February 19, 2014
Crowdsourcing Research on Fiduciary Duty
Posted by Gordon Smith

In Fiduciary Discretion (with Jordan Lee), we argue, among other things, that courts often define the boundaries of fiduciary duty by reference to industry customs and social norms. In our next article, Loyalty Across Time, we claim that, although common law courts strive to conform to the doctrine of stare decisis, their reliance on customs and norms as guides to appropriate fiduciary behavior ensures that the meaning of “loyalty” changes over time. Thus, the requirements imposed by the duty of loyalty vary not only from one relationship context to the next, as many scholars have recognized, but also across time in similar relationships.

We are looking for examples in various areas of law relating to these propositions. We have been concentrating on employment law and corporate law, but the application of fiduciary principles covers a vast territory, and we would be interested in examples from other areas of law. Of course, if you disagree that the meaning of “loyalty” changes over time, we would be interested to know that, too.

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