A group of Korean American investors sued one another over a failed joint investment project, which was a shopping center. The plaintiff sued for inter alia breach of fiduciary duty, lost, and appealed. The plaintiff-appellant claimed an informal fiduciary relationship existed, because Houston's Korean American community was tight-knit and Korea's hierarchical culture created an unusually close relationship based on trust.
The appellate court rejected the argument, noting "particularly in the business arena, trust and reliance alone are not sufficient ingredients to create a fiduciary relationship."
Well, that was a creative argument. As a Korean American myself, I'd say it was quite a bit of reach to claim the Korean culture creates a fiduciary relationship among business partners. But as Wayne Gretzky said, you miss 100 percent of the shots you don't take.
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