Breach of Fiduciary Duty FAQ

When trust gets broken in a business or legal relationship, the consequences can be devastating to the victim’s finances, professional life, and even their personal life. You know this because you yourself have been ripped off or blindsided by someone you thought you could trust. Don’t let the party that wronged you get away with such injustice. Call the experienced Orange County litigation attorneys at McFarlin LLP, at (888) 728-0044. We will help you bring legal action against the other party so you can recover your losses and prevent others from being victimized.

Q: What is a fiduciary relationship?

A: A fiduciary relationship is any relation involving a transaction between parties wherein one of the parties, the fiduciary, is legally bound to act in complete good faith in the best interests of the other party. In other words, the fiduciary in the relationship is expected to do their utmost best to serve the recipient and meet their needs without taking advantage of them. It is basically a contract of integrity.

Q: What are the duties of a fiduciary?

A: The fiduciary owes his/her beneficiary the duty of undivided loyalty. While in the beneficiary’s service, the fiduciary must never act in a manner that goes against his/her interests. In short, the fiduciary’s interests are directly linked with those of the beneficiary.
In the performance of his/her duty, the fiduciary must manage the beneficiary’s affairs with due care, take account of his/her goals, and keep him/her well informed of his/her affairs pertinent to the transaction.

Q: What kinds of relationships are considered fiduciary?

A: Fiduciary duties are necessary in certain technical, legal relationships, including relationships between:

  • Principal and agent
  • Attorney and client
  • Business partners
  • Joint ventures
  • Corporate officers / director and shareholder
  • Husband and wife, with respect to shared assets
  • Controlling shareholder and minority shareholder
  • Trustee and beneficiary
  • Guardian and ward
  • Pension fund trustee and beneficiary
  • Executor and estate

Q: What constitutes a breach of fiduciary duty?

A: There are three primary forms of breach of fiduciary duty. They include breach of reasonable care, breach of duty of loyalty, and breach of confidentiality. Other forms include acts of fraud and negligent misrepresentation.

In order to bring legal action against a fiduciary for breaching their duties, you must be able to establish the following:

  1. Existence of a fiduciary duty
  2. The duty was breached; and
  3. Considerable damages resulted from the breach.

Q: What damages can I recover in a breach of fiduciary duty lawsuit?

A: You may recover monetary damages for any lost profits that resulted from the breach, fees that you paid to the fiduciary for their services, profits obtained by the fiduciary while you were their principal, and punitive damages may be available as well in specifically defined egregious cases.

Q: Why should I choose McFarlin LLP?

A: At McFarlin LLP, we strive to reach a positive outcome to our client’s legal or transactional matters by implementing our philosophy of practical and effective representation. Placing our client’s needs at the forefront of all engagements is our top priority. Our approach is to conserve client resources wherever possible without sacrificing the quality of our service. For more information, please don’t hesitate to contact our office.

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Timothy McFarlin

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