Agency: an overview
Agency law is concerned with any "principal"-"agent" relationship; a
relationship in which one person has legal authority to act for
another. Such relationships arise from explicit appointment, or by
implication. The relationships generally associated with agency law
include guardian-ward, executor or administrator-decedent, and
employer-employee. The law of agency is based on the Latin maxim "Qui
facit per alium, facit per se," which means "he who acts through
another is deemed in law to do it himself." Agency, in its legal sense,
nearly always relates to commercial or contractual dealings.
Restatement of the Law Second, Agency, deals with the relations between principal and agent, principal and third person, and agent and third person. In addition to stating the applicable rules when an agency relationship exists, it deals with situations having legal consequences similar to those characterized by an agency relationship. Thus, it states not only the legal relations resulting when an agent exceeds his authority, but also those resulting both before and after ratification when one who is not an agent purports or assumes to act as such. It also includes the termination of powers given as security, powers which, although existing in the form of agency powers, do not involve an agency relation because of the absence of a duty by the powerholder to act for the benefit of the one granting the power.
Topics covered are titled Creation of a Relation; Creation and Interpretation of Authority and Apparent Authority; Ratification; Termination of Agency Powers; Duties and Liabilities of each party to another; Admissibility in Evidence of Statement of Agents.