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How Do You Prove Breach of Fiduciary Duty in Georgia?

When an individual or entity holds a position of trust, they are expected to act in good faith and provide the highest level of care towards the person or entity they represent. When that duty and trust is broken, you can take the breaching party to court and sue them for breach of fiduciary duty – but only if you can meet the legal requirements for this kind of claim.

Fortunately, with the help of our skilled legal team, you can prove how the other party breached their duty. Breach of fiduciary duty can take many forms, like when business partners and company officers try to gain an unfair advantage at the business’s expense or commit outright fraud. However, it is challenging to gain from these violations of trust without leaving a trail. We will help you obtain business records, emails, bank statements, and any other evidence we can find to prove the breach and get the compensation you deserve. With our support, you can limit the damage done to your business reputation and determine a remedy that best repairs the breach.

For a case review with our Atlanta breach of fiduciary duty lawyers, contact Howe & Associates today at (678) 680-6983.

How Can I Prove a Breach of Fiduciary Duty Claim in Georgia?

A fiduciary relationship is a bond of trust and confidence between two parties, wherein one party, the fiduciary, acts in the best interest of the other, the principal. A breach of this duty can unravel the fabric of trust that binds business relationships, leading to significant legal and financial repercussions. While these cases are complex, our Georgia breach of fiduciary duty attorneys can help you prove your claim by showing the following elements:

Existence of a Fiduciary Relationship

At the heart of any claim for breach of fiduciary duty lies the fundamental question of whether a fiduciary relationship existed. In Georgia, this relationship is not confined to specific labels or formalities but hinges on the nature of the interaction between the parties.

Fiduciary duties often arise in contexts where one party places trust in another to act in their best interest, such as in the relationships between attorneys and clients, trustees and beneficiaries, or corporate officers and shareholders.

Breach of Fiduciary Duties

Once a fiduciary relationship is established, attention turns to whether the fiduciary has lived up to their obligations. A breach occurs when the fiduciary acts contrary to the interests of the principal, whether through negligence, malfeasance, or failure to act when required.

While O.C.G.A. § 53-7-54(a) does not provide an exhaustive list of actions constituting a breach, it offers guidance through its provisions on misapplication of assets as a breach of fiduciary duty, thereby setting the grounds for the interpretation of breaches in other fiduciary contexts.

Some concrete examples of breaches include theft, dishonest accounting, self-dealing, incompetence, conflict of interest, conversion, and fraud. These instances underscore the myriad ways in which a fiduciary’s actions, or lack thereof, can violate the trust placed in them by the principal.

Damages Caused by the Breach

The final cornerstone of proving a breach of fiduciary duty claim is demonstrating the damages resulting from the breach. Proving these damages involves showing an actual injury, typically economic in nature, directly attributable to the fiduciary’s breach. This requirement ensures that claims are grounded in tangible losses rather than hypothetical grievances between the parties.

O.C.G.A. § 53-7-54(b) provides for remedies in cases where estate assets are misapplied because of a breach of fiduciary duty, including the imposition of a trust on the misapplied assets to benefit those harmed by the breach. The purpose of awarding damages in breach of fiduciary duty cases is to make the aggrieved party whole, restoring them to the position they would have been in had the breach not occurred.

Evidence that Can Help Prove Your Breach of Fiduciary Duty in Georgia

Proving a breach in your case often requires a meticulous collection of evidence by our firm. The following pieces of evidence will be instrumental in proving your claim in Georgia:

Contractual Agreements and Legal Documents

Fiduciary relationships often have a solid foundation in the form of formal agreements or legal documents that lay out the specific duties and expectations of all parties involved. These agreements can take various forms, such as partnership agreements, corporate bylaws, trust documents, or even employment contracts.

These documents serve as a roadmap for the fiduciary relationship, providing clear guidelines and expectations for each party to follow. As such, they are usually the best place to start when building your case.

Financial Records and Transactions

Financial misconduct can take many forms, such as misappropriating funds, self-dealing activities, or unauthorized transactions. To uncover such activities, it becomes essential to trace the financial records, including bank statements, ledgers, invoices, and receipts. These documents can provide a clear trail of evidence pointing toward the irregularities and deviations from the standard protocol.

Thus, financial records become important in identifying the breach and holding the responsible party accountable. By relying on the documentation and analyzing it thoroughly, our team can take the appropriate actions to mitigate the financial damage caused by the breach.


Emails, text messages, letters, and even notes from meetings can serve as crucial evidence of a breach. They might reveal the fiduciary’s intentions, acknowledge their awareness of certain duties, or document discussions and decisions that contravene the fiduciary’s obligations.

In an era of ubiquitous digital communication, these pieces of evidence are often readily available and can be highly revealing.

Witness Testimony

Gaining firsthand accounts from individuals who were directly involved in or had knowledge of the fiduciary’s actions or the circumstances surrounding the alleged breach can be extremely helpful in establishing the breach. Witnesses can include employees, co-trustees, business partners, or other relevant parties.

Their testimony often provides valuable insights into the existence of a fiduciary relationship, elaborates on the actions that led to the breach, and attests to the damages incurred as a result of the breach.

Expert Analysis

In cases where the breach involves complex financial transactions, valuation issues, or intricate legal questions, the testimony of expert witnesses is usually necessary. Financial analysts, forensic accountants, and other experts can provide an authoritative assessment of the fiduciary’s conduct, helping the court and jury understand whether the fiduciary’s actions deviated from the standards expected in their role.

Digital Footprints

In today’s digital age, electronic evidence extends beyond emails and texts. Social media posts, digital calendars, and even location data can offer insights into the fiduciary’s behavior and actions.

For instance, a fiduciary’s social media post about a lavish purchase or trip could contradict claims of financial hardship under diligent management of trust assets.

Previous Judgments and Disciplinary Actions

If the fiduciary has faced legal judgments or disciplinary actions for similar misconduct in the past, this history can bolster a current claim of breach. Such information can demonstrate a pattern of behavior that supports allegations of a breach in your case.

Our Georgia Attorneys Are Ready to Help You Prove Your Breach of Fiduciary Duty Case

Call Howe & Associates at (678) 680-6983 to speak with our Georgia breach of fiduciary duty attorneys and have your case evaluated.