Misrepresentation is a common crime that can best be described as a civil wrong or tort. As any business lawyer will tell you, misrepresentation can create grounds for civil liability if it leads to the victim suffering any financial losses. For example, a speculator in real estate who sells swampy land masqueraded as an expensive, commercially-viable zoned plot is guilty of misrepresentation. The entity who purchased the property based on the speculator’s misleading declarations may sue to forestall or recover any monetary losses incurred as a result of the transaction.
If you’re not a business lawyer, it can be difficult to understand what constitutes a misrepresentation or fraud case.
Insights From a Business Lawyer on Misrepresentation & Fraud
What is Needed to Establish a Fraudulent Misrepresentation Case?
You don’t have to be a business lawyer to understand that misrepresentation involves making false statements to convince someone to enter a legally-binding agreement. Fraudulent misrepresentation is the most serious of the 3 major types of misrepresentation recognized under contract law.
Basically, the legal concept of misrepresentation allows a business lawyer to seek remedial action on their client’s behalf for any rescissions or damages resulting from fraudulent contracts. For the maker of a fraudulent contract to be proved liable, three things must be established by your business lawyer:
- There must exist a misrepresentative statement that was uttered by the defrauder to the victim in any reliable form that can be determined in court.
- The defrauder must be fully aware that the victim is completely reliant on the factual correctness of all their statements.
- Finally, the victim’s belief in the validity of the defrauder’s proclamations must have been strong, justifiable, and reasonable enough to have caused the misrepresentation to result in pecuniary losses.
What this means is that for something to qualify as misrepresentation, it must be shown that one not only lied or falsified facts about a contract, but that you also did it intentionally, with the sole aim of defrauding the victim. As your business lawyer will inform you, this makes it the gravest among all types of misrepresentation and it attracts the most severe complementary penalties as well.
One must note, however that the misrepresentation does not necessarily have to be expressed as a positive assertion for liability to be established. Virtually anything that can be shown as having been intended to deceive the victim will suffice. Expressions like body gestures, hints, innuendos, allusions, half-truths, undertones, and even silence, can all be used to successfully prove misrepresentation. This is where a business lawyer will truly help your case, as they will guide you through the complicated process of building a misrepresentation case.
Legal Countermeasures Against Misrepresentation
Misrepresentation is classified as a civil offense, for which you can only sue for damages in civil court with a business lawter. The criminal court equivalent of this particular offense is aptly known as “false pretenses.” Civil court decisions made as a general remedy for most cases of confirmed misrepresentation will often involve rescission. As your business lawyer may inform you, the court will essentially assume that the misrepresented contract or transaction never actually existed in the first place. The victim will thus be compensated and all parties will be restored to their initial financial positions before the misrepresentation was perpetuated. Your business lawyer will help guide you through the legal process and ensure that you are properly compensated in your misrepresentation case.
Why a Business Lawyer Can Be Helpful
Though fraudulent misrepresentation may have the distinction of having the most significant consequences with respect to recognized types of fraud, it also happens to be the hardest to prove. Demonstrating the defrauders’ “intent” is ordinarily a tricky undertaking, because most can simply claim that they were unaware that their claims were false at the time. A competent business lawyer is essential for misrepresentation victims to successfully pursue their civil cases to a fruitful conclusion. Misrepresentation legislations and statutes are applied differently across every state, so an experienced business lawyer is best placed to inform you on how best to proceed with your suit, and to explain the kind of rewards you may expect.
Get a Reliable Business Lawyer Today
If you feel you are the victim of misrepresentation or fraud in Wisconsin, you’ll need an experienced, reliable business lawyer to shepherd your case. Gutglass, Bonville & Larson Law can connect you with the business lawyer you need. We serve the Milwaukee area. Contact us today for a consultation with a business lawyer.