Many clients think of lawyer malpractice as when an attorney acts
negligently. But attorney malpractice also includes the breach of
A breach of fiduciary duty can occur when a lawyer
takes advantage of his position of trust with the client.
A breach of
fiduciary duty may occur when the lawyer takes an unjustified or
unauthorized fee or obtains an interest in the client's property or the
Trust without first advising the client to seek separate counsel.
breach of fiduciary duty may occur when the lawyer changes the terms of
the fee agreement without first advising the client to seek separate
Sometimes lawyers seek contingent fees from an Estate or Trust
for tax savings after the lawyer has already done the tax savings work
under an hourly or flat fee agreement.
So, ask yourself:
Was a Trust prepared by a lawyer who obtained additional fees in addition to the fees originally paid for setting up the Trust?
Do you feel you were overcharged for these additional fees by the lawyer?
Do you think the attorney took fees for an amount with which you disagree?
Did the attorney change the fee agreement to a contingent fee from an hourly after he completed his work?
Did the lawyer take an interest in Trust property?
Did the lawyer take attorney fees from the Trust without Court approval?
Did the lawyer take attorney fees based on tax savings?
Did the attorney provided an estate plan or Trust where he is the
Trustee or owner of an interest in property held by the Trust?
If you answered yes to any one of these questions you may be victim of
attorney malpractice and breach of fiduciary duty by the lawyer. We can
answer your questions about lawyer malpractice and breach of fiduciary
Mr. Lerner served as a Hearing Officer on issues of overcharging fees and ruled that the lawyer overcharged $117,000, leading to sanctions against the lawyer, including disgorgement of the fees.
Call the Law Officers of Stanley R. Lerner, P.C. at 602-279-3400 for a
free consultation about the answers to your questions and your concerns
regarding your Trust and if your lawyer breached his fiduciary duty.