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Fred D. Weinstein of Kurzman Eisenberg Corbin and Lever

In 1928, Justice Cardozo wrote the majority opinion for the Court of Appeals in Meinhard v. Salmon, 249 N.Y. 458, 164 N.E. 545 (1928), and famously described the fiduciary duty owed by one co-venturer to another as “something stricter than the morals of the market place.  Not honesty alone, but the punctilio of an honor most sensitive, is then the standard of behavior.” Justice Cardozo’s articulation of the duty of loyalty imposed upon a fiduciary has endured for decades and has been cited in judicial opinions addressing the fiduciary duty owed not just by co-venturers, but in numerous other contexts.  By 2005, Justice Cardozo’s opinion in Meinhard had been invoked in more than a thousand published opinions.  See Robert W. Hillman, Closely-Held Firms and the Common Law of Fiduciary Duty: What Explains the Enduring Qualities of a Punctilio?, 41 Tulsa L. Rev. 441, 445 & n.24 (2005).

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