The Guide is an invaluable online tool for litigation and transactional attorneys. The Guide provides for more than 70 common law causes of action:

- 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.
- AND, The Guide is updated annually.

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Interference with Existing Contract - Intentional

1 Elements and Case Citations

The elements necessary to plead a cause of action for intentional interference with contractual relations, as follows:

(1) a valid contract between plaintiff and a third party;
(2) defendant’s knowledge of this contract;
(3) defendant’s intentional acts designed to induce a breach or disruption of the contractual relationship;
(4) actual breach or disruption of the contractual relationship; and
(5) resulting damage.

Pacific Gas & Electric Co. v. Bear Stearns & Co., 50 Cal. 3d 1118, 1126 (1990).

“Because interference with an existing contract receives greater solicitude than does interference with prospective economic advantage . . . , it is not necessary that the defendant’s conduct be wrongful apart from the interference with the contract itself.”  Quelimane Co. v. Stewart Title Guaranty Co., 19 Cal. 4th 26, 55 (1998) (“Intentionally inducing or causing a breach of an existing contract is therefore a wrong in and of itself.”).

CALIFORNIA STATE COURTS

Supreme Court of California:  Reeves v. Hanlon, 33 Cal. 4th 1140, 1148 (2004).

California 1st District:  Savage v. Pacific Gas & Electric Co., 21 Cal. App. 4th 434, 448 (1993); see Arntz Contracting Co. v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co., 47 Cal. App. 4th 464, 476-77 (1996) (discussing differences between intentional interference with contractual relations and intentional interference with prospective economic advantage).

California 2d District:  Little v. Amber Hotel Co., 202 Cal. App. 4th 280, 291 (2011) (discussing differences between intentional interference with contractual relations and intentional interference with prospective economic advantage); Davis v. Nadrich, 174 Cal. App. 4th 1, 10 (2009). 

California 3d District:  Halvorsen v. Aramark Uniform Services, 65 Cal. App. 4th 1383, 1391 (1998).

California 4thDistrict:  Hahn v. Diaz-Barba, 194 Cal. App. 4th 1177, 1196 (2011). 

California 5th District:  Rogers v. Grua, 215 Cal. App. 2d 1, 8 (1963) (discussing viability of tort).

California 6th District: Winchester 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:  Family Home & Fin. Ctr., Inc. v. Fed. Home Loan Mortg. Corp., 525 F.3d 822, 825 (9th Cir. 2008).

Central District:  Blizzard Entertainment Inc. v. Ceiling Fan Software LLC, No. SACV 12-00144 JVS(RNBx), 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 139313, at *16-17 (C.D. Cal. Sept. 23, 2103); Yagman v. Galipo, No. CV 12-7908-GW(SHx),  2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 120497, at *31-32 (C.D. Cal. Aug. 15, 2013).

Eastern District:  Conte v. Jakks Pac., Inc., No. 1:12-CV-00006-LJO-GSA, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 174716, at *14-15 (E.D. Cal. Dec. 10, 2012).

Northern District:  Integrated Storage Consulting Servs. v. NetApp, Inc., No. 5:12-CV-06209-EJD, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 107705, at *32-33 (N.D. Cal. July 31, 2013).

Southern District:  Seoul Laser Dieboard Sys. Co. v. Serviform, S.R.L., No. 12-CV-2427 BEN (JMA), 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99381, at *24 (S.D. Cal. July 16, 2013).

2 Issues and Defenses to Claim for

(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).

(3)   Purpose of Interference:  “[T]he tort of intentional interference with performance of a contract does not require that the actor’s primary purpose be disruption of the contract.”  Quelimane Co. v. Stewart Title Guaranty Co., 19 Cal. 4th 26, 56 (1998).

(4)  Litigation Privilege:  The litigation privilege can serve as a defense to a claim for intentional interference with contractual relations.  Olsen v. Harbison, 191 Cal. App. 4th 325, 336-37 (2010) (noting that “[t]he privilege immunizes defendants in any tort action, with the exception of malicious prosecution”).