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A Massachusetts Statute of Limitations Checklist

In evaluating any business litigation matter, one of the first and most critical points to consider (as a plaintiff or a defendant) is whether any aspect of the case may be untimely because it is barred by operation of a statute of limitation.  Too often, plaintiffs lose valuable claims because they (or their lawyer) fail to appreciate that the "clock" on one or more of their claims has run down.  Defendants, on the other hand, sometimes overlook excellent statute of limitations based defenses that can reduce or eliminate their exposure in a lawsuit.  Wouldn't it be useful if there were, in one place, a summary of the laws concerning the time limitations, accrual periods, and exceptions applicable to Massachusetts commercial cases?  Now there is one.  My colleague William G. Cosmas and I are pleased to share the Massachusetts Statute of Limitations Checklist that we prepared for publication with the Practical Law Company.  

The checklist (available by clicking the link, above) summarizes Massachusetts limitations periods, accrual periods, and exceptions (like the discovery rule and various statutes of repose) applicable to many commercial claims.  The checklist covers time limitations on contract and warranty claims, breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, unfair competition, antitrust, fraudulent concealment, consumer protection, insurance bad faith, and shareholder claims, among other common commercial causes of action in Massachusetts. 

Of course, statute of limitation law, like all law, is dynamic.  It evolves.  One cannot underestimate the importance of getting a current evaluation of any time limitations issues from an experienced attorney in the relevant jurisdiction.

Nevertheless, we hope the Massachusetts Statue of Limitations Checklist will assist practitioners and parties alike who are looking for a starting point to analyze the timeliness of a variety of commercial claims.

To view Will Cosmas's biography or contact him, click here.

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