Texas Causes of Action & Affirmative Defenses

Texas Causes of Action & Affirmative Defenses

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Thursday, February 23, 2017

Elements of breach-of-fiduciary-duty claim under Texas law


"The elements of a breach of fiduciary duty claim are: (1) a fiduciary relationship between the plaintiff and defendant, (2) a breach by the defendant of his fiduciary duty to the plaintiff, and (3) an injury to the plaintiff or benefit to the defendant as a result of the defendant's breach." Lundy v. Masson, 260 S.W.3d 482, 501 (Tex. App.-Houston [14th Dist.] 2008, pet. denied).

Fiduciary duties may arise from formal and informal relationships and may be created by contract. Cotten v. Weatherford Bancshares, Inc., 187 S.W.3d 687, 698 (Tex. App.-Fort Worth 2006, pet. denied) disapproved on other grounds by Ritchie v. Rupe, 443 S.W.3d 856, 866 (Tex. 2014)

Fiduciary duties arise as a matter of law in certain formal relationships, including attorney-client and trustee relationships. Meyer v. Cathey, 167 S.W.3d 327, 330-31 (Tex. 2005). But an informal fiduciary duty may arise from a moral, social, domestic, or purely personal relationship of trust and confidence, and these types of relationships are generally called a confidential relationship. Hubbard v. Shankle, 138 S.W.3d 474, 483 (Tex. App.-Fort Worth 2004, pet. denied)

A confidential relationship exists where influence has been acquired and abused and confidence has been extended and betrayed. Cotten, 187 S.W.3d at 698. The existence of a confidential relationship is ordinarily a question of fact. Id.

SOURCE: FORT WORTH COURT OF APPEALS No. 02-14-00294-CV. - 1/16/2017 

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Doctrine of laches (not the same as statute of limitations, but similar)


LACHES DOCTRINE IS EQUITABLE IN NATURE, WHILE SOL IS STATUTORY 

Laches is an equitable remedy that prevents a plaintiff from asserting a claim due to a lapse of time. Green v. Parrack,974 S.W.2d 200, 203-04 (Tex. App.-San Antonio 1998, no pet.)Bluebonnet Sav. Bank, F.S.B. v. Grayridge Apartment Homes, Inc., 907 S.W.2d 904, 912 (Tex. App.-Houston [1st Dist.] 1995, writ denied). To prevail, the party asserting laches must show two elements: (1) there was an unreasonable delay by the other party in asserting legal or equitable rights, and (2) the party asserting laches made a good faith change in position to his detriment because of the delay. Caldwell v. Barnes, 975 S.W.2d 535, 538 (Tex. 1998)Rogers v. Ricane Enters., Inc., 772 S.W.2d 76, 80 (Tex. 1989)

SOURCE: AUSTIN COURT OF APPEALS - No. 03-14-00738-CV - 1/20/2017