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Ask Dave Kennett Your Own Question
Dave Kennett
Dave Kennett, Lawyer (JD)
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 27689
Experience:  25 years experience in general law, including real estate, criminal, traffic, and domestic relations
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if a contract was entered into with an illegal act is the contract

Resolved Question:

if a contract was entered into with an illegal act is the contract legally binding between the parties?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Dave Kennett replied 5 years ago.

Hi, thank you for asking your question on JustAnswer. The other Experts and I are working on your answer. By the way, it would help us to know:

-What was the "illegal" act?

Please explain the circumstances.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I hired a public adjuster due to a fire in my home. I had already hired an emergency services company. the public adjuster ask me if I was in the rescind period with that company I said yes. He asked to to terminate my contract with that emergency company and hire a company he uses. Days Later, he represented me with contract with the company he deals with. Company X. He did not tell me that company x was his father business and that his father was also the v/p of his public adjuster company where he is the president. In my state the laws concerning public adjuster state that public adjusters are prohibited from recommending or suggesting any company for hire services for their clients in addition to that they can not benefit from any services from any vendors nor they family members. Company X did not do a good job, it is questionable if the services they gave were all necessary. They tore out alot of my property on the inside that had to be fixed. Company X payment was disputed by Insurance Company and greatly reduced and when I found out the conflict of interest in the contract I held the check.

I am being sued by Company X for non payment

Expert:  Dave Kennett replied 5 years ago.
Dear JACUSTOMER - I believe you have an excellent defense to the suit for non disclosure of the relationship between the adjuster and his family owned business. You will need to file an answer to the suit and claim that the contract was procured under false pretenses and that you were never informed of the relationship between the adjuster and his connection to the Company X. While the contract itself may be legal your defense is "fraud in the inducement". If course you can also claim that the work was defective just as would if the family relationship had not existed. The measure of your damages would be the difference in the cost to repair the property properly and what you received from the insurance company. You would have to file a counter suit to claim any money from the plaintiff and the counter suit would have to be part of your answer to the complaint.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

the illegal act is that in my state a public adjuster can not suggest, sign up or set forth any contract for services for their clients at all. it is a prohibited and comes with a corrective actin by my state, since the public adjust engaged in that behavior whether or not it was a family own business (make it worse) doesn't that act in by itself by the public adjustor void our out that contract all together. I think the public adjuster had no right to put Company X in that position since by the public adjuster had to legal right to engage it signing up anymore. Therefore, I believe the contract is void and company x should seek reimbursement by public adjuster company.


I welcome your insight

Expert:  Dave Kennett replied 5 years ago.
I agree but if a suit has been filed you need to defend on that basis. You can't simply say it is an illegal or invalid contract and have it be so. The proper action is to file an answer and counterclaim in the case and set up your defense. This is a civil, not a criminal case so it must be decided in the civil court system.
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