People in a position of power over finances, such as a board member or a trustee, have a fiduciary duty to the company or estate they control. A fiduciary duty involves a duty to act in good faith and a duty of loyalty. When these duties are breached, estates and companies suffer.
In the corporate setting, any officer or director of the corporation or majority shareholder or stakeholder owes a fiduciary duty to other members, shareholders and investors, including those with a minority interest. Members of an LLC owe a fiduciary duty to one another. Employees have a fiduciary duty toward their employer.
At the Watkins firm, we represent shareholders and beneficiaries in breach of fiduciary duty actions. We also help board members, executives, majority shareholders and trustees who are accused of breaching their duty. These complex cases require a law firm with extensive experience and a proven track record in breach of fiduciary disputes.
To discuss your claim or your defense, contact a San Diego breach of fiduciary duty lawyer at our firm.
The Responsibilities of a Fiduciary and the Fiduciary Duty in a Business Setting
Those with a fiduciary duty in a business setting are required to maintain the best interests of those they serve. How does that apply in your company? The responsibilities of a fiduciary include, but are not limited to:
- Those with a fiduciary duty must act in good faith and apply their best and highest level of business judgment.
- Those with a fiduciary duty to the corporation must put the best interests of the corporation ahead of their own personal interests.
- A fiduciary must put the interests of other members, shareholders and/or investors above their own. They cannot “self-deal. They should provide access and full disclosure of their actions and interests.
- If the fiduciary intends to take an action which is not in other’s best interests they must fully disclose this and obtain authorization from those to whom they owe this important duty.
- Those with a fiduciary duty cannot put themselves in the position of what would effectively be a dual-agent. Those who would be affected by this behavior should be required to seek the advice of an experienced attorney before waiving the fiduciary’s primary duty in these matters.
- Those with a fiduciary duty are required by law to maintain the highest professional standards and exercise due diligence. There should be the highest level of disclosure of associated information and protective care exercised to protect the interests of other partners, investors, members or shareholders.
Listen to our Recent Sound Business Insights Podcast:
Episode 17 – Violation of Breach of Fiduciary Duty”
Breaches of Fiduciary Duty in a Business
Nearly every shareholder action or corporate dispute involves a breach of fiduciary duty claim. Our attorneys have extensive experience handling these types of claims throughout San Diego County, including:
- Conflicts of interest
- Co-mingling of corporate and personal assets
- Partnership disputes
- Shareholder disputes
- Sharing an employer’s trade secrets or using them to compete against the company
- Cooperating with or advancing the interests of a competitor
- Negligence in their duties
Board members and partners are expected to put the company’s interests ahead of their own. When they fail to do this, we can help you bring a direct action or a derivative suit to assert your rights.
Problems With a California Trustee? Breach of Trust Lawyers Can Help
If you suspect a problem with a California trustee, our breach of trust attorneys can help you. The trustee or representative who controls your loved one’s estate may have breached his or her fiduciary duty in a number of ways, including:
- Self-dealing or co-mingling of estate funds
- Excessive fees
- Improper or untimely distribution
Our attorneys can help you determine if you have a claim and make sure you understand your options. We will work to hold the trustee or representative accountable for his or her actions.
The Primary Remedy for a Breach of Fiduciary Duty
The primary remedy for a breach of fiduciary duty is substantial financial damages. There are four primary issues which the Watkins Firm must prove to achieve a successful outcome in most breach of fiduciary cases. We must prove that a fiduciary duty was in existence between the parties and that the party with the fiduciary duty took actions which violated, breached, or were in action against the interests of their duties.
The victim of the breach of fiduciary duty must have experienced actual financial damages, and we must prove both the amount of the actual damages and how they were directly related to the breach of fiduciary duty. This is why it is important to work with the Watkins Firm on these complex matters. We have more than 40 years of proven success and experience in these cases.
Contact a San Diego Breach of Fiduciary Duty Attorney
Whether you have been accused of breaching your duty or you are protecting your financial interests, our attorneys can help you. To discuss your legal options we invite you to review the strong recommendations of our clients and contact the Watkins Firm or call 858-535-1511 for a complimentary consultation today.