Interference with business relations charges arise when false claims are said to have been made against a business allegedly in order to drive business away, and interference with contractual relations allegations surface when a party is said to have been convinced to breach a contract against the plaintiff, or when the ability of that party to perform his or her obligations under the contract is said to have been disrupted.
In order to establish a claim of tortious interference, the plaintiff must show that the defendant, acting improperly, maliciously, purposefully, and without privilege, induced a third party not to enter into (or continue) a business relationship with the plaintiff, and thereby caused the plaintiff financial injury. A claim of interference with a contractual relationship obviously requires a contract (as well as awareness of that contract on the part of the defendant), whereas a claim of interference with business relations does not.
"Business relations" can also apply to incomplete but developing rights that the plaintiff has or would like to have, and interference with contractual relations accusations can involve not only existing contractual relations, but prospective ones as well. This creates a great deal of uncertainty surrounding what business conduct is permitted and what is not.
Defenses to tortious interference include the privilege of fair competition. Additionally, the plaintiff has the burden to prove that the conduct in question was improper. Factors in determining improper conduct include:
The nature of the conduct
The motive for the conduct
The interests with which the alleged interference has occurred
The interests sought to be advanced by the alleged interference
The social interests in protecting freedom of action as opposed to the contractual interests
The closeness or distance of the defendant's conduct to the alleged interference
The relationship between the parties
Are you facing charges of interference with business or contractual relations? Contact the Breach of Contract Attorneys at The Blanch Law Firm by calling 212-736-3900. Your initial consultation is both free and confidential.