United States District Court, District of Columbia
P. Mehta United States District Judge
6, 2015, Plaintiffs Houshang Momenian and Vida Momenian filed
suit against their former lawyer, Defendant Michael Davidson,
for legal malpractice and breach of fiduciary duty. After the
court dismissed the original Complaint on
statute-of-limitations grounds, Plaintiffs filed an Amended
Complaint on February 10, 2016, which attempted to cure the
statute-of-limitations deficiencies of the original Complaint
by adding several new allegations. Defendant has moved once
again to dismiss all claims. He asserts, among other
arguments, that Plaintiffs' claims are untimely, even as
reviewing the Amended Complaint and evaluating the
parties' arguments, the court concludes that
Plaintiffs' new allegations have not saved their claims
from the statute-of-limitations bar. The court therefore
grants Defendant's Motion to Dismiss and dismisses this
action with prejudice.
court previously set forth the factual background of this
case in its January 21, 2016, Memorandum Opinion and Order,
which addressed Defendant's first Motion to Dismiss.
See generally Momenian v. Davidson, Civ. No.
1:15-cv-00828 (APM), 2016 WL 259641, at *1-2 (D.D.C. Jan. 21,
2016) [hereinafter Momenian I]; see also
generally Def.'s Mot. to Dismiss, ECF No. 7. The
court presumes familiarity with the facts as stated in that
opinion and thus provides only a short summary of the
relevant allegations, as well as the new allegations
presented by Plaintiffs in support of their claims.
are a husband and wife who, in 1990, purchased three adjacent
properties in Southeast Washington, D.C., from Paul and
Amelia Interdonato. Am. Compl., ECF No. 13, ¶¶ 1-2,
8. In exchange for the properties, Plaintiffs executed a
$265, 000 promissory note payable to Paul Interdonato, which
was secured by a Deed of Trust Note. Id. ¶ 9.
In 2009, Plaintiffs filed a lawsuit against the Interdonatos
in D.C. Superior Court, alleging that the Interdonatos had
failed to credit various payments to Plaintiffs'
promissory note. Id. ¶ 23. Defendant served as
Plaintiffs' lawyer in that case. Id.
October 12, 2010, based on Defendant's advice, Plaintiffs
settled their lawsuit against the Interdonatos (the
“Settlement”). Id. ¶ 28. Under the
terms of the Settlement, Plaintiffs agreed to a $15, 000
credit against their promissory note in exchange for the
dismissal, with prejudice, of their lawsuit against the
Interdonatos. Id. A year and a half later, on May 7,
2012, Plaintiffs and the Interdonatos again became embroiled
in litigation when the Interdonatos issued a Notice of
Foreclosure against Plaintiffs regarding the same properties
at issue in the earlier action. Id. ¶ 34. Once
again, Plaintiffs settled the matter. Id. ¶ 36.
a half years after the second settlement, on May 6, 2015,
Plaintiffs filed a Complaint against Defendant in D.C.
Superior Court, which was then removed to this court. See
generally Compl., ECF 1, Ex. A, ECF No. 1-1 [hereinafter
Compl.]. Plaintiffs alleged that, because Defendant was
negligent in explaining the scope and preclusive effect of
the Settlement, they did not understand that a
“dismissal with prejudice meant that there would be no
future litigation over Plaintiffs' claim that other
amounts should have been credited by the Interdonatos.”
Id. ¶ 27. They also averred that they
repeatedly asked Defendant to hire an accountant, or seek
court appointment of one, to analyze and compute the amounts
the Interdonatos should have credited to Plaintiffs, but that
Defendant failed to engage such a person. Id. ¶
25. This court ultimately dismissed Plaintiffs'
Complaint, without prejudice, on statute of limitations
grounds. See generally Momenian I, 2016 WL 259641.
The court did not dismiss the action in its entirety,
however, and instead afforded Plaintiffs an opportunity to
amend their Complaint. See Id. at *7.
The Amended Complaint
February 10, 2016, Plaintiffs timely filed their Amended
Complaint. See Am. Compl. Although Plaintiffs'
general claims of malpractice and breach of fiduciary duty by
Defendant remained the same, they added several allegations
to the Amended Complaint aimed at curing the
statute-of-limitations problems within the original
Complaint. First, they averred that “Defendant
continued to represent Plaintiffs with regard to the
Interdonato matter subsequent to October 12, 2010, as
evidenced by an invoice from Defendant to Houshang for the
period December 1, 2010[, ] to May 15, 2011.”
Id. ¶ 32. The invoice, excerpted in the Amended
Complaint, seems to show that Defendant worked for Plaintiffs
on the Interdonato matter through April 2011. Id.
Plaintiffs also alleged that “[d]uring 2011 and early
2012, ” Houshang called Defendant “approximately
every three months” regarding the Interdonato matter,
asking Defendant “when he would have an opportunity to
go before a judge.” Id. ¶ 33.
Defendant's response, according to Plaintiffs, was that
“he was working on it.” Id. Finally,
Plaintiffs added an allegation asserting that Houshang had a
conversation with Defendant on January 31, 2013-which
Houshang recorded-during which Defendant told Houshang that
“‘[y]ou did not forfeit any of your rights on
[the Interdonato matter].'” Id. ¶ 38.
February 18, 2016, Defendant renewed his motion to dismiss,
asserting that Plaintiffs' Amended Complaint still failed
to state a claim. See generally Mem. in Support of
Mot. to Dismiss Am. Compl., ECF No. 14-1 [hereinafter
Def.'s Mot.]. Defendant asserted the same arguments that
he had made in his original Motion to Dismiss. He argued that
Plaintiffs: (1) failed to allege negligence or wrongdoing;
(2) failed to allege injury to themselves personally because
they transferred their property interest to the Houshang
Trust; and (3) failed to assert claims within the
statute-of-limitations period. See generally