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contractLawyers who draft complaints often have the habit of expanding their requested legal claims or causes of action into areas that do not have the remotest chance of overcoming a motion to dismiss. Often these same lawyers think that the heft of their papers will prove daunting and intimidating to the adversary and perhaps even the court. Examples of this are often seen in complaints asserting a breach of contract cause of action that is framed by a fraudulent inducement cause of action. The purpose of this piece is to point out the difficulties presented when the practitioner attempts to plead both claims concurrently.

Under longstanding New York law, a plaintiff cannot establish a claim for fraudulent inducement if the claim duplicates a concurrent claim for breach of contract. However, determining whether a fraudulent inducement claim is actually duplicative of a breach of contract claim has continually vexed litigants and courts. We will examine the factors that courts have employed in recent cases in order to determine whether a fraud claim is duplicative of a contract claim.

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