An attorney has many duties when they’re representing someone in a legal matter. Besides providing you with information about what’s in your best interests and the options that you have, the attorney should also be a good steward of any monies involved in your case.
Fiduciary negligence can occur in several ways. It just depends on the specific duties that a lawyer has for a particular client. Clients should always know exactly what type of duties their attorney has with them.
1. Incorrect billing is an issue
Overbilling or inflating billing hours that they work on a case are both unethical. The only time you should have to pay for hours that weren’t used in your case is if the contract has a minimum number of hours required.
2. Comingling funds is a problem
An attorney should always have funds separated based on what it’s for. Funds shouldn’t ever be used for anything other than what it was intended for. This is especially important for attorneys who are dealing with things like estates or trusts.
3. Blatant mismanagement of funds is unethical
Attorneys are bound by a code of ethics that can’t be breached. Mismanagement of funds is an unethical action. This could mean anything from being untruthful with a client about what’s going on with money to purposefully mismanaging funds.
Making sure you have adequate legal representation is important. When there are fiduciary issues with that representation, you may decide that you’re taking legal action. Learning the options that you have for handling these matters is crucial. You should do this quickly so time limits don’t expire.