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- Each action’s elements;
- The most recent state and federal cases that cite the actions’ elements;
- The applicable statute of limitations for each action; and
- Defenses to each cause of action.
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Interference with Economic Relations - Intentional

1 Elements and Case Citations

“To prevail on a cause of action for intentional interference with prospective economic advantage in California, a plaintiff must plead and prove

(1) an economic relationship between the plaintiff and some third party, with the probability of future economic benefit to the plaintiff;
(2) the defendant’s knowledge of the relationship;
(3) the defendant’s intentional acts designed to disrupt the relationship;
(4) actual disruption of the relationship; and
(5) economic harm to the plaintiff proximately caused by the defendant's acts.”

Reeves v. Hanlon, 33 Cal. 4th 1140, 1152 n.6 (2004).

“[A] plaintiff seeking to recover for alleged interference with prospective economic relations has the burden of pleading and proving that the defendant's interference was wrongful ‘by some measure beyond the fact of the interference itself.’”  Della Penna v. Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., 11 Cal. 4th 376, 392-93 (1995); San Jose Construction, Inc. v. S.B.C.C., Inc., 155 Cal. App. 4th 1528, 1545 (2007) (“‘[A]n act is independently wrongful if it is unlawful, that is, if it is proscribed by some constitutional, statutory, regulatory, common law, or other determinable legal standard.’ . . ‘[A]n act must be wrongful by some legal measure, rather than merely a product of an improper, but lawful, purpose or motive.’”).

“[A] plaintiff may recover damages for intentional interference with an at-will employment relation under the same California standard applicable to claims for intentional interference with prospective economic advantage. That is, to recover for a defendant's interference with an at-will employment relation, a plaintiff must plead and prove that the defendant engaged in an independently wrongful act—i.e., an act ‘proscribed by some constitutional, statutory, regulatory, common law, or other determinable legal standard” . . .— that induced an at-will employee to leave the plaintiff.  Under this standard, a defendant is not subject to liability for intentional interference if the interference consists merely of extending a job offer that induces an employee to terminate his or her at-will employment.’”

Reeves, 33 Cal. 4th at 1152-53.

CALIFORNIA STATE COURTS

Supreme Court of California:  Edwards v. Arthur Andersen LLP, 44 Cal. 4th 937, 944 (2008); Reeves v. Hanlon, 33 Cal. 4th 1140, 1152 n.6 (2004); Korea Supply Co. v. Lockheed Martin Corp., 29 Cal. 4th 1134, 1153 (2003).

California 1st District: Salma v. Capon, 161 Cal. App. 4th 1275, 1290 (2008).

California 2d District:  Davis v. Nadrich, 174 Cal. App. 4th 1, 10 (2009).

California 3d District:  JRS Products, Inc. v. Matsushita Electric Corp. of America, 115 Cal. App. 4th 168, 179-80 (2004).

California 4thDistrict:  City of Costa Mesa v. D'Alessio Investments, LLC, 214 Cal. App. 4th 358, 376 (2013).

California 5th District:  Westside Center Associates v. Safeway Stores 23, Inc., 42 Cal. App. 4th 507, 521-22 (1996).

California 6th DistrictWinchester Mystery House, LLC v. Global Asylum, Inc., 210 Cal. App. 4th 579, 596 (2012).

CALIFORNIA FEDERAL COURTS

United States Court of Appeal for the 9th Circuit: Theme Promotions, Inc. v. News Am. Mktg. FSI, 546 F.3d 991, 1004 (9th Cir. 2008); American Rena Int’l Corp. v. Sis-Joyce Int’l Co., No. 12-57169, 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 15039, at *4-5 (9th Cir. July 24, 2013).

Central District: Code Rebel, LLC v. Aqua Connect, Inc., No. CV 13-4539 RSWL (MANx), 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 137937, at *15 (C.D. Cal. Sept. 24, 2013) (“To state a claim for intentional interference with prospective economic advantage, a plaintiff must allege ‘(1) an economic relationship between plaintiff and a third party, with probable future economic benefit to plaintiff; (2) defendant's knowledge of the relationship; (3) intentional acts by defendant designed to disrupt the relationship; actual disruption of the relationship; and economic harm to plaintiff proximately caused by acts of defendant.’”).

Eastern District:  Sacramento E.D.M., Inc. v. Hynes Aviation Indus., No. 2:13-cv-00288-MCE-KJN,  2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115791, at *19 (E.D. Cal. Aug. 15, 2013).

Northern DistrictAmaretto Ranch Breedables, LLC v. Ozimals, Inc., No. CV 10-5696 CRB, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95685, at *21-22 (N.D. Cal. July 9, 2013); Damabeh v. 7-Eleven, Inc., No. 5:12-CV-1739-LHK, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66565, at *25-26 (N.D. Cal. May 8, 2013).

Southern District:      Valvoline Instant Oil Change Franchising, Inc. v. RFG, Inc., No. 12-cv-2079-GPC-KSC, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 110753, at *17 (S.D. Cal. Aug. 5, 2013)

2 Issues and Defenses to Claim for Intentional Interference With Prospective Business Advantage, Prospective Economic Relations and At-Will Employment Relationship

(1)  Cal. Code Civ. Proc. § 431.30(b)(2) (pleading affirmative defenses), and other standard defenses.  See Chapter 1 for all defenses.

(2)  Statute of Limitations:  Cal. Code Civ. Proc. §339(1) (two years); Trembath v. Digardi, 43 Cal. App. 3d 834, 836 (1974).