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WALKING (THROUGH) PLANK: Solving Maryland’s ‘Breach of Fiduciary Duty’ Puzzle


By its own admission, the Maryland Court of Appeals had struggled for 23 years to articulate a coherent “breach of fiduciary duty” doctrine. A series of high court opinions handed down in and after 1997 led the Court of Special Appeals to subsequently issue three inconsistent categories of rulings of its own: (i) those holding that no standalone cause of action exists for breach of fiduciary duty, (ii) those holding that the claim exists but can yield only equitable relief, and (iii) those stating that the claim MIGHT exist but not necessarily restricting the types of relief available. Adding to the confusion was a somewhat different interpretation offered by the United States District Court for the District of Maryland. This program analyzes both this tortured history and the Court of Appeals’s largely successful effort in Plank v. Cherneski, 469 Md. 548 (2020) to synthesize prior rulings and blaze an understandable path forward.

One hour of CLE credit will be offered to the surrounding MCLE states.

Course Level
Professional Area of Focus
Litigation Law
Business Law
CLE Field of Study
Continuing Education Legal Credit
David Ross
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Total CLE Credits


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WALKING (THROUGH) PLANK: Solving Maryland’s ‘Breach of Fiduciary Duty’ Puzzle