Jerry L. Freedman, A Professional Corporation
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Tortious interference: sometimes business behavior can go too far

Fairness is just as much a dominant concern in the business world as it is in other realms of life.

Put another way: Commercial entities dealing with each other certainly can -- and routinely do -- pursue hard and uncompromising strategies that seek to promote their bottom line even at the expense of those they are negotiating and contracting with. At the same time, though, there are limits and rules attached to business norms and canons of decency that guide commercial conduct and set boundaries regarding what is permissible versus what is not.

As we note on a relevant page of our commercial law website at Jerry L. Freedman, a Professional Corporation, "Operating your business within the limits of the law is crucial to your success." The inverse implication of that truism for our clients and other business entities operating across Southern California is that companies violating state and/or federal laws to operate their enterprises court legal disaster in the way of fines, penalties and other types of damages.

One way they do so is by being perceived by a court as having engaged in tortious interference with an existing business expectancy or contract.

What that centrally means is this: Although a business entity can sometimes take actions that result in interference with an extant or soon-to-be-inked contract between another business and third party, those actions will be deemed unlawful if they are intentional, guided by an improper purpose and seek to induce a contract breach. If a court finds that to be the case, it might make a finding of tortious interference and award a legal remedy for any damages suffered by any party that was interfered with.

Establishing tortious interference, or defending against it, can be difficult, given the number of legal elements and proofs applicable to it. A business entity with questions or concerns relating to either side of the equation can obtain accurate information and rigorous legal representation from a proven business and commercial law attorney.

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