Fraud is a frequently misused and misunderstood cause of action in Virginia. Under Virginia law, fraud can be separated into two types. The first is actual fraud, which typically requires some degree of intent or knowledge that a fraud was being committed. The second is constructive fraud, which does not require the party to show that they actually "intended" to defraud the party and is applicable if the fraud occurred innocently or negligently. Even in Virginia, it is not uncommon to see these two types of fraud expressed as fraudulent inducement, fraudulent misrepresentation, and/or negligent misrepresentation in the oppositions claim. They may help to aid in asserting or describing how the fraud occurred, but they may not be causes of action distinct from actual and constructive fraud claims.
For a fraud or litigation consultation, contact the Virginia trail lawyers at McClanahan Powers by e-mail or phone at 703-520-1326. All calls and e-mails are returned within 24 business hours.
Source Duty Rule: Distinguishing Fraud from Breach of Contract
Virginia courts have repeatedly and expressly indicated that they do not wish to treat breach of contract claims as causes of action under fraud, where breach of contract is a suitable remedy. This is routinely discussed as the facts involving a breach of contract may contain all of the elements required to prove a fraud claim. This legal doctrine is known as the source duty rule and often parallels a similar legal doctrine known as the economic loss doctrine. Our contract and fraud lawyers are skilled in handling these types of cases and use their knowledge and experience to pursue fraud causes of action and to defend against fraud allegations.
Fraud and Litigation Consultation
To arrange a fraud and litigation consultation, please call the Virginia litigation attorneys of McClanahan Powers at 703-520-1326. Or, to send an e-mail, please complete and submit the online form on this website. Flexible appointment times and payment options are available.