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Business-Related Torts to Master

185468074If you handle business litigation matters, you need to be fluent in the most common business-related torts and their elements so you can spot the issues immediately—to either allege them or defend against them. Don’t feel quite fluent yet? Don’t worry, here’s a checklist of the elements of common business-related torts to keep handy until you master them.

Inducing Breach of Contract

__  Existence of valid contract

__  Defendant’s knowledge of contract and intent to induce its breach

__  Contract breached or plaintiff’s performance prevented or rendered more expensive or burdensome

__  Causation

__  Damages

Intentional Interference with Prospective Advantage

__  Existence of economic relationship with probable future economic benefit to plaintiff

__  Defendant’s knowledge of relationship and intent to disrupt it

__  Defendant’s interference was wrongful beyond the fact of interference

__  Actual disruption of relationship

__  Causation

__  Damages

Negligent Interference with Prospective Economic Advantage

__  Existence of duty owed, based on:

           __  Degree to which transaction intended to affect plaintiff

           __  Foreseeable risk of harm

           __  Degree of certainty that plaintiff suffered injury

           __  Nexus between defendant’s conduct and plaintiff’s injury

           __  Moral blame

           __  Policy of preventing future harm

__  Breach of duty

__  Foreseeable risk

__  Causation

__  Damages

Intrusion into Person’s Seclusion

__  Intentional intrusion into plaintiff’s private life, solitude, or seclusion

__  Offensive Intrusion

__  Causation

__  Damages

False Light

__  Unreasonable publication

__  Placement of plaintiff in false light

__  Offensive publication

__  Causation

__  Damages

Exploitation of Name, Photograph, or Likeness

__  Appropriation of plaintiff’s name or likeness to defendant’s advantage

__  Benefit to defendant

__  Lack of plaintiff’s consent (sometimes irrelevant under statute)

__  Defendant’s knowledge (under statute only)

__  Causation

__  Damages

Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress

__  Outrageous conduct by defendant

__  Defendant’s intent to cause or reckless disregard of probability of causing emotional distress

__  Causation

__  Severe emotional distress

Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress

__  Existence of duty owed, based on:

         __  Plaintiff as direct victim: Duty assumed by defendant, imposed as matter of law, or arose from relationship

         __  Plaintiff as bystander: Plaintiff was closely related to injury victim, was present at time and place of injury, and suffered serious distress

__  Breach of duty

__  Causation

__  Damages

Trade Libel

__  Publication of false statement of fact or opinion

__  Others induced not to deal with plaintiff

__  Defendant’s knowledge or reckless disregard of falsity

__  Causation

__  Pecuniary loss

For defenses, procedural matters, remedies, and practice pointers for each of these torts, turn to CEB’s California Business Litigation, chapter 11.

Other CEBblog™ posts you may find useful:

© The Regents of the University of California, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

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