As a business owner, it is vital for you to understand what defines a breach of fiduciary duty in Florida, and that is precisely what you will find in this article, so read on to learn what you need to know about breaches of fiduciary duty directly from an experienced Florida Business Lawyer.
What is a Fiduciary Duty?
When an individual or entity places trusts another entity or individual who fully accepts the responsibility to take a particular action or series of actions, a fiduciary relationship is born. However, in order to be a legally binding agreement, a fiduciary relationship has to be formally established, preferably via a written contract.
Fiduciary relationships can arise in many different contexts, both formally and informally. In this type of relationship, a person or entity – known as a “fiduciary” – agrees to act in a particular matter for and on behalf of another person or entity in circumstances that give rise to a contractual relationship. This person or entity has a fiduciary duty to fulfill their obligations.
However, not all fiduciary relationships in Florida are formal. If you have ever been in a position in which you had to trust someone else to act in your best interest, then a genuine fiduciary relationship may have arisen under Florida law.
Breach of Fiduciary Duty in Florida – What Defines It?
What defines a breach of fiduciary duty in the State of Florida depends on the type of fiduciary relationship between the parties, which means that whether a particular action is a breach of fiduciary depends heavily on the terms governing that relationship. Generally, however, a breach of fiduciary duty happens when a party in a fiduciary relationship acts in his or her own interest or against the best interest of the other party.
For example, a lawyer who acts in their own best interest instead of their client’s best interest is breaching their fiduciary duty. Similarly, someone who works as the CEO of a company and buys out a failing company that belongs to a friend, hurting the shareholders, would breach their fiduciary duty.
However, in order to legally establish that a breach of fiduciary duty has occurred, one needs to prove that:
- A fiduciary duty did indeed exist,
- A person or entity breached their fiduciary duty, and
- The non-breaching party suffered damages due to the breach.
After establishing that a breach of fiduciary duty has undeniably occurred, the court handling the case will determine how much the non-breaching party should receive in damages, and it will come down to the financial damages the non-breaching party has suffered due to the breach. If the acquisition of a failing business by the CEO of a corporation costs shareholders $200,000, then they may successfully sue for the same amount of money. If an accountant’s breach of fiduciary duty costs one of their clients $5,000, then the client may successfully manage to recover that amount in court.
Work with an Experienced Florida Litigation Lawyer
If you need assistance with a breach of fiduciary duty in Florida, I can help you. I will analyze your situation and create a strategy to ensure the best outcome for your situation. Depending on your specific circumstances, I can help identify whether a fiduciary relationship did indeed exist as well as whether a breach did indeed occur. No matter what sort of legal issues you may be dealing with, I can provide expert assistance and guidance on how to proceed.