California Civil Jury Instructions (CACI) (2017)

4104. Duties of Escrow Holder

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4104.Duties of Escrow Holder
Escrow holders have a fiduciary duty to the parties in escrow:
1. To comply strictly with the parties’ written instructions; [and]
2. To exercise reasonable skill and diligence in carrying out the
escrow instructions; [and]
3. [To obtain reliable evidence that a real estate broker was
regularly licensed before paying [his/her/its] commission;] [and]
4. [Insert other applicable duty].
New June 2006
Directions for Use
Element 3 is intended only for cases involving real estate escrow.
Sources and Authority
• “The duty of an escrow holder to obtain evidence that a real estate broker was
regularly licensed before delivering compensation arises from Business and
Professions Code section 10138. Respondent assumed this duty only by entering
the contract to execute the escrow for appellant and the seller. Accordingly, the
duty arose out of and is not outside the contract.” (Kangarlou v. Progressive
Title Co., Inc. (2005) 128 Cal.App.4th 1174, 1179 [27 Cal.Rptr.3d 754].)
• “The duty to communicate any facts learned about the broker’s licenses arises
only because of the duty to obtain such evidence. Since the duty to obtain such
evidence is not outside the contract, the duty to communicate those findings
also is not outside the contract.” (Kangarlou, supra, 128 Cal.App.4th at p.
1179.)
• “An escrow holder has a fiduciary duty to the escrow parties to comply strictly
with the parties’ instructions. The holder only assumes this duty by agreeing to
execute the escrow. The obligation to exercise reasonable skill and diligence in
carrying out the escrow instructions, and to comply strictly with the depositor’s
written instructions are within the duties undertaken in the contract.”
(Kangarlou, supra, 128 Cal.App.4th at p. 1179, internal citation omitted.)
Secondary Sources
21 California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Ch. 253, Escrows, § 253.17[4]
(Matthew Bender)
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