Contract & Fraud Litigation

What Is Contract Fraud?

Contract fraud is when one of the parties involved in a contractual agreement presents information to the other party that is false, misleading or deceitful in order to gain a favorable advantage.

What Makes A Contract A Fraudulent One?

Six conditions need to be met for a court to decide a contract is fraudulent:

  • There must be a contract that exists with a material effect on an agreement. Both parties must have agreed to clear terms and conditions binding them to the agreement. There also needs to be some representation of facts as well.

  • There has to be a clear misrepresentation of the facts by the defendant upon which the other party signed the contract.

  • The defendant has to be aware they were misrepresenting facts when they said what they said or at some point in the course of their transaction with the other party.

  • There must be proof to show that a defendant did misrepresent facts with the intent to push the other party into signing the contract.

  • The plaintiff may have relied on false information which could have led to damages on the part of the plaintiff.

Types Of Contract Fraud

Fraud in the Inducement: This type of contract fraud occurs when both parties are aware that a contract binds them, but the plaintiff had been misled by false facts with the intent to gain certain unfair advantages when they signed the contract. The plaintiff can use fraud in the inducement as a defense against a breach of contract claim. Whoever files a breach of contract claim has to show proof that the other party freely signed the contract. Misinforming one party in the bid to deceive them would render the contract terms invalid, and the other party free of any contractual obligations stated in the agreement.

Fraud in the Factotum: When it comes to this type of contract fraud, the victim tends not to know that they are in contract with the fraudster. Another feature is the misrepresentation of the subject matter of the contract. In this case, the victim may know that they’re bound by a deal, but they have been led to misinterpret the terms and conditions of the contract. Many times, this is a result of the victim’s inability to comprehend the consequences and obligations of the contract they have signed. Fraud in the factum can also be a defense against a breach of contract claim. One party can show proof that they were made to misinterpret the terms and conditions of the contract. If they’re successful, they may be awarded money as compensation for known injury such as emotional pain, money paid to the fraudster or property relinquished.

Types Of Contract Fraud

In case you are facing a contract fraud lawsuit; the first step is to quickly research the allegedly fraudulent statements made by the plaintiff. You should then seek legal advice from your attorney.

Fiduciary Litigation

Nearly everyone owns assets. Assets can include houses, cars, stock, life insurance, and retirement accounts. These assets are known as “Our Estate”. Before we die we may choose to leave Our Estate to our children, family, and friends. To determine who gets what, we write wills or create trusts before we die. The person who gets a share of the estate is known as a beneficiary. The individual entrusted with the duty of transferring the estate to the beneficiary is known as a trustee or an executor.

For instance, you write a will that states how your estate or assets will be shared among your children. You’ll name one of your trusted children as the executor of the will. Which means that a particular child is then responsible for distributing those assets to all the beneficiaries according to the will. However, in the event the child (executor) goes against the Will and informs the other beneficiaries that there were no assets left at the time of your death, it will be necessary to find an attorney who specializes in fiduciary litigation.

What Is Fiduciary Litigation?

A fiduciary is a person who represents the interests of a client in fiduciary litigation. A fiduciary can be an attorney, a personal representative or a trustee. A fiduciary has a duty to act in the best interest of the client they’re representing. Fiduciary litigation is a lawsuit on behalf of or against a fiduciary. The most common fiduciary litigation's include:

  • Will contest (caveat proceedings)

  • Trust contest

  • Breach of fiduciary duties

  • Fraud

  • Duress

  • Trust accounting

  • Family settlement agreements

  • Discovery of assets

What Is Fiduciary Duty?

A fiduciary duty is described as a legal responsibility to act in the best interest of a client. Fiduciary, essentially, means trust. Therefore, an individual with fiduciary duties is legally required to maintain that trust. For instance, doctors have a fiduciary duty to represent or act in the best interest of their patients, and lawyers have a fiduciary duty to act in the best interest of their clients. Violation of fiduciary duty, whether accidentally or intentionally, is a breach of ethics, according to the law.

What Do You Need To Successfully Claim A Breach Of Fiduciary Duty?

To successfully claim a breach of fiduciary duty, you must prove the existence of fiduciary duty, prove a breach of the fiduciary duty and prove the damages caused by the breach of the fiduciary duty.

What Are The Types Of Fiduciary Duties?

Fiduciaries perform many different duties, and these depend on the nature of the fiduciary relationship. The types of duties include:

  • A duty of loyalty

  • A duty of good faith

  • A duty of fair dealing

  • A duty of impartiality

  • A duty to delegate

  • A duty to inform

  • A duty to maintain accurate records

What Circumstances Warrant The Hiring Of A Fiduciary Litigation Attorney?

Not every fiduciary appointed to represent the interest of a client’s estate needs the services of a lawyer. Moreover, there are situations where you need to solicit the services of a lawyer who is a litigation attorney and is thoroughly knowledgeable in estate planning, wills, and trusts. Here are the circumstances that warrant the hiring of a fiduciary litigation attorney:

  • Objection of the will

Objection of the will means the heirs are not happy with the terms of the will or they don’t trust the executor of the will. These two reasons can lead to the executor or fiduciary agent being involved in a lawsuit.

  • If you’re named in a lawsuit

If your name appears in a lawsuit, you’ll need to hire a litigation attorney. The litigation attorney will analyze the lawsuit and institute measures to protect your interests and rights and ensure you get out of the lawsuit with minimal damage.

  • Violation of fiduciary duties

As a fiduciary, it is your duty to act in the best interest of another party. If you violate your duties or don’t perform them as required, you may face a lawsuit and you’ll have to defend yourself in a court of law. If you know you have violated your fiduciary duty, you’ll need to hire a fiduciary litigation attorney. Our attorneys can rectify the mistake and prevent a lawsuit from being filed. They can help you resume your normal life and manage your duties. They also guide and advise you to ensure you’re discharging your fiduciary duties within the confines of the law.

Insurance Litigation

John R. Foley, P.C.’s most recent expansion has been into the practice of insurance defense. In representing insurance companies, we seek to defend the legal rights of insurers and efficiently and economically resolve coverage disputes.  We protect our clients’ rights and pursue all available means of recovery for the insurer.

Our attorneys put their years of civil litigation experience to use in analyzing and resolving insurance-related litigation issues. Our attorneys keep abreast of changes and amendments that affect the insurance industry so that our services are timely and effective.

In particular, we pride ourselves on an economic model of practice, working with our clients to make sure that each decision regarding settlement or litigation encompasses calculations of overall cost and risk.  Our ultimate goal is to obtain common-sense and financially sound results for our insurance litigation cases.

Real Estate Litigation

Insurance coverage litigation: Insurance coverage disputes involve an insurer and the insured. A person who is insured intends to recover under a policy of insurance. For example, in case of a vehicle accident, the owner of the insured vehicle seeks compensations for the damages.

However, insurance coverage litigation arise in the determination of whether the policy covers the damage suffered. Insurance coverage litigation involve complex issues that require professional knowledge. Some of the dominant disputes focus on primary or excess coverage and reinsurance. The language of the policy is critical in understanding insurance coverage litigation.

Many clients get insurance coverage without understanding the language used, which later leads to unnecessary disputes. The existence of an accident does not transform into immediate compensation.

Insurance compliance: Insurance companies are obligated to get into an agreement and stay in compliance to avoid a penalty for non-compliance. Companies that violate the regulations risk regulatory investigations. Insurance compliance involves the licensing of adjusters and advertising rates. Compliance staff within the instance companies is in charge of facilitating the adherence to the terms. However, most of the successful insurance firms seek legal counsel to offer a response to state regulators, especially during investigations. Insurers rely on actuarial models to come up with product packages and where to sell them based on past events. For example, climate change factors determine the paradigm in insurance compliance terms.

Insurance defense: Insurers at times hire attorneys when a third party presents a case against the insured. For example, when a third party accuses the insured of causing damages, and thus, the insurer is expected to pay. The main issue in insurance defense is whether the insured is liable for the third party. Facts to the case are critical in determining the liability. Besides, attorneys are required to assess the level of accountability.

Dearborn 

18572 West Outer Drive

Dearborn, Michigan 48128

Phone: (313) 274-7377

Fax: (313) 274-5946

Plymouth

1058 Maple St., Suite 100
Plymouth, Michigan 48170

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