When Lawyers Fail Their Clients And Breach A Fiduciary Duty
Our lawyers at St. Denis & Davey, P.A., in North Florida, hold negligent lawyers accountable for their actions. We serve clients in Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa, St. Petersburg, Tallahassee, Panama City, and Pensacola, and in South Florida serving cities including Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Fort Myers and Naples.
What Is A Breach Of A Fiduciary Duty?
In the world of legal malpractice, a breach of fiduciary duty occurs when a lawyer puts someone else’s interests above a client’s interests in a legal matter, or when he or she seems more interested in recruiting clients than serving the ones they have.
Many times a lawyer will commit legal malpractice by:
- Missing a statute of limitations filing deadline
- Not properly investigating a client’s claim
- Suing the wrong party
Any mistake that cannot be corrected in the litigation at hand could be considered a breach of fiduciary duty. The lawyer may then realize the mistake, but fail to inform the client. Instead, the lawyer may try to convince the client to settle his or her claim for a minimal amount without disclosing the error. To cover up his or her mistake, the lawyer then switches sides in the case to disprove the client had a case in the first place.
The client may become discouraged to the point that he or she accepts a minimal settlement or drops the case entirely. The client could also receive an adverse verdict in the underlying case, while the lawyer has only excuses for his or her failures.
Holding Lawyers Accountable
A lawyer may breach his or her fiduciary duty to a client when he or she does one or more of the following:
- Sets aside cases that appear to be minor
- Asks clients to accept a minimal settlement when the facts indicate the client may have a bigger claim
- Fails to offer appropriate advice
- Misses a filing deadline
- Files an improper document
- Ignores a conflict of interest
A breach of fiduciary duty can also occur during the formation of business agreements, a process in which some lawyers will actually attempt to represent the interests of another side that may be more lucrative for them. This can sometimes go hand-in-hand with a conflict of interest, meaning that someone else has a relationship with that lawyer that causes the lawyer to place another’s interests ahead of the client’s interests.
Contact A Malpractice Lawyer Today
We hold lawyers accountable. If your Florida lawyer has failed you by breaching his or her fiduciary duty, our legal malpractice lawyers at St. Denis & Davey want to hear about it. Email us or call us right away at 1-800-785-2153 to share the specifics of your potential legal malpractice case. At our law firm, we hold negligent lawyers accountable for their actions.