A Theory of Fiduciary Liability

By Miller, Paul B. | McGill Law Journal, February 2011 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

A Theory of Fiduciary Liability


Miller, Paul B., McGill Law Journal


The law of fiduciaries has been developed in an unprincipled manner. Consequently, the common law lacks a clear idea of the nature of the fiduciary relationship, the justification for fiduciary duties, and the purpose of fiduciary remedies. However, according to the author a principled theory of fiduciary liability may be derived from the common law. The focal point is the recent decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in Galambos v. Perez. The theory of liability suggested by Galambos and developed by the author is based on the conventional notion that fiduciary liability is premised upon the existence of a fiduciary relationship. The author argues that a clearer account of the nature and normative significance of the fiduciary relationship is critical to developing a sound understanding of the nature and scope of fiduciary duties. Under the theory developed by the author, the fiduciary relationship is treated as a distinctive kind of legal relationship. It is one in which one person (the fiduciary) wields discretionary power over the practical interests of another (the beneficiary). According to the author, fiduciary duties are explicable solely in terms of normatively salient qualities of the fiduciary relationship. The author explains these qualities and shows how they support and limit the incidence of fiduciary duties.

Le droit fiduciaire fut developpe sans principe directeur. Par consequent, la common law n'a pas d'idee claire de ce qu'est la nature de la relation fiduciaire, de la justification des obligations fiduciaires et de l'objectif des remedes fiduciaires. Toutefois, selon l'auteur, le principe theorique de la responsabilite fiduciaire provient peut-etre de la common law. L'element principal est le jugement recemment rendu par la Cour supreme du Canada dans Galambos c. Perez. La theorie de la responsabilite suggeree par Galambos et developpee par l'auteur est basee sur la notion conventionnelle selon laquelle la relation fiduciaire est la premisse sur laquelle l'existence d'une responsabilite fiduciaire est etablie. L'auteur tente de demontrer qu'une explication plus claire de la nature et de la signification normative de la relation fiduciaire est un element essentiel au developpement d'une comprehension informee de la nature et de la portee des obligations fiduciaires. Selon la theorie developpee par l'auteur, la relation fiduciaire est traitee comme etant une relation legale distincte. II s'agit d'une relation dans laquelle une personne (le fiduciaire) exerce un pouvoir discretionnaire sur les interets d'une autre personne (le beneficiaire). Selon l'auteur, les obligations fiduciaires dependent principalement des qualites normatives saillantes de la relation fiduciaires. L'auteur explique ces qualites et demontre comment ces dernieres supportent et limitent l'incidence des obligations fiduciaires.

Introduction

I. Approximate Approaches to Fiduciary Liability
   A. The Nature oldie Fiduciary Relationship
      1. Stares-Based Fiduciary Relationships
      2. Fact-Based Fiduciary Relationships
      3. Problems with the Status- and Fact-Based Approaches
   B. The Foundation of Fiduciary Obligation
      1. The Formation of Fiduciary Relationships
      2. The Basis of Fiduciary Duties
   C. The Nature and Scope of Fiduciary Obligation

II. An Emerging Theory of Fiduciary Liability
   A. The Nature of die Fiduciary Relationship
      1. The Fiduciary Relationship Defined
      2. Implications for file Status- and Fact-Based Approaches
   B. The Foundation of Fiduciary Obligation
      1. The Formation of Fiduciary Relationships
      2. The Basis of Fiduciary Duties
   C. The Nature and Scope of Fiduciary Obligation

III. Emendations and Amplification
   A. The Nature of the Fiduciary Relationship
      1. Moving Beyond die Status-and Fact-Based Approaches
      2. Amplifying the Definition of file Fiduciary Relationship
   B. The Foundation of Fiduciary Obligation
      1. 

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

A Theory of Fiduciary Liability
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?