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Breach Of Fiduciary Duty- Part 2

Breach of Fiduciary Duty- Part 2

If you read our last blog post, you know that we are diving into the issue of breach of fiduciary duty and remedies.  We basically defined it, and discussed what happens when a breach occurs.  Understanding fiduciary duty is an important part of business law.

Shareholders depend of Boards of Directors to run a business, and those boards have legal (if not moral) responsibilities.  Fiduciary duties are those responsibilities.  As far as the law is concerned, when shareholders are harmed because a board member breached those duties, it is their right to recover damages.  Plaintiffs in breach of fiduciary duty lawsuits need not be shareholders and defendants are not necessarily on the Board of Directors.

The list of such duties is extensive:

  • Lawyer to Client
  • Director of Corporation to Corporation and its shareholders.
  • Officer of Company to the Owners of the corporation.
  • Broker to client (both stock and real property brokers have the duty.)
  • Employee to Employer
  • Executor of Will to Beneficiaries.
  • Trustee of Trust to Beneficiaries.
  • Spouses to each other. Parent to child.
  • Partner to all other partners.
  • Doctor to patient.
  • Psychiatrist to patient.
  • Financial advisor to client.
  • Insurance broker to client.
  • Agent to Principle.
  • Accountant to client
  • Guardian to beneficiary
  • Conservator to beneficiary (conservatee)

So what are possible remedies for a breach of fiduciary duty?

Depending on the state laws at play, plaintiffs may recover actual damages incurred, and in some states, even punitive damages, if it can be proven that malice or fraud existed.  In other instances, the outcome is more in line with changing future behavior.  The lawsuit itself may serve as a warning or deterrent for current and future Boards of Directors.  Awareness may be heightened and current and future members may be more careful in the exercise of their duties of loyalty and good faith.

Contact Kansas City attorney Andy Protzman today for your business law needs.  Call 816.421.5100 or email

*image credit 

*credit: list of possible fiduciary duty relationships


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