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Law Offices of Jonathan M. Cooper

Tortious Interference in New York

Tortious Interference. It's a term that is - and has- been thrown around in rather cavalier fashion, as a way of saying the other side impinged on your turf. But it is first and foremost a term that has legal significance, as it falls within the general ambit of a breach of contract.

And let this serve to disabuse you of any mistaken pre-conceived notions you may have about proving one of these claims in New York: it is by no means a simple thing.

In fact, there is more than one type of tortious interference, and each type carries its own unique aspects, and most importantly, it's own particular elements of proof needed to sustain a successful claim under New York law.

As noted in "How to Prove Tortious Interference Under New York Law," there are actually two completely distinct causes of action that relate to tortious interference: the first one entails where the defendant induced someone to break their existing contract with you; on the other hand, the second type of tortious interference claim doesn't require the breaking of an actual contract - it is predicated on the assumption that but for the defendant's actions, a third party likely would have entered into a binding contract with the plaintiff.

Since these claims inherently require analysis - and at least some speculation - as to how at least 3 different parties would have acted under slightly different circumstances (i.e., without the tortious interference), it becomes apparent that proving a tortious interference claim is far from easy. To the contrary, it can prove extremely challenging.