Boston University School of Law

JD860 Fiduciary Law


With few exceptions fiduciary law appears in all legal subjects: contract, tort and property; trusts and estates, agency and partnership; corporation and securities regulation; criminal law, health law, and civil procedure. You cannot escape it. We learn snippets of the subjects in different contexts. This course offers a view of fiduciary law as a legal category, highlights its uniqueness and history, and predicts its future development or disappearance. We sample statutory and common law fiduciaries of various kinds and ask: When and why do fiduciary duties arise? Why so many different fiduciaries with similar, but different rules? Are family members, the clergy, and broker-dealers fiduciaries? What are the remedies for the breach of their duties? Is contract a good and simplified substitute to this mess? Can civil law and common law systems in the fiduciary law area be unified, as we move to, or already are in, a global business environment? Course reading materials are a manuscript in the making. Students' comments and contributions are very welcome.