Rosenzweig v. Givens – Fraudulent Inducement Case Law

Law Offices of Barbara Katsos pic

Law Offices of Barbara Katsos
Image: katsosnylaw.com

At the Law Offices of Barbara Katsos, attorney Barbara Katsos and her associates focus on wills, estate planning, and real estate law. The firm also provides prenuptial agreements, separation agreements, and other contracts related to matrimonial proceedings. Dr. Katsos earned a particularly notable victory in this field in 2009 while representing the defendant in Rosenzweig v. Givens.

The plaintiff Joseph Rosenzweig took legal action against defendant Radiah Givens to foreclose on two mortgages he had issued to her previously. The defendant entered a counterclaim of fraudulent inducement, maintaining that the plaintiff had tricked her into signing these documents.

When the plaintiff issued those mortgages in 2002, he was in a romantic relationship with the defendant. She was a student at the time, and 19 years younger than the plaintiff. She maintains that she did not understand that the documents he gave her were for a mortgage and that she would not have signed them if she had known.

Though he led his paramour to believe he was a bachelor, he was actually married with children at the time. In 2004, the pair got married in Jamaica. Mr. Rosenzweig was still married to his first wife. He forged the defendant’s signature on a loan application the next year. The marriage was annulled later after its bigamous nature was uncovered.

This case has been included in business ethics textbooks due to its significance. It has been held up as an example of fraudulent inducement, a type of contract fraud that involves intentional deceit.

Fraudulent Inducement in Rosenzweig v. Givens

 

Law Offices of Barbara Katsos pic

Law Offices of Barbara Katsos
Image: katsosnylaw.com

Since 1997, Barbara H. Katsos has been heading of her own firm, The Law Offices of Barbara H. Katsos, PC. A member of the American Bar Association, the New York Bar Association, and the New York Women’s Bar Association, Barbara H. Katsos has successfully supported and protected many clients, including Radiah Givens, whose case is now taught in a number of business ethics classes as an example of fraudulent inducement.

In this case, an attorney named Joseph Rosenzweig took out two mortgages for Ms. Givens for a condominium that she understood was a gift, as the two were in a romantic relationship. Later, the two married, despite the fact that, unbeknownst to Givens, Rosenzweig had been married with children throughout their entire relationship.

When Givens discovered this information and her relationship with Rosenzweig soured, Rosenzweig claimed that Givens owed him money for the mortgages, even though he had been paying most of Givens’ household expenses for years. Rosenzweig had induced Givens to sign mortgage papers and a letter from an attorney, a close friend of his, indicating that the money was a loan.

However, the fact that Rosenzweig was a lawyer, that he was 19 years older than Givens, that she was a student at the time, and that he misrepresented himself as a single man when they married, were facts that pointed to the possibility that the signatures of Ms. Givens were fraudulently induced. The court ruled in her favor.