Insider Trading and the Gradual Demise of Fiduciary Principles

66 Pages Posted: 31 Jan 2009 Last revised: 1 Jul 2013

See all articles by Donna M. Nagy

Donna M. Nagy

Indiana University Maurer School of Law


Recent SEC enforcement actions, such as the case filed against Dallas Mavericks' owner Mark Cuban, raise the question whether deception by a fiduciary is essential to the Rule 10b-5 insider trading offense. Under the Supreme Court's classical and misappropriation theories, the answer is clearly yes - each theory has a fiduciary principle at its core. Yet lower courts and the SEC frequently disregard the Court's explicit dictates, and a consensus is emerging that insider trading rests simply on the wrongful use of material nonpublic information, regardless of whether a fiduciary-like duty is breached. Although this view of insider trading can be justified by the policy objectives underlying the Court's decision in United States v. O'Hagan, it currently lacks a solid doctrinal foundation. To resolve this anomaly, this Article offers specific suggestions that would bring much needed coherence and legitimacy to the law of insider trading.

Keywords: insider trading, fiduciary duty, Rule 10b5-1, Rule 10b5-2, securities fraud, O'Hagan

Suggested Citation

Nagy, Donna M., Insider Trading and the Gradual Demise of Fiduciary Principles. Iowa Law Review, Vol. 94, p. 1315, 2009, Indiana Legal Studies Research Paper No. 123, Available at SSRN:

Donna M. Nagy (Contact Author)

Indiana University Maurer School of Law ( email )

211 S. Indiana Avenue
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States

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