Definitions from Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition and Ballentine's Law Dictionary as are available for each term in each dictionary.
  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    The term is derived from the Roman law, and means (as a noun) a person holding the character of a trustee or a character analogous to that of a trustee, in respect to the trust and confidence involved in it and the scrupulous good faith and candor which it requires. Thus, a person is a fiduciary who is invested with rights and powers to be exercised for the benefit of another person. Svanoe v. Jurgens, 144 III. 507, 33 N. E. 955; Stoll v. King, 8 How. Prac. (N. Y.) 299. As, an adjective it means of the nature of a trust; having the characteristics of a trust; analogous to a trust; relating to or founded upon a trust or confidence.
    —Fiduciary capacity. One is said to act in a "fiduciary capacity" or to receive money or contract a debt in a "fiduciary capacity," when the business which he transacts, or the money or property which he handles, is not his own or for his own benefit, but for the benefit of another person, as to whom he stands in a relation implying and necessitating great confidence and trust on the one part and a high degree of good faith on the other part The term is not restricted to technical or express trusts, but included also such offices or relations as those of an attorney at law, a guardian, executor, or broker, a director of a corporation, and a public officer. See Schudder v. Shiells, 17 How. Prae. (N. Y.) 420; Roberts v. Prosser, 53 N. Y. 260; Heffren v. Jayne, 39 Ind. 465, 13 Am. Rep. 281; Flanagan v. Pearson, 42 Tex. 1, 19 Am. Rep. 40; Clark v. Pinckney, 50 Barb. (N. Y.) 226 ; Chapman v. Forsyth, 2 How. 202,-11 L. Ed. 236; Forker v. Brown, 10 Misc. Rep. 161, 30 N. Y. Supp. 827; Madison Tp. v. Dun-kle, 114 Ind. 262, 16 N. E. 593.
    —Fiduciary contract. An agreement by which a person delivers a thing to another on the condition that he will restore it to him.
    —Fiduciary relation. A relation subsisting between two persons in regard to a business, contract, or piece of property, or in regard to the general business or estate of one of them, of such a character that each must repose trust and confidence in the other and must exercise a corresponding degree of fairness and good faith. Out of such a relation, the law raises the rule that neither party may exert influence or pressure upon the other, lake selfish advantage of his trust, or deal with the subject-matter of the trust in such a way as to benefit himself or prejudice the other except in the exercise of the utmost good faith and with the full knowledge and consent of that other, business shrewdness, hard bargaining, and astuteness to take advantage of the forgetfulness or negligence of another being totally prohibited as between persons standing in such a relation to each other. Examples of fiduciary relations are those existing between attorney and client, guardian and ward, principal and agent, executor and heir, trustee and cestui que trust, landlord and tenant, etc. See Robins v. Hope, 57 Cal. 497 ; Thomas v. Whitney, 186 III. 225, 57 N. E. 808; Central Nat Bank v Connecticut Mut. It Ins. Co., 104 U. S. 68, 26 L. Ed. 693; Meyer v. Reimer, 65 Kan. 822, 70 Pac. 869; Studybaker v. Cofield, 159 Mo. 596, 61 S. W. 246.