professional Liability Statute of Limitations and the State Bar agreed. The Bar wants the draft by November so it can gain the support of accountants, architects, and engineers and then seek passage in the Georgia Legislature in January of 2012. If you are interested in contributing or commenting let Joe Kingma, Pete Werdesheim or another member of the Section know your thoughts soon.

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