Colorado Business / Commercial Litigation

Breach of Fiduciary Duty – Denver Corporate Litigation Lawyers

Breach of Duty - Colorado Corporate Litigation Attorney - Colorado Burg Simpson Fiduciary duty is a concept that sounds more complicated than it is. An overly simplified example of fiduciary duty might be: You give your neighbor $200, instructing him to hold it for you until next week. It is your neighbor’s “fiduciary duty” to return that $200 to you when next week rolls around. Your neighbor breaches that fiduciary duty if he instead loses it all in a round of poker over the weekend.

A more likely example would be someone who assumes the role of trustee of a loved one’s estate. As trustee, it is your fiduciary duty to manage the assets of that estate responsibly, to pay out appropriate benefits to the designated beneficiaries. It would be a breach of that duty if, instead, you invested all of it in a risky tech start-up.

Legally speaking, fiduciary duty refers to the relationship between two parties where one is compelled to act exclusively in the interest of the other. The fiduciary party owes a legal duty to the other party (the principal) and extreme care is to be taken to guarantee no conflict of interest arises between the fiduciary and his principal. In most cases, no profit is supposed to be generated from the relationship without explicit, prior consent.

Fiduciary duties can exist in a variety of business relationships. Where a party undertakes to act primarily for the benefit of another, that association turns into a fiduciary relationship. A fiduciary, like a trustee, is subject to a higher degree of duty that obligates the fiduciary to act in a diligent and faithful manner to further the other’s best interests.

If you suspect someone has breached their fiduciary duty to you, get legal help as soon as possible. Call the Colorado commercial litigation lawyers right now at 303-792-5595.

Fiduciary relationships can take many forms. For example, majority shareholders and directors of a corporation owe fiduciary duties to minority shareholders. Business partners owe a fiduciary duty to the other partners. Banks and investment brokers owe fiduciary duties to their customers and clients. Lawyers owe a fiduciary duty to their clients.

  • Trustee and Beneficiary – A trustee and beneficiary fiduciary relationship emerges most often in estate and trust arrangements. The party named as the trustee is the fiduciary, and the beneficiary is the principal. In this relationship, the fiduciary legally “owns” the estate or trust, maintaining control over the assets. But, the trustee is compelled to exercise decisions over those assets that are in the best interest of the beneficiary.
  • Guardian and Ward – In a guardian-ward relationship, guardianship of a minor is transferred to another party. The appointed guardian, then, becomes the fiduciary and is charged with making sure the minor, the ward, is proved suitable care. This can include decisions related to the minor’s education, health care, and daily well-being.
  • Principal and Agent – In a principal-agent relationship, the agent is legally selected to act for the principal without a conflict of interest. A typical example: a group of shareholders performing as principals when electing management or executives to act as agents. Investors also work as principals when hiring investment managers as agents to manage assets.
  • Attorney and Client – The attorney-client fiduciary relationship is a strict one. As the fiduciary, the attorney must act in complete fairness and honesty in all client dealings.

If you have been in any of these relationships and you are convinced you have not received the fiduciary duty that you are owed, you need to speak with a Denver corporate litigation lawyer as soon as possible.

There are three critical factors when pursuing a claim for breach of fiduciary duty. Plaintiffs must be able to answer the following questions:

  1. Did a fiduciary relationship exist at the time of the disputed breach?
  2. What was the extent of the relationship and the exact duties of the fiduciary?
  3. Finally, which of these duties were breached during the relationship?

The breach could be taking action against the client’s best interest, misappropriating funds, or an undisclosed conflict of interest. In short, you must prove that a duty existed, that duty was breached, and that you were damaged as a result of that breach.

CONTACT DENVER COMMERCIAL LITIGATION ATTORNEYS FOR HELP

Burg Simpson has extensive experience in handling breaches of fiduciary duty, both from the plaintiff’s and the defense side. We have litigated numerous cases involving a breach of fiduciary duty. If you are engaged in a dispute that could involve a breach of fiduciary duty, we will help counsel you about your rights and legal obligations, as well as represent you in negotiations, settlement, or at trial. The Colorado corporate litigation attorneys at Burg Simpson can help. Call us immediately at 303-792-5595.

 June 12, 2019

Burg Simpson to Sponsor the 7th Annual Jeremy Bitner Memorial Run!

Burg Simpson is proud to sponsor the 7th annual Jeremy Bitner Memorial Run. The Jeremy Bitner Foundation was established in honor of Englewood Police Detective Jeremy Bitner after he lost his life in the line of duty in 2012. Burg Simpson shareholder Nick Fogel, the practice group leader of the firm’s workers’ compensation department, helped to develop the… Read more »

Ohio Attorney Kenneth Daly hero image

 May 23, 2019

Kenneth M. Daly Now Licensed to Practice in the State of Kentucky

Kenneth M. Daly Now Licensed to Practice in the State of Kentucky Kentucky Just Got Lucky! Burg Simpson is pleased to announce that Kenneth Daly, an attorney in the firm with an established practice in Ohio, recently passed the Kentucky bar. Kenneth is excited about the opportunity to expand his practice to include the citizens of… Read more »

Ohio Attorney Melanie S. Bailey hero image

 May 22, 2019

Melanie S. Bailey Published in Cincinnati Bar Association Report

Melanie S. Bailey Published in Cincinnati Bar Association Report Melaine S. Bailey authored an article published in the CBA Report regarding the ability of consumers to hold drug manufacturers liable for failure to warn of adverse reactions to prescription medications. In the article, Brand Name Drug or Generic Drug: Generic may foil your client’s failure to warn… Read more »

Swearing In Ceremony

 May 15, 2019

Burg Simpson Congratulates Ms. Jessica Powell, Esq.

Burg Simpson Congratulates Ms. Jessica Powell, Esq. Congratulations to Jessica Powell on her admission to the practice of law in the State of Ohio! Ms. Jessica Powell, an associate at Burg Simpson in Cincinnati, OH, was sworn in at the Admissions Ceremony on May 13, 2019. Pictured is Ms. Jessica Powell at the Admissions Ceremony. Jessica… Read more »

The 2019 Burg Simpson Scholarship Awards Dinner

 May 7, 2019

The 2019 Burg Simpson Scholarship Awards Dinner

The 2019 Burg Simpson Scholarship Awards Dinner was held at Maggiano’s on April 25th to recognize the ten winners of the firm’s annual scholarship competition. The firm’s founder Michael Burg, and shareholders Peter Burg and Stephan Marsh presented awards to the 2019 winners! This year’s recipients included Ms. Madison Frotten, Mr. Dale Kim, Ms. McKenna… Read more »

Burg Simpson | Workers’ Compensation

 April 17, 2019

Burg Simpson | Workers’ Compensation

Shareholder Nick Fogel is the practice group leader of the Workers’ Compensation division at Burg Simpson. Workers’ Compensation is a form of insurance that protects employees when they are injured on the job or in the line of duty. Workers’ compensation provides both wage replacement and medical benefits. Filing a workers’ compensation claim can be… Read more »

Burg Simpson | We Are Here To Help

 April 5, 2019

Burg Simpson | We Are Here To Help

Burg Simpson is a law firm committed to helping injured people rebuild their lives after a serious accident or injury. Our trial lawyers have handled nearly every kind of injury or wrongful death case. The team at Burg Simpson has the resources, nationwide reputation, or proven track record of success when it comes to helping… Read more »

Becoming Whole Again

 April 4, 2019

Becoming Whole Again

If you or a loved one has suffered a loss due to an injury or death because of the negligence of another, you are entitled to receive full and fair compensation for your pain and suffering. Burg Simpson’s office in Arizona can help you navigate your personal injury claim. Burg Simpson attorney, Scott A. Ambrose… Read more »

Top 100 National Trial Lawyers Legal 500 Best Lawyers in America Super Lawyers US News 2014 Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers