The Academics Are Just Plain Wrong: The Trust Is Not a Contract

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Since the 1960s, the trust has been under attack on two fronts in the American law school. First, the traditional Trusts course has been down-graded to elective status, a misguided curricular “reform” that Charles E. Rounds, Jr. discusses elsewhere. See this posting’s “Related Documents” section below. Second, certain influential law academics have taken to asserting that the trust is merely a contract. They are wrong: The trust relationship is sui generis; it belongs in its own pigeon hole. In Loring and Rounds: A Trustee’s Handbook § 8.22 (2012) [Wolters Kluwer]), Charles E. Rounds, Jr. explains why the law is too subtle and nuanced to accommodate such a simplistic notion. The main focus of the Handbook, which was first published in 1898, however, is not legal education but the rights, duties and obligations of trustees and their beneficiaries, both from the theoretical and practical perspectives. The 2012 edition, due out in December of 2011, will be a fully-integrated, flexible-covered bound volume of well over 1500 pages. [http://www.aspenpublishers.com/Product.asp?catalog_name=Aspen&product_id=1454813296&promoID=ER04&cookie%5Ftest=1]. It replaces the Handbook’s bulky ring binder platform, a recent innovation that contemplated yearly supplementation. The Handbook’s aforementioned § 8.22 is reprinted below in its entirety.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Charles E. Rounds, Jr., Suffolk University Law School | Attorney Advertising

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