October 17, 2018 Articles

Well Established but Often Forgotten: Breach of Fiduciary Duty Claims Against Employees

Many courts will impose at least a duty of loyalty.

By John S. Adams

Recently, when confronted with a legal analysis citing a 40-year-old U.S. Supreme Court opinion for what should be a matter of well-developed state law, I was skeptical. I was particularly skeptical because the citation ostensibly supported the sweeping proposition that employees owe fiduciary duties to their employers. See Snepp v. United States, 444 U.S. 507, 518 (1980) (“the employee possesses fiduciary obligations arising out of his duty of loyalty to his employer”). And I was ready to dismiss the entire analysis once I realized the quote relied on came from the dissenting opinion.

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