Legal Memorandum: Burden of Proof in a Fraud Claim

Issue: Under New York law, what is the burden of proof in a fraud claim?

Area of Law: Corporate & Securities, Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Fraud claim; Burden of proof
Jurisdiction: New York 
Cited Cases: 44 N.Y.2d 442; 4 N.Y.2d 403
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 09/01/2010

Both early and recent decisions from the New York Court of Appeals establish the elements of a cause of action for fraud.  “The elements of a cause of action for fraud require a material misrepresentation of a fact, knowledge of its falsity, an intent to induce reliance, justifiable reliance by the plaintiff and damages.”  Eurycleia Partners, LP v. Seward & Kissel, LLP, 12 N.Y.3d 553, 559 (2009).  Accord Channel Master Corp. v. Aluminium Ltd. Sales, Inc., 4 N.Y.2d 403, 406-07 (1958) (stating rule that an action based on fraudulent representations requires showing that the defendant knowingly stated a falsehood intending to deceive the plaintiff and that the plaintiff was in fact deceived and damaged).  See also Simcuski v. Saeli, 44 N.Y.2d 442, 451 (1978) (stating the elements of fraud).  The plaintiff must plead these elements with particularity, Eurycleia, 12 N.Y.3d at 559, and must prove the fraud claim by clear and convincing evidence, Simcuski, 44 N.Y.2d. at 452.


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