Fiduciary obligation exists when a party puts their trust into a professional to provide expertise and perform tasks on behalf of the client. Once the professional agrees to these fiduciary duties, he may not act against the best interest of the client for any reason. The professional must work to the best of his abilities to make sure his client is given the best work. This confidence between client and professional must be protected and the professional must work honestly and diligently to make sure his fiduciary duties are completed for the benefit of the client. If the professional acts against his client or performs tasks for his own personal gain then he would be in breach of his fiduciary duties. 
Fiduciary Relationships and Breaches
  1. Attorney/client
  2. Principal/agent
  3. Trustee/beneficiary
  • Fiduciary- The professional (attorney, principal, or trustee) who must perform duties for the client
  • Client/agent/beneficiary- puts their confidence in the fiduciary to perform their tasks to the best of their ability

This fiduciary relationship must be created under law or through the means of a written contract

How to tell if a fiduciary has breached his/her duties

  1. Did the fiduciary relationship exist at the time of the alleged dispute?
  2. What were the duties of the the fiduciary?
  3. Did the fiduciary complete these duties or act against them? Did the fiduciary act for his own self interest? Did he fail to report pertinent information or conflict of interest

Elements of a breach

  • Duties- The professional has duties such as good faith, fair dealing, full disclosure, and honesty
  • Breach- Misuse, neglect, or misrepresentation of any of the duties would result in a breach
  • Damages- The client suffers damages caused by the breach
    • If the client prevails in the lawsuit, they typically can recover most damages and can even recover punitive damages if the breach was committed out of fraud
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If you are a victim of a breach of contract or if you have been accused of breaching a contract, contact us today to schedule a time to talk about your legal concerns.