Fiduciary duty is the relationship between two parties and the obligation of one to act in the interest of another. Knowing your fiduciary duties to others and under what circumstances you could breach that duty is important for any of your current and future business transactions.  Entrepreneurship in San Francisco can be exciting and challenging, and keeping up with all the complex laws can be overwhelming. At Coepio Legal, we are business lawyers who help business owners understand their legal responsibilities and rights regarding fiduciary law.  

What is Fiduciary Duty?

A fiduciary duty is created in business when a specific trust, reliance, or confidence is placed in an individual by a client or principal. Typically, there is a binding legal agreement and the fiduciary must then act on his/her client’s behalf. Failure to act in  the best interests of the client or principal, or acting solely in one’s own self-interest may lead to legal recourse.  

Elements of a Fiduciary Duty Claim in San Francisco

Whether you are the victim of another’s negligence, or you are attempting to determine if you have breached your own fiduciary duty, the following are the elements needed to prove a violation: 

You will need to prove the following: 

  • Duty – There was a specific duty that the fiduciary had toward the client, either legally or contractually. 
  • Breach – He or she breached that duty toward the client. 
  • Causation – The breach of care directly caused the client to suffer damages. 
  • Damages – The client suffered actual damages as a direct result of the breach.  Actual damages can be physical, emotional, or financial.  

Ultimately, a fiduciary has the responsibility to act in good faith with full disclosure and loyalty to the principal or client. If he or she breaches this duty to the client in any way and this directly causes the client to suffer damages, there could be potential for legal recourse. 

Examples of Fiduciary Breaches in San Francisco

Some examples of a fiduciary breach are as follows: 

  • Failure to handle a client’s funds legally and appropriately and within contractual obligations
  • Failure to disclose legally required information 
  • Theft or misappropriation of funds or property
  • Misrepresentation regarding documents, monies, contracts, funds, or other obligations owed
  • Misuse of funds for personal gain within a position of influence 

Contact Coepio Legal for Help with Your San Francisco Business

Determining if a fiduciary duty was breached can be difficult and involves complex legal issues.  An experienced business law attorney can help you determine if a fiduciary duty has been breached in your case, causing harm or damages. We understand how to help you fulfill your obligations, or if you have suffered damages as a result of a breach, we can help you establish your case.  Coepio Legal specializes in business legal advice for startups and small businesses, especially in the competitive San Francisco market. Starting a new business is an exciting and challenging time—we can help you simplify the process. Contact us today to get started.