FRAUD CASES AND CONTINGENCY LAWYERS
Many lawyers may be willing to accept fraud claims on an hourly basis. Since those who deceive don't easily disclose their deception, cases can be contested and fees be substantial, and easily exceed 50,000 or even $100,000 in litigated cases. In a contingency case, the lawyer is only paid upon success or settlement. Here are some guides to improving your chances of having a lawyer take your fraud case on a contingency basis.
1. Simple explanation of case
A simple case is easier to litigate and explain to a jury or judge. Be prepared to provide a clear and concise explanation of your fraud claim. Note that the federal court and most states require that the fraud claim be pled with particularty, and the first thing the aggresive defendant does, is file a motion to dismiss, averring that plaintiff has failed to adequately specify the date, time, and place of the fraud in its complaint. One federal court said,
Rule 9(b) has long required plaintiffs in securities fraud cases to state "the circumstances constituting fraud with particularity." The PSLRA imposed an additional requirement: whenever plaintiffs allege, on information and belief, that defendants made material misstatements or omissions, the complaint must "state with particularity all facts on which that belief is formed." 15 U.S.C. § 78u-4(b)(1). This requirement plainly applies in this case. In numerous places in their complaint, the plaintiffs allege, based on information and belief, that the Ann Taylor defendants made materially misleading statements or omissions. Most importantly, they allege that the defendants made false statements concerning the value of inventory because "Box and Hold" merchandise was "unsalable," "obsolete," and "nearly worthless," and its "actual value was nearly zero." In order to survive at this stage, the complaint must state with particularity sufficient facts to support the belief that the "Box and Hold" inventory was of limited value, and accordingly that the defendants' positive public statements concerning inventory growth were false and misleading.
The district court concluded that the plaintiffs had failed to meet these particularity requirements, in substantial part because they failed to reveal their confidential sources for some of the facts on which their belief in the essential worthlessness of the "Box and Hold" inventory was based. See Novak I, 997 F.Supp. at 431-32; Novak II, 26 F.Supp.2d at 660-61. The lower court found the plaintiffs' allegations in this respect at worst "conclusory, unsupported and inflammatory," and at best "based upon reports by anonymous `former employees'" who should have been identified by name.
2. Evidence of the claim
Provide the lawyer with clear evidence of fraud or deception. Be prepared to explain how your claim is independently verified.
3. Explain facts but not law.
Knowledge of the law is the attorney's job. The client's task is to explain and provide the factual support for the claim.
4. Other Lawyer's Assessments
Not infrequently, our office is the second or third lawyer called upon to evaluate a claim. We will make our own assessment notwithstanding the prior's lawyer rejection of the claim or demand that he be paid regardless of result. However, it provides little help to tell how a lawyer who rejected the case thinks it is very good. The less said the better.
5. Show damages
Explain how you have suffered financial loss.
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HOW DO I CONTACT YOU
Law Offices of Howard A. Gutman,
230 Route 206, Flanders, New Jersey 07836
(973) 598-1980, E-mail Howian@aol.com
Fax (973) 531-4110
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New York Office
315 Madison Avenue, Suite 901
New York, New York 10165 (212) 886-4838
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We offer a free initial telephone consultation to discuss your claim. Please feel free to call or e-mail our office.
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