Legal team faces accusations of breach of fiduciary duty

A Florida-based law firm is representing the receiver of the Jay Peak ski resort in Vermont who says the ex-attorneys of the former owner and associates failed to act in order to protect many investors who were allegedly victims of fraud. The lawsuit was filed in Florida because the former owner resides there.

The complex case involves the former owner and several associates. In April 2016, there were fraud allegations against the owner and the man who was the ski resort's CEO and president. At that time, the receiver was appointed to his post, which involves managing the assets involved in the fraud allegations. The former owner, the former CEO and two other men, one of whom is still at large, are facing criminal charges. The three men who have been apprehended pleaded not guilty in May.

The former owner and former CEO were already facing a civil lawsuit from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that said they misused over half of the money raised from immigrant investors for redevelopment projects. The receiver's lawsuit accuses the former legal team for the men of breaching fiduciary duty and legal malpractice. The attorney representing the former legal team accused says that the legal team acted appropriately at all times as part of client representation.

Legal malpractice often involves accusations that a lawyer has failed to effectively represent a client because of not filing paperwork in time under the applicable statute of limitations, making mistakes during the trial or not performing investigations or discovery thoroughly enough. The legal system recognizes both that outcomes are not always favorable for clients and that an attorney will sometimes represent people who commit criminal acts. Legal malpractice examines whether the attorney acted illegally or was negligent in the representation provided to a client.

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