Breach of Fiduciary Duties

If you have entered into an attorney-client relationship, then your lawyer owes you the duties of good faith, honesty, and fair dealing.

A breach of fiduciary duty occurs when a lawyer puts someone else’s interests (including some times the lawyer's own interests) above the client's interests in a legal matter.

A breach of fiduciary duty occurs when the lawyer makes a mistake and tries to cover it up.  For example, a lawyer may have negligently missed a statute of limitations, or did not properly investigate the claim, suing the wrong party, or making other mistakes that he might not be able to correct in the pending case.  If the lawyer realizes his mistake, but fails to inform the client, he will have breached his fiduciary duty.  Some lawyers, either because they made a mistake or were just unprepared, may try to convince the client to settle his or her claim for a minimal or much smaller amount, hoping to avoid disclosing the error.  To cover up his or her mistake, the lawyer (even after spending months or years telling the client how great their case was) suddenly starts telling the client how bad the case is and how they are likely to lose. The client may become discouraged to the point that he or she accepts a minimal settlement or drops the case entirely.  Or the client goes to trial unaware of the lawyer's mistake, only to lose, while the lawyer continues to cover up for his errors.

If this has happened to you, please contact us for a consultation.  We welcome the opportunity to pursue significant legal malpractice cases in and around Tampa, Orlando, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Miami as well as Dallas, Austin and Houston. 

Contact us today.

Holding Lawyers Accountable

A lawyer may breach his or her fiduciary duty to a client when he or she does one or more of the following:

  • Sets aside cases that appear to be minor
  • Asks clients to accept a minimal settlement when the facts indicate the client may have a bigger claim
  • Fails to offer appropriate advice
  • Misses a filing deadline
  • Files an improper document
  • Ignores a conflict of interest

Breach of fiduciary duty can also occur during the formation of corporations or the preparation and execution of contracts, when a lawyer fails to recognize or even ignores the fact that both sides to the transaction may be relying on his advice and guidance.  This can result in a conflict of interest, meaning that the lawyer inadvertently, favors one client to the detriment of another client who has also relied upon that attorney.  (A classic example of a conflict involves a divorce: a lawyer cannot ethically represent both the husband and wife.)

Contact Us

If you believe your Florida lawyer or Texas lawyer has failed you by breaching his or her fiduciary duty, we want to hear about it.  Contact us today.

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