Elements of Intentional Interference With Prospective Economic Advantage

In Edwards v. Arthur Andersen LLP (2008) 44 Cal.4th 937, 944, the Supreme Court outlined the elements of the tort of intentional interference with prospective economic advantage: In order to prove a claim for intentional interference with prospective economic advantage, a plaintiff has the burden of proving five elements: (1) an economic relationship between plaintiff and a third party, with the probability of future economic benefit to the plaintiff; (2) defendant's knowledge of the relationship; (3) an intentional act by the defendant, designed to disrupt the relationship; (4) actual disruption of the relationship; (5) economic harm to the plaintiff proximately caused by the defendant's wrongful act, including an intentional act by the defendant that is designed to disrupt the relationship between the plaintiff and a third party. The plaintiff must also prove that the interference was wrongful, independent of its interfering character. An important distinction between the tort of intentional interference with contractual relations and the tort of intentional interference with prospective economic advantage is that the latter requires proof that the "the defendant's conduct was 'wrongful by some legal measure other than the fact of interference itself.' " (Korea Supply Co. v. Lockheed Martin Corp. (2003) 29 Cal.4th 1134, 1153.) "An act is independently wrongful if it is unlawful, that is, if it is proscribed by some constitutional, statutory, regulatory, common law, or other determinable legal standard." (Id. at p. 1159.)