Accident and Injury Medical Specialists v. David J. Mintz, 2012CO50 (June 25, 2012)

The “extensive edifice of the attorney regulation and discipline system” protects attorneys from breach of fiduciary duty claims from third parties. In this case, an attorney contracts with medical providers to provide his clients with medical care. In exchange, the providers take a medical lien on any settlement funds the attorney secures in payment for motor vehicle accident claims. The attorney puts his clients’ settlement funds into a COLTAF account and then pays providers from those funds. But the relationship turns “toxic,” and the attorney starts withholding payments. The providers claim the attorney breached a fiduciary duty. The Court holds that arms-length business transactions like this do not create a fiduciary relationship. Also, attorneys owe duties to their clients, not third party creditors of clients. Here, the providers could recover only what was owed.

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Filed under Attorney Regulation, Contracts

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