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Overview of Fiduciary Duty

A fiduciary relationship is one existing between parties to a transaction wherein one of the parties is in duty bound to act with the utmost good faith for the benefit of the other party. Such a relation ordinarily arises where a confidence is reposed by one person in the integrity of another, and in such a relation the party in whom the confidence is reposed, if he [or she] voluntarily accepts or assumes to accept the confidence, can take no advantage from his [or her] acts relating to the interest of the other party without the latter's knowledge or consent.

A fiduciary is an individual in whom another has placed the highest level of trust and confidence. A fiduciary is held to the highest standards of care in the eyes of the law, and the fiduciary is expected to be extremely loyal to the person to whom they owe the duty.

Fiduciary Relationships

There are different types of fiduciary relationships, such as:

  • Real estate broker (buyer agent) and buyer client
  • Lawyer and client
  • Conservators and legal guardians or wards
  • Executors or administrators and heirs
  • Stockbroker and client
  • Retirement plan administrator and employee
  • Doctor and patient
  • Teacher and student
  • Priest and parishioner
  • Financial or investment advisor and client
  • Agents, brokers, factors and their principals
  • Board of directors and a company

Breach of Fiduciary Duty

A breach of fiduciary lawsuit requires:

(1) A fiduciary duty, 
(2) a breach of that fiduciary duty, and 
(3) damages arising from that breach of duty. 

Breach of fiduciary duty may involve insider trading, or it may involve professional negligence. Where the principal is able to establish that a fiduciary duty existed and a breach of that duty occurred, the court may rule that any benefit gained by the fiduciary be returned to the principal. Remedies for breach of a fiduciary duty vary depending upon the type of damage or the benefit gained. Another remedy includes an account of profits; this is typically done where the breach was ongoing and the gain is difficult to identify.

Legal Assistance in Los Angeles Fiduciary Cases

The fiduciary relationship is held in the highest regard in the legal community. However, it is not uncommon for miscommunications, misunderstandings or misrepresentation on either side to lead to disputes between fiduciaries and principals. If you have encountered a dispute involving fiduciary duty, we urge you to contact an attorney from Campbell & Farahani, LLP to schedule a consultation. We are highly familiar with fiduciary relationships and can advise you of your rights and responsibilities, as well as what types of legal remedies are available to resolve your situation.

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