Dishonest business practices hurt the business climate and damage the economy. When you think about it in this context, commercial fraud impacts every one of us. This why the Texas Legislature and Texas courts have a created a large body of law to curtail fraudulent business practices between companies.

There are multiple types of fraud claims, but the basic elements of fraud are:

(1) the defendant made a material representation that was false,

(2) the defendant knew the representation was false or made it recklessly as a positive assertion without any knowledge of its truth,

(3) the defendant intended to induce the plaintiff to act upon the representation, and

(4) the plaintiff actually and justifiably relied on the representation, which caused the injury.

The key thing to remember about fraud claims is that there is a dishonesty element that needs to be demonstrated to the jury. Misrepresentations are necessary for there to be fraud and the plaintiff’s reliance on the misrepresentation has to be reasonable.

The damages for fraud cases can be huge. This is because in addition to the economic damages required to make the plaintiff whole, a judge or jury can elect to award punitive damages based on the defendant’s conduct.

Our firm evaluates each fraud on a case by case basis. Depending on the actions of the Defendant and the total amount of damages, our office can handle these cases for a contingency fee.

Understanding Contingency Fee Representation

The contingency fee is sometimes confusing to clients who are seeking representation. Many clients believe these fees are only used in injury cases. Others believe these arrangements are exclusively used for individuals looking to sue companies or the government. However, contingency fee agreements are also excellent arrangements for certain types of commercial disputes.

Our firm handles certain fraud disputes under a contingency fee arrangement. What this means is that our firm will take the case, pay some or all of the expenses necessary to prepare the case, and receive compensation only if we are successful in recovering damages in the form of verdict or settlement. Typically, we take a percentage of the total recovery after recouping our expenses.

This arrangement is great for the client and the law firm because both companies have paralleled interest in the outcome of the case. Both companies are now out some sum of money and are looking to recover it from the Defendant.

If you think your business has a commercial fraud claim we would love to hear from you.

  •  Very responsive, creative and hard-working

    “Kenneth Stephens and his colleagues at Stephens PLLC have been a welcome addition to The Beck Group’s outside counsel group. The firm is very responsive, creative and hard-working and has developed an understanding of our contracts and business model. Additionally, the firm renders services at a very reasonable fee and is willing to consider flexible fee arrangements. I look forward to expanding The Beck Group’s legal counsel relationship with this firm in 2018.”

    - Tonya Johannsen General Counsel
    The Beck Group
  • Brought this case for me to profitable conclusion

    “Frustrated with two prior attorneys who oversaw my interest in my enduring a six year legal morass involving a former business partner (who is also a Houston practicing attorney) who wielded every court maneuver possible and every banking move imaginable (to include writing bad checks to me)...I contracted Ken Stephens to bring my case to a conclusion. Ken proved to be extremely thorough in his review of this protracted matter … and developed and executed a strategy that in 15 months brought this case for me to profitable conclusion. Noteworthy is that during his entire engagement involving my case, Attorney Stephens was highly communicative with me and kept the pressure on the Defendant and the Courts to bring this case to a rightful conclusion. I highly recommend Attorney Ken Stephens.”

    - RSJ
    ZI LLC
  • Beside being great attorneys, they are good people.

    “This was my first experience having to retain an attorney and I was referred to Kenneth Stephens. When I called he did not put me off; he immediately took interest in my situation and began setting me up with what I needed for my situation. Mr. Stephens appointed his associate Mrs. Alexander to my case and she provided exceptional service. Beside being great attorneys, they are good people.”

    Plumbing Company in Houston, TX
  • I highly recommend this firm to anybody with a construction issue.

    “Ken has been my company's go to counsel for all litigation matters related to my general contracting firm. Whenever there is a dispute regarding payment, alleged defects, or timelines, we are able to call Ken and he is typically able to reach a resolution. Years ago, we were sued on a million dollar project. They hired a large, well known law firm and I stuck with Stephens Bell, PLLC. After a year of litigation, we left the dispute without paying the Plaintiffs anything and I am sure I spent far less than the Plaintiffs in legal fees! I highly recommend this firm to anybody with a construction issue.”

    - Doug Davis
    Doug Davis Construction, Inc.
  • These guys are sharp

    “These guys are sharp. Our first interaction with this firm was in 2015 concerning a situation with an employee that had spiraled out of control and given us quite a bit of bad press. After they were able to get this matter resolved by having the case dismissed, they became our go to counsel. I would highly recommend them for any business related dispute.”

    - M.I.
    Developer in Houston, TX
  • Very attentive and informative

    "I contacted Kenneth regarding a commercial leasing dispute. There were a number of issues with the space that made it near impossible to operate my business. Kenneth was very attentive and informative while working to get me out of my lease due to a lack of commercial suitability. I was eventually allowed to move on to a more appropriate space.”

    - F.L
    Insurance Agency in Houston, TX
  • Put me at ease with the depth of litigation knowledge he displayed during the litigation

    "I was referred to this firm by a friend of mine. I admittedly had my reservations as the attorneys all seemed pretty young. However, Kenneth put me at ease with the depth of litigation knowledge he displayed during the litigation. Our insurance company was refusing to cover a loss on one of our assets and after about a year, Kenneth and his associate Chaylyn were able to get us a fair settlement for the loss.”

    - F.P.
    Freight Company in Houston, TX
  • They were able to resolve my issue with clarity and conciseness.

    “At first I was apprehensive about getting an attorney involved in our situation. I was one of those presidents that thought I could resolve these kinds of disputes on my own. Stephens PLLC was the best answer. They were able to resolve my issue with clarity and conciseness. I recommend their team for anyone in construction or real estate.”

    - Richard Mindiola
    Trade Wind Homes, LLC
  • I am glad and thankful I hired them to handle my case.

    “Kenneth and the attorneys at Stephens PLLC were more than helpful with my case. Every time I had a question and in my moments of stress and confusion, they would always respond to me in a very timely manner, explain options, and ultimately, they were able to resolve my case and get me paid what I was owed. I am glad and thankful I hired them to handle my case.”

    - Salomon De Lima
    Hallco Construction LLC


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