People come together under a variety of business forms to act on behalf of stakeholders or beneficiaries or to share in the profits and losses of a business. They come together with what they believe is a common vision, but then something goes wrong. For example, they take an opportunity to aggrandize their own personal wealth at the expense of the business. Or, they disagree with their fellow stakeholders about a matter material to the business, are unable to resolve the disagreement, and go so far as to somehow violate their fiduciary duties. This is unacceptable.
As the legal luminary, Justice Benjamin Cardozo, explained long ago in the landmark case of Meinhardt v. Salmon, 164 N.E. 545 (N.Y. 1928):
A trustee is held to something stricter than the morals of the market place. Not honesty alone, but the punctilio of an honor the most sensitive, is then the standard of behavior… the level of conduct for fiduciaries [has] been kept at a level higher than that trodden by the crowd.
It is this high fiduciary standard that allows such critical business forms as trusts, partnerships, and corporations to exist in the first place. Without these internal promises of the highest order, human beings would be much more timid about going into business with others. Fiduciary duties are the foundation for and indispensable to successful business forms in America.
At García de la Garza, we fight for those who have been betrayed by their fiduciaries in order to obtain justice for these wronged businesspersons. In so doing, we help to uphold the time-honored promise of trust that is in the DNA of American business.