Boston University School of Law will hold a conference on The Role of Fiduciary Law and Trust in the 21st Century, to be held at Boston University School of Law.
About the Conference: To survive and prosper, members of society must depend on each other, and often must entrust others with power over their property, interests and rights. However, entrustment and dependence are risky, for they can be abused.
Fiduciary law is designed to encourage people to rely on experts and other fiduciaries, to facilitate fair and efficient terms of those relationships, and to prevent (and provide remedies for) abuse of power entrusted to the fiduciary. These issues have an ancient heritage, and fiduciary relationships range widely in scope. From the Code of Hammurabi to today’s Employee Retirement Income Security Act, from partnership rules in the Middle Ages to corporate and bank management, and in such varied contexts as hiring a lawyer, consulting a medical doctor, or taking a teacher’s class, people entrust and trust others; at the same time, we rely on law to the extent that social norms to control abuse of entrustment are weak.
This Conference highlights the nature and scope of fiduciary law, and its relationship to other legal doctrines and categories. It considers how fiduciary law can be illuminated by viewing it through the lens of such disciplines as economics, psychology, history, political science, and philosophy. It also investigates current debates about recognizing fiduciary duties in the determination of executive compensation, in the prohibition of insider trading under the federal securities laws, in the largely unregulated world of securities and mortgage broker-dealers, and in modern capital structure and governance. It further explores the relevance of fiduciary law principles to the abuse of power by public officials and to other issues of democratic legitimacy, as well as the relevance of constraints on political power to the duties of private actors.