Justice Cardozo famously characterized one’s fiduciary duty as imposing: “Not honesty alone, but the punctilio of an honor the most sensitive . . . .” Meinhard v. Salmon, 249 N.Y. 458, 464 (1928). In light of this heightened duty, it is not surprising that parties to disputes arising from commercial relationships often attempt to plead and prove that the parties had entered into a joint venture which, under New York law, imposes a fiduciary duty on the joint venturers. Not only does a joint venture expand the scope of duties owed beyond those that may be available for mere breach of contract, it may also open the door to tort damages, including punitive damages not available for breach of contract.
Download the full New York Law Journal article, "Proving joint ventures: The importance of shared losses."