Generally speaking, we use the broad term “commercial litigation” to describe any litigation involving trade and commerce. It can encompass contract disputes, UCC lawsuits, commercial lease litigation, commission lawsuits, business fraud cases, and much, much more.
Under Illinois law, a plaintiff suing for a breach of contract ordinarily must prove the following four elements: (1) the existence of a contract, (2) that the plaintiff substantially did what was required of him/her/it under the contract, (3) that the defendant breached the contract, and (4) that the plaintiff suffered damages as a result of the defendant’s breach.
Illinois recognizes several different kinds of fraud claims, including “common-law fraud,” “consumer fraud,” and “securities fraud.”
A common-law fraud claim accuses the defendant of injuring the plaintiff through deception. To prove fraud, a plaintiff must prove the following elements: (1) a false statement of material fact; (2) the defendant’s knowledge that the statement was false; (3) the defendant’s intent that the statement induce the plaintiff to act; (4) the plaintiff’s reliance upon the truth of the statement; and (5) the plaintiff’s damages resulting from reliance on the statement.
Consumer fraud is a statutory creature that protects consumers from unscrupulous sellers of goods and services. To prove a consumer fraud claim, a plaintiff must establish: (1) a deceptive act or practice by the defendant; (2) the defendant’s intent that the plaintiff rely on the deception; and (3) that the deception occurred in the course of conduct involving trade and commerce. The plaintiff’s reliance is not an element of statutory consumer fraud, but a valid claim must show that the consumer fraud caused the plaintiff’s injury.