Understanding Breach of Fiduciary Duties
June 30, 2022
There are numerous situations in which one individual or entity may owe a duty to act in the best interests of another party. The duty is known as a “fiduciary duty.” In a nutshell, a fiduciary duty requires a person or entity to act in a way that will benefit another person. Failing to fulfill the obligation may result in a breach of fiduciary duty claim.
If someone who owes you a fiduciary duty failed to perform their obligations or you are a fiduciary accused of breaching a fiduciary duty, it’s important to contact a knowledgeable attorney. As a business law attorney at Uloth, P.C., I can help you understand the nuances and complexities of a breach of fiduciary duty. From my office in Addison, Texas, I proudly serve clients in Dallas, Plano, and throughout the state of Texas.
What Are Fiduciary Duties?
A fiduciary duty is a legal obligation that requires one party to act in the best interests of another party. Usually, fiduciary duties are imposed upon individuals or entities that have some discretionary power in the interests of another party. Some examples of individuals with fiduciary duties include lawyers, financial advisors, trustees, and employers.
A fiduciary duty is legally enforceable when the relationship between the parties was established under the law (e.g., a contract) or through factual circumstances. When fiduciary duties are enforceable, the fiduciary who breaches their duties may be held liable for failing to fulfill their obligations.
What Constitutes a Fiduciary Duty Breach?
A breach of fiduciary duty is a situation that occurs when a person or entity that has a legal obligation to act in the best interests of another party fails to do so. The party who suffered harm as a result of a breach of fiduciary duty must establish the following elements to hold their fiduciary legally responsible for the breach:
The existence of the duty. The first element that must be established when pursuing a breach of fiduciary duty claim is that there was, in fact, a fiduciary duty either under the law or through factual circumstances.
A breach of fiduciary duty. Once the plaintiff proves that the defendant owed them a duty to act in their best interests, the second element that must be established is the breach of fiduciary duty.
The plaintiff suffered damages. A plaintiff cannot hold another party responsible for a breach of fiduciary duty if they cannot prove that they suffered actual damages. Generally, it means putting a dollar figure on the damages suffered by the plaintiff as a result of the breach.
A link between the breach of fiduciary duty and the plaintiff’s damages. The final element of a breach of fiduciary duty claim is proving that there is a link between the plaintiff’s actual damages and the fiduciary’s failure to act in the best interests of the plaintiff.
Common examples of breaches of fiduciary duties include putting one’s own interests above the client’s interests and acting in a way that is contrary to the best interests of the client. An experienced business lawyer can help you review the facts of your case and determine if your situation warrants a breach of fiduciary duty claim and you can hold the fiduciary responsible for the breach.
Consequences of a Fiduciary Duty Breach
Breaching a fiduciary duty can expose the fiduciary to serious legal and professional consequences. If the case proceeds to court, it will be available to the public, which means the fiduciary can suffer from reputational damage.
If a plaintiff successfully proves that a breach of fiduciary duty occurred, the fiduciary may be required to pay for the plaintiff’s damages and cover the legal costs associated with the proceedings.
Breach of Fiduciary Duties
Attorney in Dallas, Texas
If you are a victim of a fiduciary duty breach or you are a fiduciary accused of failing to act in the best interests of your client, reach out to an attorney to help you fight for the best possible outcome in your case. As a breach of fiduciary duty attorney in Dallas, Texas, I am dedicated to assisting clients in Dallas and throughout the state to pursue and defend against breach of fiduciary duty claims. Schedule a consultation to discuss the details of your case.