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Document Type

Article

Abstract

In the many suits against churches during the past several years for alleged misbehavior of clergy, a wide variety of tort theories have been put forward as possible bases for recovery. Among these are breach of fiduciary duty owed to church members, negligence in hiring, supervision and retention of clergy, intentional or negligent infliction of mental distress and vicarious liability for torts committed by individual clergy. This Article explores possible federal constitutional barriers to these tort actions, focusing mostly on the torts of negligent supervision and breach of fiduciary duty.

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