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Breach of Fiduciary Duty


Breach of a fiduciary duty” in Texas is a wrongful act entitling you to compensation, which usually happens when a fiduciary violates his or duty to act in your best interests. Here is a brief discussion of the most frequently asked questions I receive relating to this type of lawsuit.

What is a fiduciary?

A fiduciary is someone that owes you a duty to act in your best interest. This duty can be created by law or contract and can be formal or informal. Common examples of fiduciaries including: (1) your attorney, (2) your business partner, (3) your joint venture partner, (4) your employees, or (5) your insurance agent. Whether you can prove someone was a fiduciary to you will depend on the particular facts of your case. You’ll want to talk with your attorney about things such as your prior dealings with the potential fiduciary, any written agreements you have with him or her, and the precise relationship you have with him or her.

What do I have to prove to win a Breach of Fiduciary duty case?

To win a breach of fiduciary duty case, you will need to prove the following three elements:

  1. There is fiduciary relationship betweenyou and the defendant;
  2. The defendant breached his fiduciary duty owed to you; and
  3. The defendant’s breach caused you to suffer injury or gave an improper benefit to the defendant.

If you can prove all of these elements, you will usually be entitled to recover damages for your breach of fiduciary duty claim, and you should consult an experienced attorney immediately to get your case on file.

What type of damages can I recover in a Breach of Fiduciary Duty Case?

In a Breach of Fiduciary Duty Case, you are entitled to recover your “actual” or “economic” damages. This can include things such as your out-of-pocket losses or your lost profits. If your damages are a foreseeable result of the breach of fiduciary duty, you may also be entitled to recover mental anguish damages. When going after mental anguish damages, it is always helpful to have had your mental anguish diagnosed and/or treated by a physician. You may also be able to go after other equitable damages, such as fee forfeiture or the receipt of a constructive trust. You’ll want to talk with an experienced attorney to determine the best damage model for your case.

Am I entitled to recover attorneys’ fees for filing my Breach of Fiduciary Duty Claim?

The short answer is: No, you are usually not entitled to recover your attorneys’ fees in a Breach of Fiduciary Duty case. However, there may be other causes of action to file with your breach of fiduciary duty claim, which may entitle you to recover attorneys’ fees. For example, if you also have a breach of contract claim, you may be entitled to recover attorneys’ fees associated with your lawsuit under this theory of recovery.

How long is the statute of limitations in a breach of fiduciary duty case?

The statute of limitations in a breach of fiduciary duty case is four years, which means you should always try to bring your breach of fiduciary duty claim within four years from the date the breach occurred. There are some instances where this time period may be extended, but you never want to bank on one of these exceptions applying to you. I always advise clients to get your claim on file as early as possible and before any arguable expiration of the limitations period.

Brad Laney. Brad is a business litigation attorney in Houston with substantial experience in breach of fiduciary duty lawsuits. If you need help with your case, please do not hesitate to contact Brad for your free consultation: Blaney@raleybowick.com or 713-429-8056. Brad is happy to talk with you directly about your case, and your discussion will be kept confidential.