California courts have long regarded certain relationships as “fiduciary relationships,” the law imposing duties of the highest degree of trust, loyalty, confidentiality and disclosure. A breach of fiduciary duty can occur where a fiduciary engages in self-dealing, or takes any other action where his or her personal interests are placed above those of the other party. Our experienced Southern California breach of fiduciary duty lawyers know how to handle this complex and often misunderstood area of the law and the related issues of punitive damages.
What is a Fiduciary Relationship?
A fiduciary relationship exists where one party has a duty to act with the utmost good faith and reasonable care for the benefit and interests of the other party. An example would we partners in a business. It is a relationship of undivided loyalty, the fiduciary having a duty to refrain from seizing any opportunity at the expense of the other party, or from taking any action in competition with the other party. Any form of self-dealing is strictly prohibited. A fiduciary relationship is one of complete trust and disclosure, a fiduciary having a duty to protect all confidences and make full disclosure of all material information to the other party.
Traditional examples of fiduciary relationships include attorney/client, trustee/beneficiary, real estate broker/client and other principal/agent relationships. In the business context, fiduciary duties are imposed on directors, officers and majority shareholders of a corporation, as well as partners, LLC managers and joint venturers.
Irvine business law firm of Brown & Charbonneau, LLP is an established and highly regarded Irvine, CA business law firm with extensive experience representing clients involved in breach of fiduciary duty claims. We have handled numerous fraud claims to jury verdict. With 75-years of collective experience and the resources of a big law firm, we are uniquely equipped to help clients develop the best legal strategies in these complex cases.
Breach of Fiduciary Duties
Where a fiduciary engages in self-dealing, conceals material, or takes any action adverse to the other party, he or she breaches their fiduciary duties. The requirements for a legal action for breach of fiduciary duty include proof of:
- The existence of a fiduciary duty;
- Breach of the duty; and
- Damages caused by the breach.
A successful plaintiff may recover all damages caused by the defendant’s breach of fiduciary duty. In addition, due to the seriousness of the offense, punitive damages are often appropriate and may be awarded for a breach of fiduciary duty.
Getting Legal Help
Call today at 714.505.3000 or contact us online to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can help you.
Brown & Charbonneau, LLP represents individuals as well as large and small companies in breach of fiduciary disputes, and has extensive knowledge and experience in breach of fiduciary duty claims involving corporate directors, officers and majority shareholders. If you are involved in a breach of fiduciary claim or would like to learn about your rights and how to protect your business, we can provide you with the information you need.