A business tort is wrongful conduct (often by a competitor) that adversely affects the claimant’s business. It can be anything from stealing confidential information, inducing a customer or employee to breach a contract, disparaging a service or product, to engaging in some form of unfair business practice.
Punitive damages may be recovered for certain business torts, such as intentional interference, fraud, and trade libel claims. We have prevailed on fraud and interference claims on both the plaintiff’s side and the defense side in jury trials, court trials and arbitrations.
We routinely handle business tort cases that involve:
- Interference with contract
- Interference with business relations
- Misappropriation of trade secrets
- Trade libel
- Unfair competition
We established new law in California by successfully defending an interference claim based on the underlying contract not being enforceable. PMC, Inc. v. Saban Entertainment, 45 Cal. App. 4th 579 (1996).
We won defense judgments on behalf of Los Angeles reporter Wayne Satz on defamation claims filed by the McMartin family over his coverage of the notorious pre-school molestation investigation and criminal prosecutions. Satz v. Superior Court (Virginia McMartin), 225 Cal. App. 3d 1525 (1990).