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    Breach of Fiduciary Duty vs. Constructive Fraud – Which Claim Do You Have?

    Breach of Fiduciary Duty:               A fiduciary is an individual or corporation to whom property or power is entrusted for the benefit of another.  Fiduciaries must prudently care for any such assets, and may also have a number of additional duties, depending on the nature of their fiduciary relationship.  These duties include, without limitation: a duty of good faith and fair dealing, a duty of loyalty, a duty of impartiality, a duty to delegate, a duty to inform, and a duty to maintain adequate records.             To succeed on a breach of fiduciary duty claim, the plaintiff must prove…

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    Breach of Trustees’ Fiduciary Duty – Part 4: Duty to Delegate

    At common law, trustees had a fiduciary duty not to delegate tasks they can perform themselves.  However, our current financial system’s increasing complexity makes it unreasonable for many trustees to manage trust assets on their own.  The opportunities for investments are endless, and the sophistication of even basic financial instruments has increased since the creation of the common law duty not to delegate tasks.  As a result, it is often in the best interests of all parties – including the trustee – to enlist the help of experienced professionals who can assist with investment decisions.  Doing so ensures the trust’s assets are financially productive and protected.   When delegating his…

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    Breach of Trustees’ Fiduciary Duty – Part 3: Duty to Administer Trusts Prudently and Duty to Inform, Report, and Maintain Adequate Records

              In Part 2 of this series, we examined trustees’ duties of loyalty and impartiality.  This post will examine the duty to administer trusts prudently and Part 4 will discuss the duty to delegate – or not delegate – in more depth.  The duty to administer trusts involves the basic values of good faith, while the duty to inform, report, and maintain adequate records involves the reasonableness of a trustee’s actions.  While these principals seem straight forward, they are a bit nuanced in practice.     Duty to Administer Trusts Prudently             The duty to administer trusts prudently mandates trustees carry…

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    A Closer Look at Lindley Law – A Conversation with Satie Munn

    Did you always want to be an attorney?             For a brief moment in middle school, I wanted to be a marine biologist, but then I discovered science was not my strongest subject, so that didn’t work out.  Growing up, I was always very determined.  I wouldn’t say “argumentative,” but my parents might beg to differ.  My mom and grandmom used to say that I would argue the sky isn’t blue because I stuck to my guns no matter what – they always said I’d be a lawyer.           In seventh grade, I went to Elizabeth Dole’s senatorial inauguration in D.C., which was…