Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Positive examples of fiduciary duty - Jeannette Ewing and Garner Powell

I recently posted something in my business blog about two real estate agents who are alleged to have violated their fiduciary duties. Note to aspiring real estate agents: if you are selling a home, you should not have sex with someone in the home that you are selling if the owners are not present. (Or, frankly, even if the owners ARE present.)

I began the post by talking about the real estate agents that I have known, all of whom have been thoroughly professional. I mentioned that I had personally worked with two real estate agents - and their example shows the fiduciary duty to which real estate agents should aspire.

Many years ago, I was buying a home, and Jeannette Ewing was my real estate agent. The seller's agent was Garner Powell. During the final weeks before the home closed, Ewing had to be out of town for a brief period. She told me that during that time, if there were any issues, I should feel free to go directly to Garner Powell with them.

Think about that for a moment. Technically, Ewing and Powell were on competing "sides" of a transaction. Yet, their duties dictated that they not only be able to represent their clients, but also the clients on the other "side."

In the best of...um, cases, this type of behavior should be seen in many industries. For example, if you are in court, both the prosecutor and the defense attorney have a mutual duty to uphold the law; for example, if a prosecutor finds out something that exonerates the defendant, it is the prosecutor's duty to reveal that.

In the end, no crises occurred during Ewing's absence, so I didn't need to call upon Powell.

I last saw Garner Powell in 2007, when he was one of the speakers at an Ontario City Council hearing on the proposed Walmart. Powell opposed the Walmart.

Sadly, in the course of writing this post, I learned that Powell did not live to see the final result of the Walmart battle. Powell passed away in 2010. Incidentally, that's when I learned that real estate was his second career - his 20 years in real estate were preceded by a 30 year career with the Continental Baking Company.

Jeannette Ewing, however, is still available to meet your residential real estate needs.

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