deceit, n.

1. The act of intentionally giving a false impression (the juror’s deceit led the lawyer to believe that she was not biased).

2. A false statement of fact made by a person knowingly or recklessly (i.e., not caring whether it is true or false) with the intent that someone else will act upon it. See fraudulent misrepresentation under MISREPRESENTATION. [Cases: Fraud 3.]

3. A tort arising from a false representation made knowingly or recklessly with the intent that another person should detrimentally rely on it (the new homeowner sued both the seller and the realtor for deceit after discovering termites). See FRAUD; MISREPRESENTATION. ¡ª deceive, vb.

¡°The tort of deceit consists in the act of making a wilfully false statement with the intent that the plaintiff shall act in reliance on it, and with the result that he does so act and suffers harm in consequence…. There are four main elements in this tort: (1) there must be a false representation of fact; (2) the representation must be made with knowledge of its falsity; (3) it must be made with the intention that it should be acted on by the plaintiff, or by a class of persons which includes the plaintiff, in the manner which resulted in damage to him; (4) it must be proved that the plaintiff has acted upon the false statement and has sustained damage by so doing.¡± R.F.V. Heuston, Salmond on the Law of Torts 387 (17th ed. 1977).

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Carl, Chinese legal translator, specializes in translating legal documents pertaining to complex business disputes.