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’s 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’s 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’ve been in any of these relationships and you’re convinced you haven’t received the fiduciary duty that you’re 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’ve litigated numerous cases involving a breach of fiduciary duty. If you’re 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.

 December 6, 2018

Retired Firefighters Get Burned When Health Care Benefits are Terminated

Attorney Brian Matise at Burg Simpson handles complex civil litigation cases, and he has taken the lead on the West Metro Case. This case involves the distribution of more  than $1.8 million in funds that remained in a trust that was committed to fund health insurance benefits for 73 retired firefighters and their dependents. These… Read more »

Former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-WY) gives eulogy for late President George W.W. Bush

 December 5, 2018

Former Senator Al Simpson Eulogizes President George H.W. Bush

This morning, former Senator Alan K. Simpson (R-WY) celebrated the life of former President George H.W. Bush, his long-time friend and colleague. Speaking of the man’s warmth and integrity, Sen. Simpson delivered a moving speech on President Bush’s legacy of integrity, loyalty and sacrifice. When speaking to the press, Alan Simpson spoke on the difficulties… Read more »

Honorable Alan K. Simpson hero image

 December 4, 2018

Former Sen. Alan Simpson, R-Wyo., to Remember George H.W. Bush at Wednesday’s Funeral

Former Sen. Alan Simpson, R-Wyo., to remember George H.W. Bush at Wednesday’s funeral at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. The former senator, a colleague and longtime friend of George and Barbara Bush, will be one of four speakers to deliver the eulogy at the late president’s funeral this week. Simpson and Bush established their… Read more »

stephen burg personal injury attorney handles spinal injury cases

 November 29, 2018

Stephen Burg Handles Spinal Cord Injury Cases

  Shareholder Stephen Burg handles spinal cord injury cases at Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine. Mr. Burg is a trial attorney whose practice is focused on representing victims of auto crashes, personal injury, trucking accidents, product liability injuries, gas explosions, wrongful death, and harmful drug products. He also has significant experience in handling spinal cord… Read more »

Good Lawyers. Changing Lives. – Supporting Communities with Burg Simpson

 November 5, 2018

Good Lawyers. Changing Lives. – Supporting Communities with Burg Simpson

All attorneys at Burg Simpson strive to make our motto more than just words. Both in and out of the courtroom, our attorneys work to support local and national communities by protecting their rights and to making certain that crisis recovery and educational opportunities are available to all. In this video, Burg Simpson shareholder and… Read more »

Massachusetts Gas Explosion – Holding Corporations Accountable

 November 2, 2018

Massachusetts Gas Explosion – Holding Corporations Accountable

The negligence of Columbia Gas caused the massive gas explosions  in Andover, Lawrence and North Andover, MA. After the gas explosions, more than 2,000 people found themselves displaced, and their towns resembled a war zone. These gas explosions could have easily been avoided. Columbia Gas had been warned twice over the last decade that an explosion was… Read more »

Attorney Tom Henderson explains why the Durango 416 Fire aims to hold the Durango-Silverton Railroad accountable.

 November 2, 2018

Seeking Justice for Victims of the Durango 416 Fire

Colorado’s Durango 416 Fire was caused by the Durango-Silverton Railroad’s coal-burning train on June 1, 2018. The blaze has been reported to be the state’s sixth largest forest fire in history, and the fire destroyed homes and businesses in Durango and the surrounding area. Burg Simpson is now representing those affected by the 416 Fire… Read more »

Consumers Must Beware of Body Brokers

 November 2, 2018

Consumers Must Beware of Body Brokers

Body brokers are relatively unchecked and under-regulated by state and federal agencies.  Across the United States, mortuaries and hospices are committing fraud by allowing body brokers to convince families who have lost their loved ones to donate the body “for medical research.” But instead of being donated, the body ends up being dismembered and then… Read more »

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