Tortious Interference With Contracts, Business Relations, and Economic Advantage: Proving and Defending Claims

Navigating the Complexities of Claims Alleging Intentional and Improper Business Disruption

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Recorded event now available

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Program Materials

This CLE webinar will examine proving and defending tortious interference with contract, tortious interference with business relations, and tortious interference with economic advantage. These claims arise when a person intentionally disrupts a formal agreement between two parties or when a third party takes unlawful action against the plaintiff business to deliberately drive business away or to cause another party to not enter into a business relationship with the plaintiff.


Business torts often are committed by unethical competitors or even former employees to gain an unfair advantage, inflict revenge, or cover up incompetence. Defendants may use misinformation, blackmail, threats, or manipulation to induce breach of contract, steer business away, sabotage the plaintiff's ability to perform its obligations, or destroy relevant prospective business arrangements. Business attorneys must promptly identify situations where third parties are tortiously interfering with their client's contracts, business relations, and potential economic advantages to stop future damage and recover losses.

On the other hand, those unable to effectively compete within a market may bring or threaten false allegations of tortious interference in a misguided and unethical attempt to prevent competitors or former employees from attracting loyal customers. Social media has made it easier than ever to spread false narratives. In any case, counsel must prepare to act quickly and to address and defend such claims head on.

Successful plaintiffs can recover lost profits and other actual damages. Given the intentional nature of these claims, successful plaintiffs may also recover punitive damages, resulting in high dollar verdicts in tortious interference cases.

Listen as our authoritative panel discusses recent case law developments across multiple states regarding tortious interference claims and the overlap of tortious interference claims with similar claims such as wrongful competition by former employees, trade secret theft, or defamation. The panel will discuss considerations and best practices for business counsel bringing and defending claims.



  1. Establishing the various tortious interference claims
  2. Affirmative defenses to tortious interference claims
  3. Damages and other remedies, including preliminary injunctive relief
  4. Factors courts consider in deciding cases
  5. Interplay with the competition, employment, and defamation claims


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What must plaintiffs prove to establish a tortious interference claim?
  • What are the potential defenses to defeat tortious interference claims?
  • Can preliminary injunctive relief be obtained for tortious interference?
  • What economic damages are available to prevailing plaintiffs in tortious interference cases?
  • How do tortious interference claims overlap with related employment, unfair competition, and defamation claims?


Ella, V. John
V. John Ella

Trepanier MacGillis Battina

Mr. Ella practices in all aspects of employment law, business law and commercial litigation. He advises businesses,...  |  Read More

Riden, Stephen
Stephen D. Riden

Beck Reed Riden

Mr. Riden is a commercial litigator who represents corporate and individual clients in a wide array of disputes across...  |  Read More

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