Protecting Both Business Finances And Futures

Breach Of Fiduciary Duty Claims Handled With Care

When one party relies on another party to act in its best interests, a fiduciary relationship is formed. When a fiduciary takes an action that adversely affects the other party in the relationship, it may provide grounds for bringing forth a breach of fiduciary duty claim.

At the Orange County law firm of Burkhalter Kessler Clement & George LLP (Burkhalter Kessler Clement & George LLP), our attorneys provide skilled representation for parties on either side of breach of fiduciary duty claims. We will work hard to protect your valuable interests and to help achieve the best possible resolution for your legal matter.

Who May Be Considered A Fiduciary?

A fiduciary is another person or party who is charged with making financial decisions for another person or business. Typical fiduciaries include:

  • Stockbrokers
  • Brokerage firms
  • Financial advisers
  • Administrators of investment plans
  • Company partners and officers
  • Real estate agents

A fiduciary relationship is created when one party trusts that the other party will aid, advise or otherwise protect the client when it comes to financial dealings. When there is a violation of this trust, a case may be made that a breach of fiduciary duty occurred.

If a court finds that there was indeed a breach, compensatory and, in some cases, punitive damages may be awarded to the client who was harmed. With extensive business litigation experience, our lawyers understand how to handle these cases efficiently and effectively.

What Are The Legal Obligations Of A Fiduciary?

A fiduciary is entrusted with many responsibilities and obligations. Their main purpose is to act in the best interests of another person or entity by observing a duty of care, confidentiality, loyalty, good faith, disclosure and prudence.

In other words, a fiduciary has a legal and ethical obligation to put the other party’s interests above their own. Fiduciaries can be trustees, executors, guardians, powers of attorney, corporate officers, business partners, financial advisors, pension fund managers and escrow agents, among others, so their exact obligations may vary according to the situation

What Can Give Rise To A Claim Of Breach Of Fiduciary Duty?

A breach of fiduciary duty would mean that the fiduciary failed to honor their legal obligations by breaching a client’s trust and causing them damages, such as financial losses. Examples of breaches include:

  • Self-dealing
  • Conflicts of interest
  • Misappropriation of fund
  • Negligent investments
  • Incompetent management
  • Lack of transparency
  • Failure to maintain confidentiality
  • Fraud or dishonesty
  • Failure to keep records

In short, anything that would tend to negatively affect the interests of the party owed the fiduciary duty could be a breach.

How Do You Prove That A Breach Of Fiduciary Duty Occurred?

Our clients often ask us how they can prove a breach of fiduciary duty. We can help clients navigate the legal complexities of each case and develop a strategic approach to the situation when potential breaches are suspected. At Burkhalter Kessler Clement & George LLP, we can:

  • Identify and define the fiduciary relationship between the parties
  • Collect evidence of the breach in the form of documents, communications, records, witness testimony and expert testimony
  • Prove that the breach caused harm to the beneficiary or entity that could have otherwise been avoided

Finally, as part of any civil lawsuit, we will work to establish the true nature of any monetary losses the fiduciary’s breach caused and the appropriate remedies for the breach.

Contact Our Attorneys For Help With Your Business Litigation Needs

If you feel that you or your business has been the victim of a breach of fiduciary duty or if you have been accused of failing to carry out your fiduciary duties, speak with us. Contact us online or call 888-714-1738 to schedule a consultation. At Burkhalter Kessler Clement & George LLP, we provide business litigation services to companies throughout California.