What Is Considered a Breach of Fiduciary Duty?

Posted November 9th, 2022.

Categories: Legal Malpractice.

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When you hire an attorney to handle your legal case, you likely trust that they will always work with your best interest in mind. So when the opposite occurs, it can be disappointing. Not only disappointing, but it can also negatively impact the outcome of your case. With this, you may be able to claim a breach of fiduciary duty. Follow along to find out what is considered a breach of fiduciary duty and how a proficient New Jersey legal malpractice attorney at The Law Offices of Mark S. Guralnick can help you in understanding this.

What is fiduciary duty?

First of all, a fiduciary is considered a person who is legally obligated to act in the best interest of those they serve or those who have hired them. In your case, your attorney would be considered a fiduciary.

With that being said, this means that a fiduciary duty is to act with loyalty and care. Specifically, loyalty in that they will put your interests before their own, and care in that they will fulfill their obligations to you to the best of their ability.

For example, your attorney’s fiduciary duty is to offer you sound legal advice. That is, they should not recommend that you go forward in your lawsuit if you do not have a strong case only because they personally will receive a profit.

What is a breach of fiduciary duty?

Evidently, a breach of fiduciary duty is when your attorney breaks their obligated loyalty and care toward you. Below is the step-by-step process as to how a breach occurs:

  1. Your attorney had a clear fiduciary duty to you, as their client.
  2. Your attorney breached the fiduciary duty that had to you, as their client.
  3. You suffered damages or lost your case because of your attorney’s breach of fiduciary duty.

In addition, below are common examples of breaches of fiduciary duty:

  • Your attorney misplaced your case files.
  • Your attorney lost evidence that satisfied your burden of proof.
  • Your attorney missed the deadline to file a tort claims notice.
  • Your attorney miscalculated the damages you require compensation for when accepting a settlement amount.
  • Your attorney miscalculated the liens you are required to pay off when accepting a settlement amount.
  • Your attorney accepted a settlement amount without your expressed permission.
  • Your attorney conducted fraudulent activity during your legal proceedings.

If you believe that your attorney conducted any of the negligent actions, then you must not hesitate in seeking legal representation and taking action against them. Whenever you are ready, a talented attorney from our legal malpractice law firm is ready to step in. We look forward to hearing from you.

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