Consumer Protection Lawyers

Law Office of Arthur L. Weiss, P.C.

Once you have joined the community of the scammed you will say and hear this word quite often.  Each state has its own definition of what constitutes actionable fraud.  In Arizona fraud is well defined in many court cases and consumer lawyers practicing in Arizona can recite the elements of fraud in their sleep.  In order to prevail in a common law fraud lawsuit each of the following must be present and you must be able to prove that in court.  Here they are:

 

1. Someone said something or represented something to you.

2. The statement or the representation was false.

3. The statement or the representation was material (important)

4. At they time they made the statement they knew it was false or misleading.

5. They meant for you to rely on the statement.

6. You did not know the statement was misleading or false

7. You relied on the statement.

8. Your reliance was justified.

9. You suffered damages as a result of your reliance.

 

Other states have different elements of fraud - for example, a case decided in New Jersey found that in order to rescind a contract the party must prove: (1) a material misrepresentation of a presently existing or past fact, (2) the speakers intent that the party rely on it, (3) detrimental reliance by the other party.  Prove these three elements in New Jersey and you may be able to get the contract rescinded. 

 

In contrast, Massachusetts imposes five elements of fraud if you allege that you were fraudulently induced to enter into a contract: (1) defendant made knowingly false statements, (2) the statements were made with the intent to deceive, (3) the statements were material to the plaintiff’s decision to sign the agreement, (4) that plaintiff reasonably relied on the statements, (5) plaintiff suffered economic damages by her reliance. Most state laws follow these rough outlines to determine whether a fraud has been perpetrated.

 

Before you decide you have a case for fraud, look at your state law to find out the precise definition and the elements you must prove.   It may be advisable to find an attorney and examine the circumstances with him or her to determine whether the elements needed are present.

 

Phone: 520.319.9057

Fax: 520.319.9058

E-mail: weiss60@msn.com

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What is fraud?