Legal Memorandum: Breach of Fiduciary Duty

Issue: What must be shown in order to establish a cause of action for breach of fiduciary duty?

Area of Law: Estate Planning & Probate
Keywords: Breach of fiduciary duty; Trustor-trustee relationship
Jurisdiction: Alabama
Cited Cases: None
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 07/01/2007

Equity has always taken an active interest in fostering and protecting the intimate relationships it calls “fiduciary.”  See Bogert’s Trusts & Trustees, supra, § 481.  One of the most important of such relationships is the trust.  Id.  If a trustor-trustee relationship is established in this case based on any of the theories discussed above, it is possible that a fiduciary relationship would also be recognized.  In cases involving relationships of a fiduciary character, equity has assisted the courts of law and probate in securing satisfaction to the entrusting party. Id.  Executorships, guardianships, agencies, partnerships and other joint ventures, and co-ownerships have all been recognized as fiduciary relationships.  Id. 

For a Third Circuit state-court case briefly discussing breach of fiduciary duty and related claims, including fraud and conspiracy, see Albert v. Alex Brown Mgmt. Servs., Inc., No. 762-N (Del. Ch. Ct. Aug. 26, 2005).