Fraud (Plaintiff and Defense)

Civil Litigation Lawyers Serving Traverse City and Grand Rapids

It may be challenging to prove fraud in some cases. Fraud is a deliberate deception that causes harm, and there is an element of intent that must be proven in a fraud lawsuit. Proving intent as well as the other elements of fraud may present greater challenges than establishing liability in a car accident or premises liability lawsuit, for example. Whether you are a plaintiff or a defendant, fraud allegations are quite serious, and it is important to retain an experienced contract law attorney to represent you. At the Neumann Law Group, our Grand Rapids and Traverse City fraud attorneys represent both plaintiffs and defendants in litigation involving allegations of fraud.

Pursuing or Defending Against Fraud Actions

In Michigan, courts recognize different types of fraud. For example, when a contract is obtained as a result of deceit, a plaintiff may sue for fraudulent misrepresentation or fraudulent concealment in order to obtain a legal or equitable remedy.

In order to establish fraud in the inducement in Michigan, a plaintiff needs to establish that the defendant materially misrepresented something, this representation was false, the defendant knew at the time of making the misrepresentation that it was false or made it recklessly without knowing whether it was true as a positive assertion, the defendant intended to induce the plaintiff to rely on the representation, the plaintiff did rely on it, and as a result, the plaintiff suffered harm or a loss.

Unlike with criminal charges of fraud, these elements of fraud need not be established beyond a reasonable doubt to recover damages in civil court. However, fraud is not presumed and needs to be established through clear, satisfactory, and convincing evidence.

When a misrepresentation was made innocently but had a deceptive effect, there may be grounds to recover damages under the doctrine of innocent misrepresentation. Innocent misrepresentation only happens in a transaction between contracting parties. In contrast with a fraudulent misrepresentation claim, the only element that need not be proved with innocent misrepresentation is scienter, or knowledge that the misrepresentation is false. Our fraud lawyers can help Traverse City and Grand Rapids clients determine whether this theory may be appropriate.

In traditional misrepresentation, the defendant intends to make the plaintiff act upon the misrepresentation, whereas in innocent misrepresentation, you need not prove this. Instead, the critical inquiry is whether the victim suffered an injury that inured to the benefit of the other party. It is not necessary to independently establish reliance in an innocent misrepresentation case, since the representation needs to be made during a transaction, such as a contract, in which the defendant should realize that there will be reliance.

In some cases, it may be appropriate to assert silent fraud or concealment. Concealment may be established by showing that one party had a duty to disclose to another party a material fact but instead suppressed the material fact, thereby causing damages. Silent fraud requires a specific context in which there is a legal duty of disclosure.

Contact a Fraud Attorney in Grand Rapids or Traverse City

The Neumann Law Group represents plaintiffs and defendants who are seeking experienced legal representation for fraud claims. Our Traverse City and Grand Rapids fraud lawyers assist clients in Detroit, Lansing, Ann Arbor, Flint, Petoskey, Warren, Holland, Muskegon, Midland, Kalamazoo, Wyoming, and Saginaw, as well as communities throughout the Upper Peninsula. Contact the Neumann Law Group at 800-525-NEUMANN or via our online form to set up an appointment. We also can assist people who need an injury lawyer or guidance in other types of legal claims.

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