The Law of Fiduciary Duties




Rafael Chodos, Esq.


This  book presents the first comprehensive treatment of this central area of civil law which lies midway between contract and tort. The book is self-contained because it includes readable summaries of all cases cited and full text of all statutes relied on. Rule bites at the beginning of many sections make the law easy to understand and easy to remember. Anecdotes, hypotheticals and fairy tales make the exposition enjoyable and richly textured. Chronological organization of cases aids understanding of how the law developed. Historical footnotes put contemporary law in context. Over 700 cases through 1999 discussed and rationalized. The CD includes advanced hyperlinking to help the reader deep-sea-dive in the information rather than merely “surf” it. The CD is also the first talking lawbook with rule bites read aloud! Our live website provides an updated “pocket part”, citing cases which will be discussed in the second edition, new statutes, new ideas, and errata.

Find the law, Understand the law, Enjoy the law, Learn the law — this book helps you do it all!

The book is illustrated with citations to the California authorities and so it will have particular value to California lawyers as a practice aid.  However because the legal principles discussed are common to virtually all 50 states, the book will be an important resource for lawyers in any Anglo-American jurisdiction.

This book treats fiduciary duties as a third, coequal branch of civil law along with contract and tort:  One enters a contract voluntarily and assumes only those obligations to which he assents affirmatively, while tort duties are imposed on us without our special assent to them.  But the fiduciary duty has characteristics of both:  the fiduciary relationship is entered voluntarily, but then the duties devolve on the fiduciary without his affirmative consent.

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The CD is a Folio Views(tm) 4.2 infobase, with extensive hyperlinking.  Every time a case is mentioned, you simply click on the name of the case and you find Mr. Chodos' summary along with a "relevant to" pane which guides you to all other places in the book where the same principles are discussed.  In many cases, you may follow links to "earlier" and "later" cases, to help you follow the development of a particular issue across the decades.

The author's style is easy to read, with most sections written in "tiered" format:  a short rule bite stating the rule of law at the beginning, followed by a brief one-paragraph statement with citations to the key cases, and then wherever appropriate, a longer discussion of the subtleties involved. 

Historical footnotes to sources ranging from Hammurabi (1700 BC) and the Old and New Testaments, through Greek and Roman law, Talmudic law, the Koran, and medieval law lend the book a richer texture than what is usually offered in such books. 

The analysis is comprehensive and persuasive and offers the courts a framework for what is now just a patchwork of decisions.  We believe this book is going to be read more and more as the years go by, and that in addition to being an invaluable practice aid and a high-class entertainment, it is an important contribution to this area of jurisprudence.

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