Attorneys owe their clients a fiduciary duty. This means that they have the duty to act in their client’s best interest. An attorney breaches their fiduciary duty whenever they act in a way that is against the client’s best interests.
What are some examples of fiduciary duties?
When it comes to the attorney client relationship, the fiduciary duties generally include competence, conflict avoidance, communication, and confidentiality. This means your attorney should be competent when representing your interests. This could mean that they have experience representing your type of issue or similar claims.
It also means that they will avoid situations that could result in a conflict of interest. For example, an attorney can not represent two sides of the same issue. The law also expects attorneys to discuss important information that could impact the case with their client in a timely manner.
How do I show that my attorney breached their fiduciary duty?
Generally there are three questions the client must answer to move forward with this type of claim:
- Was there a fiduciary duty? First, the client must show that there was a fiduciary relationship. This is generally present anytime an attorney agrees to represent a client.
- Was there a breach? Next, the client will need to show the attorney breached their duty. This can be with records that the attorney misappropriated funds or did not provide the client with important information.
- Did the breach lead to damages? Finally, the client must have suffered monetary loss as a result of their attorney’s inadequate counsel.
If you can answer these three questions, you can likely establish that your attorney breached their fiduciary duty. This can result in the ability to recoup the damages that were lost as a result of this breach.