Washington Law Review


Hyman Zettler


The trust fund doctrine was one of the most interesting judicial creations of the last half of the nineteenth century. It performed and still performs a very useful function, but it has suffered much from its unfortunate name. In some jurisdictions the result has been an undue curtailment of its functions; in others, an undue extension of them. The doctrine has apparently come in for its most extensive application in our own jurisdiction. Indeed, it is here reaching out for new fields. It is, therefore, important for us to know the real scope of the theory and whether it should be given further extension. To determine these questions we must examine the history of the doctrine, the environment from which it sprang, the psychological complex which gave it birth, and the course of its later development. When we know these facts we can form an intelligent opinion about whether the doctrine should be curtailed or extended.

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