Maxims: No Self-Dealing
October 21, 2013 § 4 Comments
“No person bound to act for another can act for himself.”
This maxim is the essence of the law of fiduciaries that binds executors, administrators, guardians, conservators, and all persons charged by the court to carry out some responsibility for the benefit of another. No self-dealing.
Here is how Judge Griffith said it (with paragraphing added):
This is a principle as old as the first among laws, and it has an especially wide application in the processes and proceedings in chancery as a court of conscience. Under it, for instance, no next friend, no guardian, no guardian ad litem, and no commissioner of the court can purchase at any sale wherein there is being sold any property of his ward or any of those for whom he has a duty to perform in the cause.
The disability and disqualification imposed by the maxim runs through all the procedure and includes trustees, fiduciaries, and in a large measure all those in confidential relations, so that no officer, agent or fiduciary shall be permitted in any respect to have such connection or acquire any such interest as may come in conflict with those for whom in any substantial respect he is or may be required to act as to any portion of the matter at hand. Griffith, ¶ 47, pp. 49-50.
The principle behind this maxim is so ingrained in the law of our state that it can be found in dozens of cases. Our law will not tolerate anyone in a fiduciary or confidential relationship profiting at the expense of the beneficiary.