The Rise of Fiduciary Law

Fiduciary relationships, and the concepts on which they are grounded, appear not only in the law. They appear in other areas of knowledge: economics, psychology; moral norms and pluralism. Tamar Frankel discusses the evolution and expansion of fiduciary principles and a prediction of their future. 

Full Interview Transcript:

  1. What are Fiduciary relationships? and the conditions under which they arise?

Outline: Fiduciary relationships are based on trust by some people over the trust of others. It is as simple as that.

The condition for the reliance of one on another. Because the one has knowledge or physical power (parent over child) which can be abused when given for the benefit of the recipient not for the benefit of the powerful person. (Financial manager, lawyer, Doctor and teacher who gives grades)

  1. Describe the evolution and expansion of fiduciary principles and speak to the specialization of living being–from genetic to chosen cooperative specialization

Outline: Fiduciary law expanded because of a variety of professions, people, and organizations so they could enrich and help others with health and wealth. Therefore, they needed other people’s money and control over their body. In sum, they needed to be trusted and become fiduciaries.

Dr/Law//Expert advisors Parents – are all fiduciaries of helpless patients/clients and children under their power

  1. Discuss the positive and negative social impact of fiduciary relations and the response of the law to these

One positive social impact is the trust of other people and the elimination of anxiety that comes with mistrust. Reliability of experts is another positive and opens the door for people to rely on experts such as lawyers, doctors, teachers, and businessmen. In other words, each person can rely and benefit on a very large number of other experts and enrich each other’s lives, including the lives of the experts as well. In addition, there are certain powers which only fiduciaries can and should have such as police and government officials. These people hold power and responsibility by the law, and they can use it only for that purpose.

  1. What are the criticisms of fiduciary law and alternative solutions

Outline: Trusting in fiduciaries who fail to be trustworthy can be disastrous.

Criticism – it is difficult to enforce because the recipient and person who relies on another by definition has no power to enforce the duties owed to the recipient. That is when the solution of the law was introduced. Law does not always enforce duties that may be private

Alternative solution – is to impose the duty on all people who are given or have these duties, such as parents and financial managers, lawyers and doctors.

  1. Outline the future of fiduciary law.
    Outline: The future of Fiduciary law may depend on the trustworthiness of people who hold power over others. I can only hope that the fiduciaries can gain enough trust to be obedient and to behave honestly towards the ones who trusted them.
    So long as humans have different power over each other and so long as there is no alternative to the enforcement of the use of such power the chances are that fiduciary duties will exist. IF they do not the chances are that society which fails to enforce fiduciary duty is likely to be swimming in a blood sea of others.

Image courtesy of interviewee

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