Court of Appeal of California
138 Cal. App. 4th 1408 (2006)
Mr. Walker (plaintiff) and Mrs. Walker (defendant) were married in 1980. Mr. Walker opened a Keogh retirement account approximately 20 years before the marriage. During the marriage, Mr. Walker contributed to the Keogh account. Mr. Walker subsequently rolled the Keogh account into an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). When Mr. Walker retired in 1989, the IRA was worth $105,000. The IRA account had an accompanying IRA checking account. Mrs. Walker was responsible for bookkeeping during the Walker marriage. Mrs. Walker frequently withdrew money from the IRA and deposited the funds into the Walkers’ joint checking account to pay bills. Mrs. Walker was aware that withdrawing this money created tax liabilities. Evidence presented at trial showed that Mrs. Walker used the IRA funds to pay for community expenses such as bills, trips, and taxes. Mr. Walker never withdrew money from the IRA account. The parties separated in November 2002. At this point, the IRA account was worth approximately $3,000. Mrs. Walker argued that there was no breach of her fiduciary duty to Mr. Walker, because Mr. Walker had never requested information regarding the status of the IRA account. Pursuant to California law in effect during the Walker marriage, absent a request, Mrs. Walker did not have a fiduciary duty to disclose. The trial court held that Mrs. Walker breached her fiduciary duty to disclose by failing to inform Mr. Walker about the reduction of funds in the IRA account and awarded Mr. Walker $71,066 (the sum of Mrs. Walker’s withdrawals from the IRA account and tax penalties). Mrs. Walker appealed the trial court’s ruling.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Jones, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 218,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,100 briefs, keyed to 189 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.