Frequently Asked Questions About Fiduciary Duty Claims
At Butler Wooten & Peak LLP, our team of exceptional trial attorneys handles complex litigation nationwide. From our offices in Atlanta and Columbus, we bring years of experience to the courtroom on behalf of our business litigation clients. Below are some commonly-asked questions related to a breach of fiduciary duty claim. If you have additional questions, please contact our law firm today
Butler Wooten & Peak LLP can be reached online or at 800-213-5343.
What is a fiduciary duty?
A fiduciary has a duty to exercise loyalty and the utmost good faith towards the person to whom the duty is owed. The law holds all fiduciaries to a very high standard of conduct, but a trustees' fiduciary duty towards his beneficiaries is the highest duty the law recognizes.
Who owes a fiduciary duty?
Common examples of individuals who have fiduciary duties are:
- Executors or administrators of an estate
- Guardians or conservators
- Attorneys, accountants, and doctors
- Directors or officers of companies
- Business partners
In addition, under Georgia law, fiduciary duties may exist in any relationship where one party is so situated as to exercise a controlling influence over the will, conduct, and interest of another or where, from a similar relationship of mutual confidence, the law requires the utmost good faith, such as the relationship between principal and agent.
Who can be held responsible for a breach of a fiduciary duty or a breach of trust?
If you have been damaged by a breach of fiduciary duty, the fiduciary (for example the trustee or attorney-in-fact) may be held responsible for any damages you suffered. In addition, a claim may also be brought against third parties who do not have fiduciary duties but who assist a fiduciary in breaching his duty.
How long do I have to bring a claim for breach of fiduciary duty?
You should seek legal counsel immediately if you think you have a business tort claim for breach of fiduciary duty or for a breach of trust. The law limits the amount of time you have to bring a claim. In Georgia, the statute of limitations for some claims may be as short as two years. For a trustees' breach of trust, the limitations period is longer. Contact a lawyer who understands breach of trust and breach of fiduciary duty cases to determine what the limitations period is for your potential case.
What damages are available for breaches of trust or fiduciary duty?
If a fiduciary has breached a duty he owed you, you can recover for your actual monetary damages. You may also be able to recover punitive damages-which are damages to penalize, punish, or deter the wrongdoer-if his actions showed willful misconduct, malice, fraud, wantonness, oppression, or that entire want of care which would raise the presumption of conscious indifference to consequences. The law also provides for other remedies in some cases. A qualified lawyer with experience in these types of cases can help you identify what damages may be available in your case. Contact our law firm today for a consultation.