This Div is a JS Trigger
Issue 70 | July 2021


This newsletter includes information to help lawyers reduce the likelihood of being sued for malpractice. The material presented is not intended to establish, report, or create the standard of care for lawyers. The articles do not represent a complete analysis of the topics presented, and readers should conduct their own appropriate legal research.
Beat the Clock: Limitation of Actions

The May 2021 edition of LIANSwers published an article called “Know Your Limitations” to remind lawyers that the limitation periods set out in the Limitation of Actions Act are not always applicable to all situations. It is important to understand and research any idiosyncrasies in that area of law or applicable statute if you are unsure or are not familiar with that particular legislation. 

For example, the Fatal Injuries Act, RSNS 1989, c 163, sets a twelve month limitation period to commence an action. The Municipal Government Act, SNS 1998, c 18, s. 512, has a similar section that any action is required to be commenced within twelve months. However, that is not the end of the story. Section 512 of the MGA also requires that advance notice of any such action be given to the Municipality, Village, Town, etc., at least one month prior to the commencement of the action. Another act with such a requirement is the Proceedings Against the Crown Act, RSNS 1989, c 360, which, at s. 18, states that no action shall be brought against the Crown unless two months notice is given and served on the Attorney General. In LIANS’ experience, Municipal and Crown lawyers are rigid with this notice requirement and deem it to be a necessity before commencing a valid action.

These are merely a few examples, and not meant to be an exhaustive list, of legislation that may have a shorter limitation period, and/or include statutory clauses which require additional steps before an action can be commenced. When in doubt, or if there is any question at all with respect to a limitation period, go to the legislation, ask your peers and colleagues, and do caselaw research, to satisfy yourself you are not “missing” an important and crucial limitation period or step in the litigation process. Do not assume the 2 year general Limitation of Actions Act period applies.