At the most basic level, a fiduciary is a party that is legally obligated to act in the best interest of another party. There are many different types of fiduciary relationships. A common example is a trustee who must act in the best interest of beneficiaries of the trust.
A breach of fiduciary duty occurs when a fiduciary engages in behavior that contradicts their duty to the other party. When this occurs, the affected party can take legal action and attempt to recover any incurred damages.
By definition, a fiduciary relationship occurs when someone places his or her confidence and trust in someone else. This relationship is usually formed when one party needs help or advice from another.
However, a legally enforceable fiduciary relationship is not formed so easily. Those associations need to be created under the law – for example, in the form of a written contract or by a statute.
Examples of legally-binding fiduciary relationships include:
- An attorney representing a client
- An executor in a will with a duty to the beneficiary or beneficiaries of the estate or trust
- An accountant with a duty to a client
- A corporate officer with a duty to the shareholders
The Three Elements of a Breach of Fiduciary Trust
If someone betrayed your trust and breached their fiduciary duty, his or her actions may have caused you to suffer damages. To remedy the situation, you may be able to pursue compensation. However, you must be able to prove the following elements:
- A fiduciary relationship existed at the time of the wrongful actions
- The defendant breached his or her fiduciary duty
- You suffered damages
Sometimes, proving a breach of fiduciary duty is straightforward. In other cases, it can be difficult to prove all of the elements listed above. The award-winning legal team at Leventhal Lewis has the necessary experience to help you demonstrate that you were the victim of a breach of fiduciary duty.
Breach of Fiduciary Responsibility and Legal Malpractice
An attorney’s fiduciary duty to his or her clients is particularly sacred. When people hire an attorney, it is usually because they are going through a stressful legal situation with high stakes. They cannot navigate the situation on their own, so they have to trust their lawyer to act according to their best interests.
Several actions on the part of a lawyer may constitute a breach of fiduciary duty, including the failure to:
- Know the law and apply it correctly
- Explain risks or obtain consent
- Adequately investigate the case
- File documents
Unfortunately, a client can suffer serious financial and emotional consequences when their lawyer commits a breach of fiduciary duty. In worst case scenarios, a client may go to jail or have their reputation destroyed. That is why it is considered legal malpractice when a lawyer breaches his or her fiduciary duty.
Please call Leventhal Lewis if you’ve suffered because of a previous lawyer’s negligent representation. Our team knows how hard it might be to trust another attorney, but you deserve justice.
Our firm is rated AV Preeminent, the highest distinction given by Martindale-Hubbell. Additionally, our attorneys have been recognized as “Top Attorneys” in multiple practice areas. These awards, as well as our track record of successful cases, are a testament to our professionalism and dedication.
Schedule Your Free in Colorado Springs
If you were hurt by the action or inaction of a trusted fiduciary, you deserve compensation. Our team can provide the swift and aggressive legal action that you need to ensure the success of your case.
Due to the Colorado statute of limitations, you have a short time period in which you can pursue justice for a breach of fiduciary duty. Contact our lawyers today to ensure that you don’t miss your opportunity to act.
Call Leventhal Lewis today at 719-694-3000 to schedule a complimentary to discuss your situation. We serve clients in the Colorado Springs, Pueblo, and Castle Rock areas as well as throughout Colorado.