Breach of Fiduciary Duty: What You Should Know

Breach of Fiduciary Duty

Breach of Fiduciary Duty: What You Should Know

Imagine entrusting someone with your financial and personal matters, only to discover that they’ve betrayed your trust.

Maria hired a lawyer to represent her in a property dispute, expecting professional and loyal advocacy. However, the lawyer secretly negotiated a deal with the opposing party that benefited him financially. As a result, Maria received a less favorable settlement than she deserved. This deceitful action by the lawyer constitutes a breach of fiduciary duty towards Maria.

This isn’t just a plot for a dramatic TV show; it’s what happens when there’s a breach of fiduciary duty.

What is Fiduciary Duty?

A fiduciary duty is a legal obligation of one party to act in the best interest of another. This responsibility arises when one individual or entity places trust in another to manage and protect their assets or interests. A fiduciary might be a trustee of a trust, a corporate board member, or an attorney. Breaching this duty can result in significant legal consequences.

How Lawyers Can Breach Fiduciary Duty

When individuals hire a lawyer, they are placing immense trust in that professional to uphold their interests and rights. However, like other professionals, lawyers can sometimes breach this trust. Here’s how these breaches typically manifest:

  1. Overbilling – Charging clients excessively for services that were not provided or inflating billable hours.
  2. Mismanagement of Client Funds – Using a client’s money inappropriately, such as commingling client funds with personal or firm funds.
  3. Undisclosed Conflicts of Interest – Representing a client when the lawyer has an undisclosed personal or financial relationship with the opposing party or counsel.
  4. Failure to Communicate – Not keeping the client informed about significant developments in their case or not consulting them before making major decisions.
  5. Improper Relationships – Entering into personal relationships with clients that might affect the objectivity and professional judgment of the lawyer.
  6. Not Following Client Instructions – Taking actions without the client’s consent or against their expressed wishes.
  7. Incompetence – Not possessing the necessary skill or knowledge to handle the client’s case, leading to avoidable losses or unfavorable outcomes.
  8. Sharing Confidential Information – Disclosing a client’s confidential information without consent or when not necessary for the case.
  9. Favoring One Client Over Another – In cases where a lawyer represents multiple clients, prioritizing the interests of one client to the detriment of another.
  10. Settlement Misconduct – Settling a case without the client’s knowledge or consent, especially if it benefits the lawyer more than the client.

Understanding these potential breaches can help clients stay vigilant and ensure their rights and interests are always at the forefront of legal representation.

When lawyers breach their fiduciary duties, the consequences can be severe for both the client and the attorney. The client may suffer financial losses, damage to their reputation, emotional distress, and a compromised legal position. The lawyer may face professional disciplinary actions, malpractice lawsuits, reputational harm, and even disbarment in egregious cases.

The Kassab Law Firm Difference

Breach of fiduciary duty isn’t merely a betrayal of trust; it’s a violation of the law. Understanding your rights and seeking prompt legal guidance ensures you’re adequately protected and compensated for any losses. When faced with such situations in Texas, whether in Houston or Dallas, remember that choosing the right legal representation can make all the difference.

When facing such challenges, you need a trusted partner by your side. The Kassab Law Firm stands out with its dedicated team of legal malpractice attorneys ready to advocate for your rights. If you need a general legal malpractice attorney in Texas, The Kassab Law Firm is prepared to guide and represent you throughout the legal journey.

Act now. If you believe you’ve been a victim of a breach of fiduciary duty, reach out to us for unmatched representation and guidance. Your rights and interests deserve the best protection. Secure them today.