Here's a win for lawyers today.
We all know that the statute of limitations on a legal malpractice claim is tolled during the attorney's representation of a client. So, for example, when Attorney X represents Client Y, the statute doesn't start running on Y's claim against X until after the representation terminates.
But here's the rub: What about when Attorney X works for Firm ABC but, during the representation, leaves Firm ABC and takes Client Y with him? Is the statute of limitations on Y's claims against ABC still tolled during X's continuing representation of Y? On the one hand, X continues to represent Y, and it's hardly likely that Y will sue X's old firm (complaining of X's misconduct) while X continues to represent him. So maybe the statute should be tolled. On the other hand, ABC doesn't, in fact, represent Y any longer, so maybe it shouldn't.
The California Court of Appeal, in a case involving (the now-defunct) Arter & Hadden, held that the staute was tolled. I commented on this decision when it came out back in January 2006, and argued that the case was one "that the California Supreme Court should take  up." Which it promptly did. And, today, unanimously reversed.
So fear not. You may have lost an associate, alongside a paying client, when they walked out the door. But, on the upside, the clock started ticking. So you got that going for you. Which is nice.