Download Full Text (225 KB)


Book Chapters

Julian Velasco, Delimiting Fiduciary Status, in Research Handbook on Fiduciary Law 76 (D. Gordon Smith & Andrew Gold eds., 2018).

Paul B. Miller, Dimensions of Fiduciary Loyalty, in Research Handbook on Fiduciary Law 180 (D. Gordon Smith & Andrew Gold eds., 2018).

A familiar problem to scholars of fiduciary law is that of definition. Fiduciary law has been called “messy,” “elusive,” and “unusually vexing.” In part, this is because fiduciary law principles appear in many areas of law, but are applied differently in each. This has made the development of a unified theory difficult. Some scholars have doubted whether it is even possible; others have insisted that it is not possible. Nevertheless, scholars continue to try to bring order to the perceived chaos. My goal in this short paper will be to sketch out the contours of a reasonably coherent theory that covers enough phenomena to have a plausible claim to descriptive accuracy while also providing objective criteria for the exclusion of marginal cases. While a simple definition would be nice, some complexity may be necessary in order to achieve this goal.



Publication Date



Elgar Publishing


fiduciary law, fiduciary relationships, public fiduciary law, fiduciary obligations, fiduciary remedies, equities and trusts


Family Law | Law | Privacy Law | Public Law and Legal Theory

Research Handbook on Fiduciary Law