Scholarly Articles and Other Contributions
 

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2004

Abstract

This article deals with the imputed knowledge rule in agency law. The basic rule imputes to a principal knowledge or notice received by an agent within the scope of the agent's authority. The principal is deemed to have received the information in question even in the absence of any evidence that the agent successfully transmitted it to the principal.

As the article clearly demonstrates, the imputed knowledge rule is currently characterized by complexity and contradiction. The analysis developed in the article suggests that this convolution and uncertainty is the result of the existence of a fundamental tension residing at the heart of the doctrine, a tension created by the influence of competing conceptions of the rule's basic purpose. The current rule, in which both the evidentiary surrogacy and the risk allocation rationales remain in tension, results inevitably in a doctrine that is not fully coherent, unnecessarily complex, and unpredictable in its application.

This article was cited repeatedly and quoted extensively in the Reporter's Comments section of Section 5.04 of the Restatement of the Law Third, Agency, approved and published by the American Law Institute in 2006.

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