DR. CHARLES P. CURRIER AND CHARLES BRADLEY CURRIER
GREGORY M. ANDING AND CNA INSURANCE COMPANY
APPEAL FROM THE NINETEENTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT NUMBER
635624, DIVISION D, PARISH OF EAST BATON ROUGE STATE OF
LOUISIANA HONORABLE JANICE G. CLARK, JUDGE
T. Talley Baton Rouge, Louisiana Counsel for
Plaintiff-Appellant Dr. Charles P. Currier
Connell L. Archey Keith J. Fernandez Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Counsel for Defendants-Appellees Gregory M. Anding and
Continental Casualty Company
Gracella Simmons Collin J. LeBlanc Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Counsel for Defendants-Appellees Paul Ray Dry and Continental
BEFORE: WHIPPLE, C.J., McDONALD AND CHUTZ, JJ.
Dr. Charles Currier, appeals the trial court's judgment,
sustaining a peremptory exception raising the objection of
peremption filed by defendants-appellees, Gregory Anding and
Continental Casualty Company, and dismissing Dr.
Currier's legal malpractice against them. We affirm.
AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
following facts are undisputed. Dr. Currier resided at 4755
Claycut Road and owned two undeveloped lots adjacent to and
contiguous with the property upon which his residence is
located. Sometime before July 2011, Dr. Currier received
notice from the City of Baton Rouge/Parish of East Baton
Rouge (the City) advising him that the City proposed to
acquire the two lots to improve its adjacent sewerage
facility. Dr. Currier contracted with Anding, an attorney
practicing law with the Kean Miller law firm, for legal
representation. According to the letter of engagement, on
July 8, 2011, Anding stated that Kean Miller would provide
legal services related to the City's proposed
expropriation of Dr. Currier's property on an hourly
basis. Dr. Currier accepted the engagement on July 18, 2011.
8, 2011, Anding wrote a letter advising the City of his
representation of Dr. Currier. Anding expressly stated,
"Dr. Currier had plans to construct a home for his son
on the area of the proposed taking. The plans and intent of
doing that are so his son could care for him and avoid the
necessity of having to place Dr. Currier in a retirement
community or nursing home as he continues to age." On
July 18 and August 11, 2011, Dr. Currier and Anding met with
City representatives to discuss Dr. Currier's concerns
about the aesthetics of the project and how the City's
upgrade of its pump station at the sewerage facility near his
house would impact his property value.
appraisals were undertaken by the City. On December 27, 2011,
in a letter addressed solely to Dr. Currier, the City
determined that the just compensation of Dr. Currier's
property, including compensable damage, was $80, 312.00, and
made "a firm offer" of that amount to Dr. Currier
for the voluntary sale of his two lots. On December 30, 2011,
the City's attorney emailed Anding asking if he could
return a telephone call from Anding's client, Dr.
Currier. Anding responded in the affirmative.
January 25, 2012, Dr. Currier accepted the City's offer
of $80, 312.00 for the sale of his two lots. An act of sale
was executed by Dr. Currier on February 17, 2012.
Currier filed a petition for damages on December 8, 2014,
naming Anding and his liability insurer as
defendants. According to Dr. Currier's
allegations, in September of 2014, he "discovered that
the advice rendered by ... Anding was negligent and
deficient." The petition averred that Anding failed to
fully inform Dr. Currier of his right to recover compensation
to the full extent of his loss and, in particular, to
severance damages to the remainder of his property. Dr.
Currier alleged that had he been fully and appropriately
advised by Anding, he would not have voluntarily sold the
lots and sought damages as a result.
subsequently filed a peremptory exception asserting that Dr.
Currier's petition was untimely and perempted. A hearing
was held on September 28, 2016. During examination of Dr.
Currier by his attorney, the trial judge inquired how much
testimony he had left to present. Dr. Currier's attorney
replied, "Ten minutes, " and the trial judge
stated, "You can have ten more minutes." Later, the
trial judge apparently determined that Dr. Currier's
examination was not relevant to the issue of the timeliness
of his lawsuit, indicating that counsel would be allowed to
brief the timeliness issue and expressly stating, "You
may extrapolate some of the testimony that's been adduced
today but not the testimony that is woefully outside the
ambit" of the timeliness issue. The trial court
subsequently signed a judgment on October 18, 2016,
sustaining defendants' peremptory exception and
dismissing Dr. Currier's claims. Dr. Currier's motion
for new trial or, alternatively, motion for reconsideration,
was denied. Dr. Currier appeals.
is raised by a peremptory exception. See La. C.C.P.
art. 927. Ordinarily, the exceptor bears the burden of proof
at the trial of the peremptory exception. Peremption has been
likened to prescription; namely, it is prescription that is
not subject to interruption or suspension. Straub v.
Richardson, 2011-1689 (La.App. 1st Cir. 5/2/12), 92
So.3d 548, 552, writ denied, 2012-1212 (La.
9/21/12), 98 So.3d 341.
such, the following rules apply to peremption. If peremption
is evident on the face of the pleadings, the burden shifts to
the plaintiff to show the action is not perempted. If
evidence is introduced at the hearing on the exception of
peremption, the trial court's findings of fact are
reviewed under the manifest error-clearly wrong standard of
review. If the findings are reasonable in light of the record
reviewed in its entirety, an appellate court may not reverse
even though ...