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AMI 1512 Issues—Claim for Damages Based Upon Breach of Fiduciary Duty

Arkansas Supreme Court Committee On Jury Instructions-Civil

Ark. Model Jury Instr., Civil AMI 1512
Arkansas Model Jury Instructions-Civil
November 2021 Update
Arkansas Supreme Court Committee On Jury Instructions-Civil
Chapter 15. Malpractice and Breach of Fiduciary Duty
AMI 1512 Issues—Claim for Damages Based Upon Breach of Fiduciary Duty
(Plaintiff) claims damages from (defendant) for breach of fiduciary duty and has the burden of proving each of three essential propositions:
First: That [he][she] has sustained damages;
Second: That (defendant) breached the fiduciary duty [he][she][it] owed to (plaintiff)[as I will explain it to you];
Third: That the breach of fiduciary duty by (defendant) was a proximate cause of (plaintiff)'s damages.
[If you find from the evidence in this case that each of these propositions has been proved, then your verdict should be for (plaintiff); but if, on the other hand, you find from the evidence that any of these propositions has not been proved, then your verdict should be for (defendant)].
NOTE ON USE
Do not use the final bracketed paragraph when the case is submitted on interrogatories.
Use this instruction in conjunction with AMI 1513. If the existence of the underlying relationship itself is disputed, the instructions on this subject may need to be modified or supplemented.
COMMENT
The determination of the existence of a fiduciary duty in a particular relationship is a matter of law, and it is error to submit that issue to the jury. Long v. Lampton, 324 Ark. 511, 922 S.W.2d 692 (1996) (error to instruct jury that minority shareholders had burden to prove president of corporation owed them a fiduciary duty because that was a question of law). Where there is a factual dispute as to the existence of the relationship giving rise to the duty at the time of the occurrence, as indicated in the Note on Use, the instructions on this subject may need to be supplemented or modified.
Bomar v. Moser, 369 Ark. 123, 251 S.W.3d 234 (2007), held that a client does not have an unqualified right to rely upon the representation of his or her attorney when the client receives information from an authoritative source which directly contradicts the representations of the attorney. Instead, it is incumbent upon the client to reconcile the contradiction by some act of reasonable diligence. Id. See also, Delanno, Inc., v. Peace, 366 Ark. 542, 237 S.W.3d 81 (2006).
Damages for emotional distress without any accompanying economic loss are not recoverable in a breach of fiduciary duty action. Rees v. Smith, 2009 Ark. 169, 301 S.W.3d 467.
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