HOUSTON COMMERCIAL LITIGATION ATTORNEYS
BREACH OF FIDUCIARY DUTY
Business partners and company members depend on one another to help manage and promote their businesses and rely on each other for sound advice. Similar relationship can be created with respect to clients who rely on their agents, such as a mortgage broker, a real estate agent, or an investment broker to assist in managing their wealth and assets. As such, the law requires special fiduciary duties from business partners, corporate executives and Board of Directors, and agents. When these special fiduciary duty are breached, the law allows injured parties to redress the wrong by filing suit for breach of fiduciary duty.
The Houston Breach of Fiduciary Duty Attorneys and the West Houston Commercial Litigation Lawyers at the Law Offices of Steven Tuan Pham regularly assist clients in litigating and resolving business disputes arising out of breach of business contracts causes of action, prosecute against business partners, executives and managers, and members of the Board of Director that breached their fiduciary duties, as well as prosecute against the wrongful parties for fraud and related causes of actions (i.e. common law fraud, statutory fraud, fraud in the inducement, negligence misrepresentation, and embezzlement). Should you suspect that a business partner, spouse, or an agent had breached his or her fiduciary duties, please feel free to contact our Houston Breach of Contract Attorneys and our Southwest Houston Breach of Fiduciary Lawyers. After a detail consultation with our experienced commercial litigation attorneys, you will have a better understanding of your rights and obligations.
What Is A Fiduciary Duty?
Generally, one or more fiduciary duties exist when there is a special relationship between individuals where there is an element of trust and reliance upon advice given or action by a party for the benefit of the other. Fiduciary duties are created through the nature of the relationship between the individuals or between an individual and an entity. However, fiduciary duties can also be created through an agreement. Whether a fiduciary duty exists is a factual question that is decided by the “trier of fact”, either by the court or a jury panel.
A fiduciary duty involves a higher standard of care than most other legal duties and can be created through circumstance. For example, spouses have fiduciaries for one another, attorneys and accountants owe special fiduciary duties to their clients and doctors owe fiduciary duties to their patients. Fiduciary duties exists when an agency of some sort exists between the professional and the clients, including a mortgage broker, a business broker, a real estate broker, and financial advisors may also owe special duties depending on the level of representation.
Types of Fiduciary Duties
Fiduciary duties can be general in nature and apply to all fiduciary relationships. Some general fiduciary relationship duties are: the duty of utmost good faith and fair dealing with the fiduciaries, the duty of loyalty; the duty of candor; the duty not to self-deal; the duty to act with strictest integrity; the duty to be informed and to act prudently, the duty of honest and fair dealing; and the duty to fully disclose.
Others have special fiduciary duties to their clients, beneficiaries, and their fiduciaries. For example, an executive of a corporation, a manager of an LLC, a partner of a partnership, or the Board of Director have all of the general fiduciary duties described above. However, they also have special duties not to waste corporate or business assets. Lawyers and doctors have special duty of competency in their work, as well as special fiduciary duties of confidentiality with respect to the clients’ and the patients’ information.
On the other hand, some agents have more fiduciary duties than others. A real estate broker, a mortgage broker, a business broker have all of the general fiduciary duty aforementioned. However, a financial advisor or broker may or may not have any or all of the general fiduciary duties described above. Because of the risk involved in financial investments, the court usually find that there is no special fiduciary duty involved unless the broker or advisor has direct control over the type of investments, whether or not such person has full authorization to act on behalf of the client, and whether the client is knowledgeable and experience in any such investment. As stated previously, whether there is a special relationship exists that create a fiduciary duty is a factual question. If you would like to know whether there a special relationship exist or whether you have a cause of action, please contact a Houston Breach of Fiduciary Duty Lawyer or a Houston Breach of Contract Attorney at The Law Offices of Steven Tuan Pham
Remedies For Damages
A breach of fiduciary duty cause of action is usually accompanied by other causes of actions, such as breach of contract, fraud claims, as well as negligence misrepresentation, or unjust enrichment in a quantum meruit suit. Therefore, if you prevail at trial on a breach of contract claim, you could recover actual damages (out of pocket damages or lost profits), attorney’s fee and costs in prosecuting against the wrongful party. If you prevail on a breach of fiduciary duty claim, you are also entitled to reimbursement of any fee you may have paid to the fiduciary agent, an accounting, pre and post judgment interest and equitable relief in the form of a constructive trust or an accounting. A plaintiff may also recover damages stemming from mental anguish that resulted from public embarrassment. Exemplary damages are available to a plaintiff who can show the breach was intentional. Misapplication of fiduciary property can be considered a crime under the Texas penal code §32.45 with an increase in penalty if the crime was perpetrated against an elderly person. If you prevail on a cause of action for fraud, you may also obtain exemplary (punitive) damages above and beyond other types of damages.
If you believe that your contract has been breached or one or more individuals have violated his or her fiduciary duty, or if you have been wrongfully sued for breach of fiduciary duty, contact the Houston Breach of Contract Attorneys and the West Houston Breach of Fiduciary Duty Lawyers at The Law Offices of Steven Tuan Pham Our West Houston Partnership Breach Attorneys, working in conjunction with our Southwest Houston Breach of Fiduciary Duty Lawyers will provide you with a personal, detail consultation to learn of your legal rights and your contractual obligations.
Each commercial litigation suit or a breach of fiduciary duty cause of action is unique depending on the fact and the relationship created with the opposing party. The requirements and the level of proof may vary from one type of action to another. You should NOT rely on the information on of this web site in replacing a personal consultation with an experienced Houston Breach of Fiduciary Lawyers and the West Houston Partnership Breach Attorneys at The Law Offices of Steven Tuan Pham There may be legal issues in which you may not be aware. You are invited to contact our Houston Partnership Breach Attorneys and our Houston Partnership Litigation Lawyers at the Law Offices of Steven Tuan Pham today at 713-517-6645 or complete our Contact Form.
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