A “statute of limitations” is a law that places a time limit on when a claim can be brought. These time limits are designed to prevent fraudulent and stale claims from arising after the passage of time or the defective memory, death, or disappearance of witnesses. The statute of limitations is a defense that is ordinarily asserted by the defendant to defeat an action brought against him after the appropriate time has elapsed. In Gunn v. First American Financial Corporation, fraud was involved, which tolled the clock and gave the plaintiff more time to amend his complaint.
La Mar Gunn lost his property through a foreclosure action. On February 1, 2013, he filed a complaint acting as his own attorney, alleging violations of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (“RESPA”) and the Truth in Lending Act (“TILA”), as well as breach of contract, against First American Financial Corporation. First American provided Gunn with title and settlement services in connection with the foreclosed property. Gunn also asserted a claim of legal malpractice against attorney Douglas Shachtman, who represented him in state court proceedings related to the foreclosure. Gunn sought monetary damages from both parties.