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Aiding and Abetting Breach of Fiduciary Duty in Florida

Probate Information • Mar 25, 2021
post about Aiding and Abetting Breach of Fiduciary Duty in Florida

If someone helped a fiduciary breach their fiduciary duty, is that someone responsible, too? A March 24, 2021 appeal from Florida’s 3rd District Court of Appeal discusses aiding and abetting a breach of fiduciary duty in Florida. We have previously commented on Breach of Fiduciary Duty under Florida law. Now, let’s consider this new case.

Aiding and abetting a breach of fiduciary duty requires you to prove four things.

Miami Dade Appeals Court Decision

The Miami Dade Appeals Court, the 3rd DCA, issued its opinion in Grape Leaf Capital, Inc. v. Lafontant. In that case, a Personal Representative of a Florida estate was alleged to have received a loan. The “executor” was alleged to have entered into a loan agreement in exchange for proceeds to be recovered from a wrongful death case. In Florida, a wrongful death case is brought on behalf of the estate. The court-appointed Personal Representative of the Florida Probate is the plaintiff.

Miami Dade Probate

In this recent appeal case, some lawyers were alleged to have “substantially assisted” the personal representative breaching her fiduciary duty. A breach of fiduciary duty exists when you have the following. A duty owed to someone, a breach of a duty that causes damage. So, what does aiding and abetting a breach of fiduciary duty mean? A cause of action, or lawsuit, for aiding and abetting a breach of fiduciary duty is comprised of 4 things or elements. First, you need to have a fiduciary duty. Second, a breach of that duty. Third, you need knowledge of the breach by the alleged aider and abettor. Fourth, you need to show the aider and abetter’s substantial assistance or encouragement of the wrongdoing. If you wanted to read more about this topic, consider the 2017 opinion or case of Fonseca v. Taverna Imports, Inc. To read about the 10 top probate mistakes, consider reading John Pankauski’s book Probate Litigation Guide.