A state appeals court panel in California has ruled against former retirement planning clients in a case that hinges on how a fiduciary relationship affects the official time limit on when clients can sue their advisors.

A three-judge panel at California's 6th Appellate District Court looked at the lawsuit filing periods for the relevant statutes of limitations. The panel found that the filing periods began when the planning clients learned about possible planning problems, while they were still the advisors' clients, not after the clients broke away from the advisors.

The panel gave that interpretation earlier this week in a ruling on Nelson Choi et al. v. Sagemark Consulting at al. and American General Life Insurance Co. (Case Number H041569)

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Allison Bell

Allison Bell, a senior reporter at ThinkAdvisor and BenefitsPRO, previously was an associate editor at National Underwriter Life & Health. She has a bachelor's degree in economics from Washington University in St. Louis and a master's degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. She can be reached through X at @Think_Allison.