Fiduciary Duties

A”Thumb Nail” Summary

  1. The “fiduciary-ness” of the lawyer (L) to client (C) relationship is the “heart” of the relationship and “enables the client[s] to place unhesitating trust in the attorney’s ability to represent them effectively.”  All lawyers owe all their clients the highest fiduciary duties, assuming such duties  have different levels. For the insurance-specific matter, see the last line.
  2. Undivided loyalty. C: “Though shalt have no other clients on this matter but me, and you will have enough five my true interest. At the same time, you will not simply tell me what I want to hear and do what I say I want without some discussion, as needed by me.”  L: I will.
  3. Highest “trustability”: C must be able to trust L completely.
  4. Utmost fairness and good faith, indeed “most abundant good faith”
  5. Uberrima fides = integrity + carefully observing it and making sure, scrupulously, that it is    upheld at all times.
  6. Honesty and openness which are absolutely perfect:  “no concealment or deception [from C], however slight.” Not even a whiff of it. (Even trivialities? Even on matters absolutely unrelated to the representation? Technically, “Yes” and “Yes.”)
  7. L must place the C’s interests ahead of his/her own. (There is a profound paradox here. Guess what it is.6. Obviously, there is such a thing as actionable fiduciary malpractice–perhaps a contract claim too.
  8. Most errors of most lawyers are not breaches of fiduciary duties.
  9. Breaches of contract, even if they occur in bad faith, can be breaches of fiduciary duties.