Newport Beach Breach of Fiduciary Duty Lawyer

Newport Beach Breach of Fiduciary Duty Lawyer

Newport Beach Breach of Fiduciary Duty Attorney

In California, a breach of fiduciary duty occurs when a person does not act in the greatest interest of the client. There are a number of different fiduciary relationships, and there are many different types of fiduciary duties. At Ross Law Group, APC, we are Newport Beach breach of fiduciary duty lawyers, and our team can help you handle your fiduciary duty claim.

While a breach of fiduciary duties is not a criminal case, it is a civil case that can provide recovery of losses to the client. This mainly includes financial losses in California but can include other rulings as well, such as an injunction being sent to the fiduciary.

Ross Law Group, APC: Newport Beach Breach of Fiduciary Duty Lawyer

Ross Law Group, APC is located in Newport Beach, California, and our litigation lawyers have over 20 years of experience. We are permitted to practice in all courts of the state of California, as well as the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. District Courts for the Central and Southern Districts of California.

Our legal team comprises experienced professionals who handle each case with care. We are well-versed in handling breach of fiduciary cases and can help you gather the required evidence to build your case.

At Ross Law Group, APC, we understand the effects a breach of fiduciary duties can have on an individual, their business dealings, and their reputation. We are here to help you recover any damages you have incurred during this time to positively move forward.

What Are Fiduciary Duties?

A fiduciary duty is when an individual acts in the interest of a client. This client can be a company, entity, or partnership. Some examples of a fiduciary relationship are:

  • Lawyer and client
  • Employee and employer
  • Doctor and patient
  • Corporate director and shareholders
  • Business partner and other partners
  • Trustee and beneficiary

Fiduciary relationships are based on trust and loyalty, unlike contractual relationships, which are based on the terms of a written agreement. Fiduciary duties come with the role as soon as the relationship begins.

For this reason, specific expectations may not all be written out in the form of a contractual agreement, but they are reasonably and logically implied and expected once the relationship begins. For example, a corporate director has the duty to act and make decisions based on what would be most beneficial for the company and not based on personal gain.

Types of Fiduciary Duties

Fiduciary duties are important when it comes to business and client relationships. There are different types of fiduciary duties owed to corporations, stockholders, and partnerships. These include:

  • Fiduciary duty of loyalty. Fiduciaries must handle all dealings in the greatest interest of the company and not for personal gain. If the fiduciary orchestrates a decision that benefits both the business and the individual, they must disclose that information. The other members of that team can decide whether to move forward on the decision without the fiduciary’s vote.An example of this would be if the company hires a cleaning company, and the fiduciary suggests hiring a company that happens to be owned by his relative. He would have to disclose that information while the company decides whether to hire the cleaning company.
  • Fiduciary duty of care. Under the duty of care, fiduciaries have a responsibility to act reasonably. For example, a director is expected to properly vet new hires by performing background checks and calling references, or an officer of a corporation is expected to properly supervise staff.Under the business judgment rule, a fiduciary would not be held responsible if a decision was made in good faith but was an erroneous judgment. Fiduciary duty of care refers to whether the dealing was made due to intentional or accidental negligence.
  • Fiduciary duty of good faith and fair dealing. Fiduciaries are expected to act honestly and fairly. This duty, in most cases, extends beyond the length of the relationship if it is ever dissolved. Fiduciaries are expected to investigate situations before making a decision.
  • Other duties. Additional duties include the duty of confidentiality (to not disclose information without the client’s consent), duty of prudence (weigh all risks and options before taking any action), and the duty to disclose (to not withhold any information that would impact the client).

What Is a Breach of Fiduciary Duty?

When an individual fails to act in the greatest interest of the relationship they are representing, a breach of fiduciary duties occurs. Some examples include:

  • Insider trading
  • Non-disclosure of conflicts of interest
  • Misuse or release of confidential information
  • Misuse of funds
  • Secretly profiting from the corporation

Some real-life situations of this would be if:

  • An employee is hired, only to leave the company a few months later with the knowledge gained and begin his own company in competition with the previous company. Here, a breach of loyalty has occurred.
  • An accountant who intentionally does not report correct financial reports and subsequently keeps some of the money for themselves has breached their duty of good faith. They might also face additional criminal charges.
  • A director who hires an employee with a history of embezzlement has breached their duty of care.

While most breaches of fiduciary duties are civil cases, some of them can also include criminal charges, depending on the circumstances.

What Is the Burden of Proof for Breach of Fiduciary Duty in California?

In Newport Beach, California, the burden of proof for a breach of fiduciary duty rests on the plaintiff. They must show:

  • A fiduciary relationship existed at the time of the incident
  • The relationship and duties of the fiduciary
  • Whether those duties were breached

The plaintiff does not have to prove whether the breach happened out of carelessness or intent, although this information can be useful. However, it can be declared that a breach did not happen if the plaintiff is found to have contributed to the incident. For instance, an accountant may make a mistake on a financial document, but if the client provided erroneous documents, the accountant will not be at fault for the breach.

How Hard Is It to Prove a Breach of Fiduciary Duty?

If the plaintiff has supporting documentation showing causation between the breach and the outcoming loss, it is typically easier to prove a breach of fiduciary duty. It becomes a bit more difficult to prove if the plaintiff does not have evidence if they had a role in the reason for the breach, or if there were multiple causes for the loss being claimed.

What Are the Remedies for a Breach of Fiduciary Duty in California?

A breach of fiduciary duty is not a criminal offense. It is considered a civil case. Remedies for a breach are often financial, related to the losses incurred as a direct result of the breach as well as other losses. If the client’s reputation has been negatively affected because of the breach, they can also claim a loss for future income.

At times, a plaintiff can recover attorney fees and other legal fees. In some instances, an injunction can also be made to discourage the breach from happening again.

How Do you Defend a Breach of Fiduciary Duty?

In a breach of fiduciary case, evidence is crucial. Most cases involving a breach of fiduciary duties involve financial compensation for financial losses incurred by the breach. The plaintiff must prove that the breach occurred and that the breach was a direct cause of a loss. This can be challenging to prove if there were multiple causes for the loss.

Evidence that can help a plaintiff’s case include transaction history, financial records, and a financial history of the company, illustrating the direct loss that occurred after the breach. Expert testimony is also helpful to analyze financial records from an unbiased standpoint and determine what caused the loss.

Benefits of Having a Breach of Fiduciary Duty Lawyer in California

It is not mandatory to hire an attorney for a breach of fiduciary duty case. However, a lawyer can navigate the complex legal process for you. They can advise you on strategies, inform you of what you need for your case, and prepare you for all possible outcomes of your case.

An attorney can represent you in court, so you don’t have to do it yourself. A lawyer may also be required if multiple assets are involved or if numerous parties are implicated. A lawyer can handle all these details while you focus on other matters related to the loss.

Hire a Newport Beach Breach of Fiduciary Lawyer

If you believe that a breach of fiduciary duty has occurred, the first step is to begin documenting everything. Gather all the relevant documentation you need to make a claim. This will help tremendously. Next, you will want to contact a lawyer.

Proving a breach of fiduciary duty can be challenging, depending on the circumstances of the situation. Speaking with an experienced attorney can be crucial to the strength of your case. Ross Law Group, APC can help you recover your losses if you have been affected by a breach of fiduciary trust. Contact us today for more information.

Practice Areas

Trust & Estate Litigation
Trust &
Estate Litigation


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