Sole Actor Doctrine Law and Legal Definition

Sole actor doctrine is a principle of agency law which provides that if an agent is the sole representative of a principal, then that agent's fraudulent conduct will be imputed to the principal regardless of whether the agent's conduct was adverse to the principal's interests. This rule charges the principal with knowledge of the agent's actions, even if the agent acted fraudulently.

The following are examples of case law on sole actor doctrine:

The sole actor doctrine provides that where the principal and agent are one and the same, the agent's knowledge is imputed to the principal despite the fact that the agent is acting adversely to the principal. The doctrine does not require that the agent whose knowledge is to be imputed to literally act alone; the doctrine still applies if the "sole actor" uses subordinates in perpetrating a fraud. The central inquiry in the sole actor context is whether the agent committing fraud is also the principal that should have been informed.[Grassmueck v. Am. Shorthorn Ass'n, 402 F.3d 833 (8th Cir. Neb. 2005)]

Under the sole actor doctrine, the adverse actions of an agent are imputed to the principle if that agent is the sole representative of the principal during the transaction in question, or has such dominance over the principal as to be its alter ego.[FDIC v. St. Paul Cos., 634 F. Supp. 2d 1213 (D. Colo. 2008)]