Breach of Fiduciary Duty
Breach of Fiduciary Duty
A fiduciary is a person who, by law, is responsible for acting in the best interests of another person. Financial advisors may have a fiduciary relationship with their client, depending on the nature of the relationship between the client and the financial advisor. If the financial advisor is a fiduciary and he/she puts his/her interests before the client’s interest, the financial advisor may have breached his/her fiduciary to the client. In case of breach of fiduciary duty, financial advisors may be liable to their clients under U.S. securities laws, or state securities laws. Any action by a financial advisor that is contrary to the best interests of the client is prohibited by FINRA and the SEC.
Financial advisors might breach the fiduciary duty they owe to their clients in a number of ways. Engaging in any type of fraud that benefits the Financial advisors at the expense of his/her clients is a breach of the fiduciary duty. Other examples include misrepresentations, churning, reverse churning, negligence, unauthorized trading and the sale of certain investment products (i.e., variable annuities, variable universal life insurance, non-traded REITs). Effectively, any action by the financial advisor that is harmful to the client (even if there is no financial gain by the financial advisor), can be deemed a breach of fiduciary duty.
Experienced Breach Of Fiduciary Duty Lawyers
When working with a fiduciary, like a financial advisor, you should be able to trust that they are acting in your best interests. Otherwise, their breach of fiduciary duty could lead to minor to severe damages, potentially decimating your finances. Thankfully, both FINRA and SEC prohibit financial advisors from breaching their duties, so you can hold them accountable for the damages and restore your financial standing.
To do that, you will need help from an experienced breach of fiduciary duty lawyer at Schwartz Law Firm Investor Advocates. Here’s a bit of information you need to know about this type of case.
Types of Fiduciary Duty Breaches
In most of these cases, fiduciary duty breaches occur as the financial advisor or other trusted entity puts their own best interests ahead of yours. The breach is valid if you were harmed by their actions even if they did not profit in any way in the end.
A breach may also occur if the professional engages in other harmful actions, such as:
- Misrepresents the situation or data
- Negligently handles your account
- Makes unauthorized trades on your behalf
- Sells certain investment products without your knowledge
Both churning and reverse churning are considered a breach of fiduciary duty as well.
If you’re not sure if you are a victim of a breach, simply reach out to an attorney skilled in this field of law. They will review your case and let you know if you should move forward in seeking compensation for your damages.
Elements Needed to Prove Your Case
In order to prove that a breach of fiduciary duty occurred and resulted in damages, your case needs to have all the following elements.
Clear Existence of Fiduciary Duty
Upon bringing your case to court, the judge will want to see proof of fiduciary duty, such as a written agreement. Your proof should show that the fiduciary had the duty to act in good faith, engage in fair dealings, disclose all pertinent information, or remain loyal to you as their client above all else.
Breach of Duty as Given
You will also need to provide proof that your fiduciary breached their duties. The breach can either be negligent or malicious, as long as it went against the original agreement. It’s important that the breach did not occur due to your actions since that could result in the dismissal of your case.
Damages Resulting from the Breach
The court will only hear the case if actual damages occurred due to the breach. Otherwise, the judge may find that there’s no basis for the case and dismiss it right then and there. So, to move forward, you need to show your monetary losses that are directly related to the breach of fiduciary duty.
Link Between Breach and Damages
In order to win your case, the court needs to see a clear link between the breach and the resulting damages. If there’s any reasonable doubt to your claims, then you may not win the case and be able to get your losses reimbursed.
During your consultation appointment, your fiduciary duty attorney will explore all these key areas to see if you have a solid case. You can help by bringing all your documentation to the meeting and clearly explaining what happened. With that info in hand, it’ll be much easier to see if the case has merit and can move forward through the court system.
How a Breach of Fiduciary Duty Attorney Can Help
When a financial advisor or other professional breaches their fiduciary duty, the only way to fight for reimbursement of the damages is through the court system. But you don’t want to go through that process alone because it is not only complex, but also fraught with pitfalls.
Instead, you need representation from an experienced breach of fiduciary duty attorney to get the best results. These lawyers are skilled in creating a compelling argument that links the breach to the damages without any doubt about the matters at hand.
Your lawyer can clearly present your case in court and move through each phase of the process without any missteps along the way. Beyond that, they can help you understand what to expect every step of the way, so you can move forward with confidence that you are on the right track.
Our Breach of Fiduciary Lawyers Can Help
If you are ready to get started in seeking damages due to a breach of fiduciary duty, contact our team today. At Schwartz Law Firm, we understand the importance of holding fiduciaries to their agreement and recouping losses caused by their negligence. We look forward to helping you prepare and present your case to the court, so the fiduciary will be required to repay what they owe you.