JOHN S. KAMINSKI
March 13, 2019
to recover damages for legal malpractice, and for other
relief, brought to the Superior Court in the judicial
district of Hartford, where the court, Hon. Joseph H.
Pellegrino, judge trial referee, granted the
defendant's motion for summary judgment and rendered
judgment thereon, from which the plaintiff appealed to this
S. Kaminski, self-represented, the appellant (plaintiff).
Poirot, self-represented, the appellee (defendant).
DiPentima, C. J., and Alvord and Conway, Js.
self-represented plaintiff, John S. Kaminski, appeals from
the summary judgment rendered by the trial court in favor of
the defendant, Attorney David Poirot. On appeal, the
plaintiff claims that the court erroneously concluded that
his legal malpractice action against the defendant was time
barred pursuant to General Statutes § 52-577, the
statute of limitations applicable to tort
actions. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.
following facts and procedural history are relevant to our
resolution of the plaintiff's appeal. On June 8, 2012,
the plaintiff was a passenger in a Department of Correction
van driven by a correction officer. He was being transported
to a medical facility for a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
scan because of a lower back problem. At some point during
the trip, the van's left rear tire blew out, and the van
moved to the left hand side of the highway and struck a
guardrail. The plaintiff, alleging that he suffered back and
neck injuries as a result of the incident, commenced a
negligence action as a self-represented party against three
individual defendants employed by the Department of
Correction (underlying action) on June 18, 2013. On January
28, 2014, the defendant attorney filed an appearance on the
April 3, 2014, the defendant filed a motion to cite in the
state of Connecticut as a defendant in the underlying action.
On April 21, 2014, the court granted the motion, and the
defendant summoned the state to appear and filed an amended
complaint on May 7, 2014. On May 8, 2014, the defendant
withdrew the complaint against all of the individual
defendants, leaving the state as the sole defendant in the
underlying action. On June 25, 2014, the defendant filed a
motion for permission to withdraw his appearance, claiming
that the attorney-client relationship had broken down. On
July 1, 2014, the plaintiff filed an appearance in the
underlying action as a self-represented party in lieu of the
appearance of the defendant.
plaintiff continued to represent himself in the underlying
action. The case was tried to the court, Swienton,
J. On November 29, 2016, the court issued a memorandum
of decision in which it concluded that the record was
‘‘bereft of any evidence'' demonstrating
that the state breached any duty owed to the plaintiff. The
court rendered judgment in favor of the state.
November 9, 2017, the self-represented plaintiff commenced
this action against the defendant claiming legal malpractice.
From a very broad and liberal reading of his complaint, it
appears that the plaintiff is alleging that the defendant was
‘‘unprofessional'' when he withdrew as
counsel for the plaintiff in the underlying action and that
the defendant left the plaintiff with a very complex matter
to litigate by changing the underlying action from a simple
negligence action against individual state employees to a
General Statutes § 52-556 action against the state. On
December8, 2017, the defendant filed an answer and special
defense, alleging that the plaintiff's claim was barred
by the statute of limitations, § 52-577. The plaintiff
filed a reply to the special defense on December 21, 2017.
February 5, 2018, the defendant filed a motion for summary
judgment, accompanied by a memorandum of law in support of
his motion. The defendant argued that the plaintiff was
alleging that the defendant's act of malpractice was
withdrawing the underlying action as to the three individual
defendants, which occurred on May 8, 2014. Because §
52-577 is a three year statute of limitations, the defendant
claimed that the present action was required to be commenced
by May 8, 2017. The defendant was served with the
plaintiff's legal malpractice action on November 9, 2017,
which is more than three years from the date of the alleged
malpractice. Accordingly, the defendant claimed that the
plaintiff's action was time barred and that he was
entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
plaintiff filed his objection to the defendant's motion
for summary judgment on February 15, 2018. In the
plaintiff's response, he claimed that the three year
period did not commence until Judge Swienton had rendered
judgment in favor of the state on November 29, 2016.
Accordingly, the plaintiff's position was that he had
until November 29, 2019, to file the legal malpractice claim
against the defendant. Because the defendant was served on
November 9, 2017, the plaintiff argued that he had ...