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Beckwith v Dahl

Case No. G044479 (CA Dist. 4 Ct. App., Div. 3, May. 3, 2012)

Brent Beckwith appeals from a judgment of dismissal entered after the trial court sustained without leave to amend Susan Dahl‟s demurrer to his complaint alleging intentional interference with an expected inheritance (IIEI) and deceit by false promise. Beckwith argues we should join the majority of other states in recognizing the tort of IIEI as a valid cause of action. We agree it is time to officially recognize this tort claim. In addition, in this opinion we have clarified why IIEI and the cause of action, deceit by false promise, address different wrongs. We conclude Beckwith‟s complaint alleged sufficient facts to support a claim for deceit, but there are currently insufficient facts stated to allege IIEI. Given the unique circumstances of this case, Beckwith must be afforded an opportunity to amend the complaint if he believes he can allege the facts necessary to support an IIEI claim as delineated in this opinion. We reverse the judgment of dismissal and the order sustaining the demurrer. The matter is remanded for further proceedings.

FACTS & PROCEDURE



1. Marc Christian MacGinnis



Beckwith and his partner, Marc Christian MacGinnis (MacGinnis), were in a long-term, committed relationship for almost 10 years. They leased an apartment together and were occasional business partners. MacGinnis had no children and his parents were deceased. His sister, Susan Dahl, with whom he had an estranged relationship, was his only other living family. At some point during their relationship, MacGinnis showed Beckwith a will he had saved on his computer. The will stated that upon MacGinnis‟s death, his estate was to be divided equally between Beckwith and Dahl. MacGinnis never printed or signed the will.

In May 2009, MacGinnis‟s health began to decline. On May 25, 2009, MacGinnis was in the hospital awaiting surgery to repair holes in his lungs. He asked Beckwith to locate and print the will so he could sign it. Beckwith went to their home and looked for the will, but he could not find it. When Beckwith told MacGinnis that he could not locate the will, MacGinnis asked Beckwith to create a new will so he could sign it the next day. That night, Beckwith created a new will for MacGinnis using forms downloaded from the Internet. The will stated: “„I [MacGinnis] give all the rest, residue and remainder of my property and estate, both real and personal, of whatever kind and wherever located, that I own or to which I shall be in any manner entitled at the time of my death (collectively referred to as my “residuary estate”), as follows: (a) If Brent Beckwith and Susan Dahl survive me, to those named in clause (a) who survive me in equal shares.‟”
 

 

Judge(s): Kathleen E. O'Leary
Jurisdiction: California Court of Appeals, Fourth District
Related Categories: Torts
 
Trial Court Judge(s)
Luis Rodriguez

 
Court of Appeals Judge(s)
Raymond Ikola
Kathleen O'Leary
William Rylaarsdam

 
Amicus Lawyer(s) Amicus Law Firm(s)
Maria Chedid Arnold & Porter
Jeremy McLaughlin Arnold & Porter
Trenton Norris Arnold & Porter
Shannon Minter National Center for Lesbian Rights
Christopher Stoll National Center for Lesbian Rights
Sharon Arkin The Arkin Law Firm

 
Appellant Lawyer(s) Appellant Law Firm(s)
Brett Markson Markson Pico LLP

 
Appellee Lawyer(s) Appellee Law Firm(s)
Mary Finlay The Walker Law Firm
Joseph Walker The Walker Law Firm

 

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conduct at someone other than the plaintiff. the cases firmly indicate a requirement that execution or revocation was procured by duress, menace, fraud, or undue influence”].) there are misrepresentations, but the reliance is the dead—it appears to the court that the held plaintiff‟s allegations defendant interfered with his chance of receiving a poker we reject dahl‟s argument that because she did not specifically promise to is derivative of the testator‟s rights.” (whalen, supra, 719 so.2d at p. 6.) thus, when the case. dahl informed beckwith that she had not had any contact with the probate attorney fifteen years later, in munn v. briggs (2010) 185 cal.app.4th 578 (munn), macginnis had signed the will, it would have been invalid. dahl contends that because additionally, an iiei defendant must direct the independently tortious fraudulently induced it to refrain from protecting its lien interest in the settlement. (id. at expectancy in an inheritance is not inherently speculative. unlike in a spoliation case wachovia bank & trust co. (n.c. 1936) 188 s.e. 390, 393-394; prosser & keeton, similarly, section 21380 provides, in part, “a provision of an instrument making a parents were deceased. his sister, susan dahl, with whom he had an estranged was directed at the testator and when the plaintiff had no adequate remedy in probate. cedars-sinai to hold a tort remedy for intentional spoliation was inappropriate. the (super. ct. no. 30-2010-00394872) even when no independent tort action was available. (see prob. code, § 6104 [“the that intended beneficiaries of wills can recover in tort against a negligent draftsman even donative transfer to any of the following persons is presumed to be the product of fraud sustained. (see mazur, supra, 122 cal.app.4th 1400, 1415.) it is certainly possible dahl will be able to convince a jury she had every alleged that “[p]laintiff suffered economic harm in that he was deprived of his one half alleged facts showing that if he had presented macginnis with the will, it was very likely cedars-sinai court cited, as one factor weighing against its recognition of an intentional representation of intent to perform some future action, i.e., the defendant made a promise, not respond. beckwith e-mailed dahl again on december 18, 2009, asking about the fact of the interference. (doughty v. morris (n.m.ct.app. 1994) 871 p.2d 380, probate system was created to protect a decedent‟s testamentary intent by imposing very will in favor of the plaintiffs constituted fraud and supported a claim for intentional dahl argues beckwith‟s reliance on her promise was not justifiable because expected inheritance would have been received absent the alleged interference, whether we get our proceeds from the estate.‟ [emphasis added.]” when dahl did not respond, sufficiently pleading dahl‟s promise was false at the time she made it, beckwith also causal relationship between his actions induced by dahl‟s promises and his resulting mazur (2004) 122 cal.app.4th 1400, 1414 (mazur).) therefore, the falsity of the interest, i.e., even in the absence of the fraud, it would have still been damaged because it made a misrepresentation, the complaint must allege (1) the defendant made a cause of action, when tortious conduct causing injury to an expected legatee is directed at interference.” (pacific gas & electric co. v. bear stearns & co. (1990) 50 cal.3d 1118, the plaintiff would have received it if the defendant had not interfered.‟ [citation.]” falsity of a statement is no defense when the misrepresentation was intentional rather than brent beckwith appeals from a judgment of dismissal entered after the trial relations between the parties while sharing the same living quarters, (2) sharing of complaint sufficiently alleged each of the elements of fraud with the requisite specificity as a valid cause of action.1 we agree it is time to officially recognize this tort claim. in cases shows that no such blanket prohibition was ever set forth. 45 cal.app.4th 133, 156.) as explained in more detail below, we conclude beckwith‟s relationship is terminable at-will because “the fact that the [employer] was privileged to and looked for the will, but he could not find it. when beckwith told macginnis that he their stepmother. (id. at p. 96.) further, unless the children had personally been injured court sustained without leave to amend susan dahl‟s demurrer to his complaint alleging the benefits that the testamentary intent rule calls for them to receive. once possessed of negligent.” [citation.] “nor is a plaintiff held to the standard of precaution or of was directed at the children‟s father, and “a right of action for fraud is personal and horserace or any sporting event does not present a basis for tort liability for interference of iiei if it is necessary to afford an injured plaintiff a remedy. the integrity of the rodriguez, judge. reversed and remanded. the expectancies involved in the governmental licensing process are too uncertain to adequate remedy in probate . . . .” (id. at p. 593.) our supreme court has not ruled on beckwith and his partner, marc christian macginnis (macginnis), were in must have caused his alleged damage. encourage, dual litigation tracks for disgruntled heirs, we would risk destabilizing the law “[t]he fraud, duress, undue influence, or other independent tortious conduct required for if not exclusive, remedy for disputes over testamentary documents. [citation].‟” (munn, claimed their stepmother, decedent‟s new wife, fraudulently induced their father to a cohabitant with . . . the person who drafted the instrument. for purposes of this section, bars iiei claims when an adequate probate remedy exists. by recognizing similar appeal from a judgment of the superior court of orange county, luis a. some commentators to suggest the court left open the possibility of a recovery based on after macginnis‟ death, on june 17, 2009, dahl opened probate in los angeles superior in accomplishing the goals of deterring and punishing litigation-related misconduct.” delay [macginnis‟s] execution of his will and to convince [beckwith] to refrain from fraudulent deceit. he sufficiently alleged he was induced by his belief in dahl‟s with another company, the insured, to assist that company in litigation against its insurer. similarly, the tort of iiei developed to provide a remedy when both of these avenues under the law. nor did dahl tell beckwith about the risks associated with the surgery. prospective beneficiary could not legally enforce the same promise against the testator. 547 u.s. 293, 312.) in addition, iiei is outlined in section 774b of the restatement tort claim for fraud against dahl. it appears the court was confusing the independent tort underlying litigation.” (cedars-sinai, supra, 18 cal.4th at pp. 13-14.) in contrast, an truth of the plaintiff‟s allegations or the accuracy with which he describes the defendant‟s the defendant‟s interference was never directed only at the plaintiff. (see allen, supra, 10 cal.4th 1226, 1239.) in a promissory fraud action, “the essence of the fraud is the existence of an would have been realized but for dahl‟s intentional interference. however, beckwith did discuss the details of the living trust. dahl told beckwith not to present the will to synthesizing the above, we conclude that a court should recognize the tort stated in californians for disability rights v. mervyn’s, llc (2006) 39 cal.4th 223, 228. performance. (see tyco industries, inc. v. superior court (1985) 164 cal.app.3d 148, requirement is built into the iiei tort because one of the tort‟s required elements is that above, it is clear from beckwith‟s complaint that it is this promise upon which he relies. according to section 21350, “[e]xcept as provided in [s]ection 21351, no provision, or interference with prospective economic benefits of a noncommercial character.” (ibid.) if he had given the will to macginnis. he has adequately pled that his damages, one-half plaintiffs, but rather against the decedent, so no similar statutory duty was violated. my death (collectively referred to as my “residuary estate”), as follows: (a) if brent induced or caused the testator to take some action that deprives the plaintiff of his the uncertainty attendant upon the expectancy is equivalent. neither the employee nor requirement would defeat the purpose of an expectancy claim. [¶] . . . [¶] it is only the essentially one for breach of contract].) iiei has been discussed in prior cases, but no court has explicitly decided whether (id. at p. 1404.) per the agreement, plaintiff would take a percentage of any recovery. death. (see crail v. blakely (1973) 8 cal.3d 744, 747; cook v. cook (1941) 17 cal.2d induce the termination.” (kozlowsky v. westminster nat. bank (1970) 6 cal.app.3d 593, filed 5/3/12 have been damaged even if he had presented macginnis with the will. beckwith‟s complaint alleged that on may 25, 2009, dahl promised him, the doctors‟ recommendations, removed macginnis from the ventilator. on june 2, held that because the insured had voided the agreement, plaintiff had no lien interest to beneficiary‟s inchoate rights, but to protect the deceased testator‟s former right to dispose on july 30, 2010, while the probate case was still pending, beckwith filed untransferable[,]” the court held the children could not maintain a fraud action against 585-587.) ultimately, however, the court “decline[d] under the present circumstances to summary judgment award because defendant failed to meet her statutory burden of failure to allege dahl‟s promise was made to macginnis does not affect his independent intent at the time of the promise not to perform it.” (building permit consultants, inc. v. a different division of this district took up the issue of whether california should amount of one-half of the estate as a result of that action, and that his reliance on dahl‟s of which are admittedly meritorious.” (dillon, supra, 68 cal.2d at p. 737.) lack an adequate probate remedy because of the interference of another. in a sense, the associated with it. (j’aire corp. v. gregory (1979) 24 cal.3d 799, 808.) as discussed subdivision (d), provides a means of rebutting the presumption of undue influence that (patrick v. alacer corp. (2008) 167 cal.app.4th 995, 1016-1017.) here, the complaint afforded an opportunity to amend the complaint if he believes he can allege the facts not support a cause of action unless the plaintiff suffered consequential damages.”‟” 20 cal.4th at pp. 474-476; cedars-sinai, supra, 18 cal.4th at pp. 13-15.) “it seems likely [macginnis] died without a will, and the estate went into probate, i was made executor of the arkin law firm and sharon j. arkin for the consumer attorneys of disposition of macginnis‟s personal property. after beckwith suggested they find the addition, in this opinion we have clarified why iiei and the cause of action, deceit by the fraud claim stating, “[a]s far as reliance, i had the same questions you did as far as agreement because it violated certain statutory provisions. (id. at p. 1414.) the court with prospective economic advantage]; speegle v. board of fire underwriters (1946) 471-478 (temple) [deciding whether to recognize the tort of intentional spoliation of action. the trial court found beckwith‟s iiei cause of action insufficient on its face, not allege dahl directed any independently tortious conduct at macginnis. the only burden of proving the trial court abused its discretion in denying leave to amend. wrongful conduct alleged in beckwith‟s complaint was dahl‟s false promise to him. in general, most states recognizing the tort adopt it with the following was placed on a ventilator and his prognosis worsened. six days later, dahl, following prospective economic advantage. (id. at p. 330.) the court reached that result because stage is that the allegations must be pled with particularity and specificity. beckwith has his estate. the court then declared that his assets would go to his only surviving family observation to be so patently and obviously false that he must have closed his eyes to 425 n.e.2d 1187, 1191 [finding plaintiff, who alleged she was a beneficiary under two of reasoned the children had no contractual or statutory interest in the insurance policies at incapable of alleging damages because even in the absence of defendant‟s fraud, plaintiff the trial court also sustained without leave to amend beckwith‟s second each element must be alleged with particularity. (conrad v. bank of america (1996) action. stoll for the national center for lesbian rights as amicus curiae on behalf of plaintiff beckwith drafted the will, even if macginnis had executed it, any donative transfers to macginnis would have signed it, as well as facts alleging that had macginnis signed the there are two causation elements in a fraud cause of action. first, the plaintiff‟s actual them tonight.‟ [emphasis added.]” after receiving the e-mail, beckwith called dahl to other interference torts, the complaint must allege causation. “this means that, as in 18 cal.4th at p. 11.) in temple, the court noted that “[r]egulatory, criminal, and he “relied on a vague suggestion from a virtual stranger (who was purportedly estranged (youst, supra, 43 cal.3d at p. 75 [quoting prosser & keeton, torts, supra, § 130, entire estate. finally, beckwith claimed that as a result of his reliance on dahl‟s cause of action for deceit by false promise. under civil code section 1709, one is liable ultimate success than others.” (ibid.) in addition, the court cited the restatement second not have applied to invalidate the will had beckwith presented it to macginnis. unlike above, the tort of iiei is only available when the aggrieved party has essentially been via e-mail and a telephone call, she would “promptly prepare and deliver trust documents advantage would have been realized but for the defendant‟s interference.” (youst v. beckwith to locate and print the will so he could sign it. beckwith went to their home brent beckwith, interference claim in the context of an expectation of inheritance because, in california, the doctors could not discuss the matter with beckwith since he was not a family member (ibid.) will. he sufficiently pled actual reliance. in this case, dahl‟s alleged misrepresentations are not so preposterous or evidence by third parties]; cedars-sinai medical center v. superior court (1998) a long-term, committed relationship for almost 10 years. they leased an apartment defendant‟s tortious conduct is directed at the plaintiff, rather than at the testator, the no vested property right in macginnis‟s estate. in hoeft, children of the decedent conversely, a plaintiff‟s reliance is not reasonable when he “„“put[s] faith the instant civil action against dahl alleging iiei, deceit by false promise, and negligence. possible legal theory. [citations.] [¶] second, where the demurrer is sustained without disciplinary sanctions, as well as legislative measures and sanctions available to litigants before his scheduled surgery.” the complaint also alleged dahl “made the promise to deficiencies that have been pointed out[]” as to the fraud cause of action, the court went following: [¶] (1) the person who drafted the instrument.” (§ 21350, subd. (a)(1).) where “[a] litigant‟s expectancy in the outcome of litigation is peculiarly uncertain, being receive a benefit by entering into contractual relations in the future, the same protection be in our names and if something should happen to [macginnis] we could make damage. in contrast to the facts of mazur, there are no facts showing beckwith would court acknowledged tort liability may be appropriate for interference with sporting events (fla.dist.ct.app. 2007) 952 so.2d 1231 [defendant unduly influenced testator to execute 23 broad broom of „administrative convenience‟ to sweep away a class of claims a number 598.) macginnis were in a long-term relationship of 10 years, they leased an apartment certified for publication relationship, was his only other living family. at some point during their relationship, pleading cannot state a claim for relief.” (small v. fritz companies, inc. (2003) 30 and we reverse; if not, there has been no abuse of discretion and we affirm. [citations.]” (allen).) allowing those so harmed to bring a tort action “still would give defendants all 7 before beckwith presented the will to macginnis, he called dahl to tell her susan dahl, protect. (id. at p. 1415.) thus, even if the plaintiff had taken legal steps to protect its lien integrity of the probate system, guarding against tort liability for inherently speculative beckwith sent her another e-mail on december 2, 2009, asking if she needed any dahl contends beckwith has no remedy for the alleged misrepresentation because he had when the plaintiff already has an adequate probate remedy. (see, e.g., minton v. sackett 29 cal.2d 34, 39 [interference with at-will contract];.) deceit for the purposes of civil code section 1709 as, inter alia, “[a] promise, made leave to amend involves the trial court‟s discretion. therefore, an appellate court the probate judge found that beckwith had no standing because he was “not a creditor of 2. promissory fraud the issue of whether california recognizes the tort. speak [sic] with the probate attorney, i looked up [macginnis‟s] probate case on-line 3. the civil action and demurrer this tort is directed at the testator. the beneficiary is not directly defrauded or unduly applying a similar last recourse requirement to the tort in california, the integrity of the committing a tort against a third party . . . .” (allen v. hall (or. 1999) 974 p.2d 199, 203 states (2009) 13 lewis & clark l. rev. 209, 226 (hereafter go west).) the united for example, interference with an at-will contract is actionable even though macginnis, he can sufficiently state a claim for iiei. on the other hand, beckwith‟s 10 will must be executed and witnessed].) recognition of the iiei tort could enable as prosser & keeton points out, there is no essential reason “refusing to should be accorded to a person‟s opportunity to receive a benefit as a prospective legatee. sufficient facts to support a claim for deceit, but there are currently insufficient facts to his injury or risk . . . .” (civ. code, § 1709.) section 1710 of the civil code defines appropriate beckwith be given an opportunity to amend his complaint to address, if made—and i‟m not disputing whether—i have to assume the truth of the allegations that false promise, address different wrongs. we conclude beckwith‟s complaint alleged expected inheritance. (rest.2d torts, § 774b, com. b; see also schilling v. herrera is whether california should recognize a tort remedy for iiei. 35 cal.3d 197, 220-221 (cctv)2 [disapproving trial court‟s denial of leave to amend g044479 26 not found, and dahl does not cite, any other cases suggesting one can recover damages recognition against any potential burdens and costs that recognition of the tort would where the defendant‟s wrongful conduct was directed at someone other than the testator, and thus would have been damaged, even without the fraudulent inducement caused by one policy concern that stands out is the effect that recognition of the tort in representations which are preposterous, or which are shown by facts within his otherwise have accrued to him . . . .‟ [citation].” (blank, supra, 39 cal.3d at p. 330.) expectancies of future economic benefits that could not be enforced directly. (see reeves that in a substantial proportion of spoliation cases the fact of harm will be irreducibly 16 [citations.]” (plimpton v. gerrard (me. 1995) 668 a.2d 882, 885-886.) second, as in as valid in california. however, “[t]he law of torts is anything but static, and the limits court. dahl verbally informed beckwith that she had opened probate, but she did not on to state, “[t]he one that i have really a concern about, which is raised, is the question “a fraudulent state of mind includes not only knowledge of falsity of the about the will and e-mailed her a copy. later that night, dahl responded to beckwith‟s california jurisprudence that, “[f]or every wrong there is a remedy.” (civ. code, (temple, supra, 20 cal.4th at p. 471.) although there is a similar preference for bringing whether beckwith sufficiently stated the cause of action in his complaint. to state a 21351 provides that section 21350 does not apply when, inter alia, “[t]he transferor is . . . is no possibility of satisfying the required threshold determination that it was “reasonably notwithstanding any interference from a third party. (see prosser & keeton, torts, generally revocable by the testator at any time and for any reason prior to his or her accordingly, beckwith‟s complaint failed to sufficiently allege the iiei tort. we must consider the relevant policy considerations and balance the benefits of such above, california case law in analogous contexts shields defendants from tort liability we must also emphasize the tort of iiei is one for wrongful interference reliance, (2) damage resulting from such reliance, and (3) right to rely or justifiable promises to be true and in reliance on that belief, he did not present macginnis with the section 21350 remains effective for wills that became irrevocable between 1993 and the possible, the defects we have pointed out. because “without the guidance of this opinion, [plaintiff‟s] failure to make the specific and [beckwith] in accordance with [macginnis‟s] wishes.” the complaint also alleged, 6 “„[a]ctual reliance occurs when a misrepresentation is “„an immediate having decided we can recognize a cause of action for iiei, we turn to 3 trust documents to macginnis, but she did not intend to prepare them at all when she half of macginnis‟s estate by lying to him about her intention to prepare a living trust for laws are „“purely a creature of statute.””‟ (munn, supra, 185 cal.app.4th at p. 589.) the 1. marc christian macginnis party with adequate relief.” (ibid., quoting minton, supra, 671 n.e.2d at p. 162.) by unlike the plaintiffs in hoeft, beckwith asserted a personal, tort cause of 30 the walker law firm, joseph a. walker and mary g. finlay for that expectancy by a third party; (3) the interference was independently wrongful or arnold & porter, trenton h. norris, maria chedid, and jeremy m. 4 contrary to beckwith‟s argument in his reply brief that section 21351, received the inheritance. 1640, 1667 (boeken).) “„“negligence on the part of the plaintiff in failing to discover the remove them as beneficiaries of an insurance policy. (id. at p. 94.) but because the fraud promises was justifiable. 591, 593; dulin v. bailey (n.c. 1916) 90 s.e. 689, 690.) similarly, it is a maxim of korea supply co. v. lockheed martin corp. (2003) 29 cal.4th 1134, 1153 [interference will or that one has been devised the particular property at issue. [citation.] that rights.” (civ. code, § 1708.) “[w]e cannot let the difficulties of adjudication frustrate for fraud only when he alters his position with respect to an already existing property supra, 185 cal.app.4th at p. 590, quoting wilson v. fritschy (n.m.ct.app. 2002) of its development are never set. when it becomes clear that the plaintiff‟s interests are position to recognize” a new tort for iiei because “that really is an appellate decision.” a cause of action, “the question of plaintiff‟s ability to prove . . . [the] allegations, or the made, and (5) that the promise was made with no intention of performance. accordingly, defrauded plaintiff would have suffered the alleged damage even in the absence of the see also committee on children’s television, inc. v. general foods corp. (1983) 31 an interested party. dahl also applied to become the administrator of the estate. two days later, on may 27, macginnis had surgery on his lungs. although http://www.lasuperiorcourt.org/probate/ and the next hearing date is not until 8/27/10, so „“establish a complete causal relationship” between the alleged misrepresentations and closely related is the concern that an expectancy in an inheritance is too obviously false as to preclude tort liability. beckwith has adequately pled that his length of the relationship.” (pen. code, § 13700.) beckwith‟s complaint alleged he and with an expected inheritance and not an independent action for the underlying tortious and only section 21350 would apply. second, although standing alone, section 21350 (see william s. hart union high school dist. v. regional planning com. (1991) would have suffered the same injury. (id. at p. 1415.) plaintiff entered into an agreement stringent requirements on a will contest. (see prob. code, § 6111 [signature on reversible error exists only if facts were alleged showing entitlement to relief under any [defendant‟s intentional failure to adhere to an agreement he made with testator to draft a in doing so. [citations.] on review of the trial court‟s refusal to grant leave to amend, necessary.” thus, the complaint contained specific allegations of facts showing why (id. at p. 1405.) after the litigation settled, and plaintiff was not paid its share of the thereby suffers”].) in contrast, the defendant in hoeft did not commit fraud against the inheritance. it is not necessary to allege that “one is in fact named as a beneficiary in the fourth, the complaint must allege that the interference was conducted by independently 3 all further statutory references are to the probate code, unless otherwise claim. in light of the subsequent guidance provided by this opinion, we think it is b. knowledge of falsity adopt the tort of interference with an expected inheritance” because plaintiff “had an from the decedent at that time and had everything to gain by not having that will signed) his reply brief, newly enacted section 21380 only became effective on january 1, 2011, supra, § 130, pp. 1006-1007.) however, where there is a strong probability that an to take the action of holding off on presenting macginnis with the will. beckwith take a detrimental course of action. second, the detrimental action taken by the plaintiff there exists a reasonable certainty that, but for the interference, the plaintiff would have the harm claimed to have resulted therefrom.‟” (ocm principal opportunities fun, l.p. consideration, is not legally enforceable. (see coon v. shry (1930) 209 cal. 612, conduct required for the iiei tort, as pled in count one of beckwith‟s complaint. at the hearing on the demurrer, the trial court stated, it was not “in a prepared and that no will was necessary.” thus, beckwith alleged he believed dahl‟s spoliated evidence was and what effect it might have had on the outcome of the university (2004) 121 cal.app.4th 353, 364-365.) “„assuming . . . a claimant‟s reliance 20 (see allen v. leybourne (fla.dist.ct.app. 1966) 190 so.2d 825, 829; bohannan v. means intentionally prevents another from receiving from a third person an inheritance or (tenn.ct.app. 2000) 36 s.w.3d 837, 849.) most states prohibit an interference action 65 cal.app.3d 990, 998-999 [refusing to allow an action for interference with contractual the contract or other transaction.‟”‟” (hall v. time inc. (2008) 158 cal.app.4th 847, 855, beckwith‟s complaint sufficiently alleged the first element of promissory fraud, a false 2 cctv, supra, 35 cal.3d 197, was superseded by statute on another point as 226 cal.app.3d 1612, 1621.) however, “[l]iberality in permitting amendment is the rule reliance is reasonable is a question of fact.‟” (alliance mortgage co. v. rothwell (1995) online. he then sent dahl an e-mail stating: „“in case you hadn‟t had a chance to talk to the tort of iiei developed under the “general principle of law that beckwith‟s damages were not causally related to the alleged fraud because the actual 24 deceive‟ is not an essential element of the cause of action, . . .” the required intent is an follow through. it is also possible beckwith will not be able to convince a jury that dahl arises under section 12350, section 21351, subdivision (e)(1) clearly states that 21351, but both youst and blank are very instructive for our purposes here. in procedure (5th ed. 2008) pleading, § 725, p. 142.) person injured.” (5 witkin, summary of cal. law (10th ed. 2005) torts, § 6, p. 48-49.) 1. actual reliance suffered. the fraud plaintiff must also allege his damages were caused by the actions he minimum knowledge of a hypothetical, reasonable man.” [citation].‟” (whiteley v. would flood the courts with litigation [as being] but an argument that the courts are in order to decide whether a new tort cause of action should be recognized, inheritance or gift”].) [¶] [i]n reliance on [dahl‟s] false promise, [beckwith] did not present [macginnis] with the plaintiff in mazur, there is no legal certainty beckwith would not have been damaged that he should not have the decedent sign his already prepared will.” however, the law is beckwith has alleged all the necessary elements of causation to sustain a claim for at the hearing on the demurrer, the trial judge expressed concern about the parties are in agreement that california has not yet recognized the tort 5 send him any copies of the probate filings. in the filing, she did not identify beckwith as however, the appropriate inquiry is whether beckwith would have suffered the alleged iiei case there are many factual situations where it is possible for an aggrieved party to jurisdictions that do recognize the tort. the trial court sustained the demurrer without 12 cal.4th at p. 638.) thus, in a promissory fraud action, to sufficiently allege defendant promise. information from him regarding the distribution of macginnis‟s assets. again, dahl did defendant and respondent. the principle that there be a remedy for every substantial wrong.” (dillon v. legg (1968) simple statement plaintiff justifiably relied on the statements. (lingsch v. savage (1963) there is no discussion in the complaint of dahl making a promise to macginnis, or dahl demurred to the fraud cause of action alleging her statements regarding the otherwise inevitable or due to unrelated causes. [citation.]” (id. at p. 365.) if the deprived of access to the probate system. similarly, in blank, supra, 39 cal.3d 311, the california supreme court spoliation tort, “the strong policy favoring use of nontort remedies rather than derivative legal duty, imposed by statute, contract, or otherwise, owed by the defendant to the the testator, the injured party has no independent action in tort. thus, probate remedies 3. justifiable reliance facts & procedure for fraudulent deceit if he “deceives another with intent to induce him to alter his position upon macginnis‟s death, his estate was to be divided equally between beckwith and or not the decedent changed his mind is a question of fact necessary to prove an element pp. 1414-1415.) however, the insured had already successfully voided the underlying expectations of inheritance — a survey with analysis of state approaches, in the pacific subd. (a)(1).) under some circumstances because “certain contests may have a higher probability of relying on hoeft v. supreme lodge knights (1896) 113 cal. 91 (hoeft), subject to the discretion of court and jury” (temple, supra, 20 cal.4th at p. 475), in an could have on the probate system. in california, as in many other states, “inheritance action. [citation.] in doing so, we accept as true the properly pleaded material factual 88 cal.app.2d 313, 319.) “indubitably juries and trial courts, constantly called upon to in the court of appeal of the state of california influenced; the testator is.” (whalen v. prosser (fla.dist.ct.app 1998) 719 so.2d 2, 6, together and were occasional business partners. macginnis had no children and his only false if the promisor did not intend to perform the promise when it was made, i.e., expectation that one will receive some interest that gives rise to a cause of action. with the required specificity to state a claim. accordingly, we conclude the trial court nonbusiness relationship gives rise to a reasonable expectation of economic advantage, induce him to alter his position to his injury or risk, is liable for any damage which he no reason for substituting for the case-by-case resolution of causes an artificial and leave to amend, reviewing courts determine whether the trial court abused its discretion a new will in her favor]; cardenas v. schober (pa.super.ct. 2001) 783 a.2d 317, 326 reasonably relied on [dahl‟s] representation that she would have trust documents bring. (see temple community hospital v. superior court (1999) 20 cal.4th 464, reliance is directed to the deceased brother and partner because it is his conduct that is probate system and the interest in avoiding tort liability for inherently speculative claims in may 2009, macginnis‟s health began to decline. on may 25, 2009, does invalidate donative transfers to the drafter of the will making the transfer, section indefensible barrier. courts not only compromise their basic responsibility to decide the promises, “he was deprived of his . . . share of [macginnis‟s] estate,” and because he had entitled to legal protection against the conduct of the defendant, the mere fact that the another common reason cited against recognition is that the iiei tort is could not locate the will, macginnis asked beckwith to create a new will so he could will that macginnis prepared, dahl told beckwith “we don‟t need a will.” two weeks never held a valid interest in the first place. (ibid.) the fraud claim failed in mazur “the interests protected by the [interference] tort are business expectancies, and the tort is plaintiff has an independent tort claim against the defendant and asserting the iiei tort is interference. (munn, supra, 185 cal.app.4th at p. 588.) cause of [a plaintiff‟s] conduct, which alters his legal relations,‟” and when, absent such the time the fraud was committed because “[t]he beneficiary‟s interest is the mere defendant‟s interference.” (youst, supra, 43 cal.3d at p. 71.) failed, i.e., when the plaintiff had no independent tort action because the underlying tort dahl never gave macginnis any trust documents to sign. after the surgery, macginnis on the actionable misrepresentation, no liability attaches if the damages sustained were interfere with it. (see carlson v. warren (ind.ct.app. 2007) 878 n.e.2d 844, 854.) had no intention of sharing macginnis‟s estate with him when she made her statements with an inheritance have achieved such a balance by prohibiting a tort action to be member which is me.‟” a few weeks later, in january 2010, dahl filed a petition with plaintiffs to usurp a testator‟s true intent by bypassing these stringent probate philip morris, inc. (2004) 117 cal.app.4th 635, 684.) have inherited from the decedent. (see, e.g., nemeth v. banhalmi (ill.app.ct. 1981) the plaintiff had any reasonable expectation of economic advantage which would . . . if a fair prior opportunity to correct the substantive defect has not been given. 120 cal.app.3d 931, 943 [“it is true that a fraud action commonly seeks to recover second of torts. (rest.2d torts, § 774b [“one who by fraud, duress or other tortious cases as a reason to not recognize a tort for intentional spoliation. (see temple, supra, d. causation blank court did not hold that all nonbusiness expectancies are too uncertain. in fact, one tort in other states and acknowledged california had not yet adopted the tort. (id. at pp. when the expectancy is too speculative. in addition, case law from other jurisdictions normal inheritance tax. i have [two] very good friends [who] are attorneys and i will call 2009, macginnis died intestate. he left an estate worth over $1 million. contrary to the principle that gratuitous promises are generally not enforceable. (see timely appealed the order sustaining the demurrer as to the first and second causes of defendant. did not have a fair opportunity to correct the deficiencies with regard to his iiei cause of both, the court reached its holding because of the highly speculative nature of the interest in his complaint, beckwith expressly alleged he “believed that dahl would california, the civil justice association of california, the family research council, and unfortunately as expected it is going to take over a year from [macginnis‟s] passing until tortious; (4) there was a reasonable certainty that, but for the interference, the plaintiff “a demurrer tests the legal sufficiency of the complaint, and the granting of made, (3) where and when the promise was made, (4) by what means the promise was here, the complaint stated dahl “intended that [beckwith] rely on [her] the cause of action.” [citation.] “misrepresentation, even maliciously committed, does was actually beckwith who was relying on dahl‟s promise, the court interjected “[b]ut possibility the pleading can be cured by amendment. otherwise, the trial court‟s decision ikola, j. which the interference occurs. this distinction explains the development of the tort as macginnis, rather than beckwith, relying on a promise. in fact, as discussed above in the of property freely and without improper interference. in a sense, the beneficiary‟s action their father did not work to deprive them of anything. promise by refraining from delivering to [macginnis] his will for [macginnis] to sign that the actual inducement of plaintiffs . . . was justifiable or reasonable. [citations.]” probate system is protected because where a probate remedy is available, it must be they may have committed—a separate legal inquiry with its own societal justifications.” victim is by chance a fool.”‟” (boeken v. philip morris, inc. (2005) 127 cal.app.4th [dahl‟s] false promise was a substantial factor in causing that harm.” dahl contends “[dahl] did not intend to perform this promise when it was made.” thus, the complaint damages were not caused by her statements, and beckwith did not have a vested interest sufficiently pled the element of scienter. winning at trial or the chance of winning a horserace, the chance of inheriting is not discussion however, california already recognizes other interference torts that protect only statements to refrain from presenting macginnis the will, that he was damaged in the clear that “„“[n]o rogue should enjoy his ill-gotten plunder for the simple reason that his promise, the complaint must state “„facts which “show how, when, where, to whom, and there is only an expectation of future contractual relations because “it is the contractual beckwith‟s first cause of action, iiei, because the tort had not been officially recognized some fair amount of success both the value of what has been lost and the likelihood that relief in count two of his complaint is dahl‟s promise to him. further, as discussed and (2) the defendant did not really have that intent at the time that the promise was employs two separate standards of review on appeal. [citations.] first, the complaint is allege with reasonable certainty that, but for the interference of a third party, he would reliance.” (younan v. equifax inc. (1980) 111 cal.app.3d 498, 513 (young).) thus, promise and the knowledge of that falsity (scienter) are interconnected. a promise is adm’x (ky. 1946) 197 s.w.2d 424, 426; see also morton v. petitt (ohio 1931) 177 n.e. v. cibc world markets corp. (2007) 157 cal.app.4th 835, 864.) “the causation aspect 614-615.) therefore, the argument goes, it would be inconsistent to allow a prospective discharge plaintiff at any time does not necessarily privilege a third party unjustifiably to action for „interference with inheritance.‟” further, dahl argued california should not stated to allege iiei. given the unique circumstances of this case, beckwith must be allegations of the complaint, together with facts that may be properly judicially noticed. torts, § 774b, com. d.) third, the plaintiff must plead intent, i.e., that the defendant had tort liability for interfering with that relationship may be appropriate. macginnis showed beckwith a will he had saved on his computer. the will stated that here, the complaint alleged that “[g]iven the circumstances, [macginnis‟s] plaintiff and appellant, 2. the probate proceedings reach some erroneous results. but such fallibility, inherent in the judicial process, offers statements and misconstrued her intent. however, “[f]raudulent intent is an issue for the grant leave to amend the iiei cause of action. appellant shall recover his costs on (ind.ct.app. 1996) 671 n.e.2d 160, 162-163 (minton).) 2009, had he signed the will prior to his death, it would have become irrevocable in 2009, protected by such torts. (id. at p. 76.) in fact, while declining to recognize a cause of 185 cal.app.4th at p. 588.) first, the plaintiff must plead he had an expectancy of an incapable of performing their appointed tasks . . . .” (emden v. vitz (1948) substantial period of time, resulting in some permanency of relationship. factors that indicated. surgery” because she knew that if macginnis died without a will, she would inherit the in mazur, supra, 122 cal.app.4th 1400, the court held plaintiff was conduct such as fraud or undue influence. the underlying tort is only the means by . . . .” (ibid.) therefore, they suffered no damages because the fraud committed against interest. in fact, the cases support the opposite conclusion. (see pollack v. lytle (1981) established legal principals embodied in the probate arena and other areas of the law.” “a promise to do something necessarily implies the intention to perform; both cite prosser & keeton‟s treatise for the proposition that interference torts have claim for iiei, a plaintiff must allege five distinct elements. (munn, supra, mean plaintiff‟s iiei case was “necessarily meritorious.” (id. at p. 188.) this has led had knowledge of its falsity. (see lazar, supra, 12 cal.4th 631, 638.) therefore, by “„cohabitant‟ means two unrelated adult persons living together for a california should recognize the tort. hagen v. hickenbottom (1995) 41 cal.app.4th 168, and justifiable reliance on the defendant‟s misrepresentation must have caused him to the estate” and he had “no intestate rights” with regard to macginnis‟s estate. division three to [macginnis] for him to sign, equally dividing [macginnis‟s] estate between [dahl] unnecessary and superfluous. (see, e.g., dryden v. tri-valley growers (1977) expectancy of an incompleted gift which is revocable at the will of the insured mclaughlin; national center for lesbian rights, shannon p. minter and christopher f. action against dahl. “a tort, whether intentional or negligent, involves a violation of a the strictures of our probate code . . . .‟” (munn, supra, 185 cal.app.4th at p. 587.) the knowledge of the plaintiff‟s expectancy of inheritance and took deliberate action to took in reliance on the defendant‟s misrepresentations. (goehring v. chapman already available to address litigation misconduct and the nontort remedies available states supreme court called the tort “widely recognized.” (marshall v. marshall (2006) presenting [macginnis‟s] will to him for execution before the scheduled surgery.” thus, 383-384.) finally, the plaintiff must plead he was damaged by the defendant‟s cause of action . . . namely, proof that it is reasonably probable that the lost economic decedent‟s prior wills, had established “an expectancy sufficient to maintain [an iiei] here, beckwith alleged in his complaint he “was harmed in that he was the national center for lesbian rights. 156.) “the representation (implied) is that of the intention to perform [citation]; the truth permit from the city failed to state a cause of action for intentional interference with his will to sign before his scheduled may 27, 2009 surgery.” further, beckwith alleged cal. procedure (5th ed. 2008) pleading, § 732, p. 153.) there must be more pled than a beckwith‟s reliance on dahl‟s promises was reasonable under the circumstances. avoid discovery of the truth . . . .” [citation.]‟ [citation.]” (boeken, supra, prepare trust documents for [macginnis] to sign as she promised.” in addition, he cal.4th 167, 202, citing block v. tobin (1975) 45 cal.app.3d 214, 219 [finding fraud defendant and respondent. 22 beckwith and susan dahl survive me, to those named in clause (a) who survive me in interference with an expected inheritance. however, the court refused to explicitly interference torts by developing “a threshold causation requirement . . . for maintaining a the facts as best he can, and i don‟t think they‟re stated as far as reliance.” misrepresentation of fact that may be actionable fraud. [citation.]” (lazar, supra, protect such non-commercial expectancies, at least where there is a strong probability undermining the legislative intent inherent in creating the probate code as the preferable, longo (1987) 43 cal.3d 64, 71 (youst).) as discussed above, a similar threshold “caus[e] a sufficient delay to prevent [macginnis] from signing his will before his the pleadings. (cctv, supra, 35 cal.3d at p. 213.) the only requirement at the pleading a. misrepresentation 639, 646.) likewise, a bare promise to make a gift in the future, in the absence of [citations].” (alcorn v. anbro engineering, inc. (1970) 2 cal.3d 493, 496.) probable that the lost economic advantage would have been realized but for the 213 cal.app.2d 729, 739.) the complaint must contain “allegations of facts showing hence, where a promise is made without such intention, there is an implied claims, and protecting society‟s interest in providing a remedy for injured parties. economopoulos v. kolaitis (va. 2000) 528 s.e.2d 714, 720.) in california, a will is e-mail stating: „“i really think we should look into a trust for [macginnis ]. there are the munn court looked to decisions from other jurisdictions in an attempt claim is novel will not of itself operate as a bar to a remedy.” (prosser & keeton, torts we will only reverse for abuse of discretion if we determine there is a reasonable whether beckwith‟s complaint sufficiently alleged reliance. after asking beckwith‟s that he believed the representations to be true . . . and that in reliance thereon (or induced 2 without any intention of performing it.” (civ. code, § 1710.) “„the elements of fraud, made, i.e., the promise was false. (id. at 639.) plaintiff could not recover lost profits because no facts were alleged showing plaintiff beckwith has sufficiently alleged all of the elements of promissory fraud such as in the context of a sporting event or the acquisition of a government permit, there clearly, the court held open the possibility that where facts can be alleged showing that a 19 68 cal.2d 728, 739 (dillon); see also lucas v. hamm (1961) 56 cal.2d 583, 589 [holding deprived of his one half (1/2) share of [macginnis‟s] estate, and [his] reliance on defect can be cured by amendment: if it can be, the trial court has abused its discretion a tort claim, “no one would be able to do so and the policy of preventing future harm beneficiary to recover against a third party for interfering with an expectancy when the “„“in an action for [common law] fraud, damage is an essential element of justify the expansion interference torts to include them. (ibid.) however, as in youst, the restrictions in iiei actions, we strike the appropriate balance between respecting the wherever located, that i own or to which i shall be in any manner entitled at the time of 49 cal.app.4th 1492, 1497-1498.) interference with expected inheritance].) even in the relatively few iiei cases we found the complaint alleged dahl violated the duty not to deceive beckwith under civil code met this requirement because, as discussed above, the allegations in the complaint were leave to amend as to all three causes of action and dismissed the complaint. beckwith we must still decide “whether there is a reasonable possibility that the we acknowledge it is not enough for the complaint to allege damage was preparation of trust documents were too vague to constitute actionable fraud, beckwith‟s amendments we now require is excusable”].) under the circumstances here, beckwith the probate court for final distribution of the estate. beckwith filed an opposition to those benefits, however, defendants would be liable to respond in damages for torts that beckwith had not sufficiently alleged independently tortious conduct as required by other 9 intention to perform it, or that the defendant did not intend to perform it.” (5 witkin, cal. intentional interference with an expected inheritance (iiei) and deceit by false promise. speculative to warrant a tort remedy because the testator may have changed his mind disposition spoliation of evidence by first parties].) essential reason to prevent a deceit action from being maintained, for intentional the allegations in beckwith‟s complaint. the false promise for which beckwith seeks one designed to provide a remedy for disappointed legatees. in the absence of an iiei misrepresentation but also an „“intent to . . . induce reliance”‟ on it. [citation].” “a plaintiff asserting fraud by misrepresentation is obliged to . . . dahl presents an argument, for the first time on appeal, that even if or undue influence: [¶] (1) the person who drafted the instrument.” (§ 21380, developed to provide a remedy and method of challenging a tortiously induced bequest here, beckwith alleged he had an expectancy in macginnis‟s estate that subd. (a).)4 § 3523.) in addition, in california, “[e]very person is bound, without contract, to abstain may determine whether persons are cohabiting include, but are not limited to, (1) sexual themselves out as husband and wife, (5) the continuity of the relationship, and (6) the „cohabitant‟ has the meaning set forth in [s]ection 13700 of the penal code” (§ 21351, certified for publication by their stepmother‟s conduct, they could not maintain any other action in tort. the court further, california courts have frequently rejected the “contention that the o p i n i o n of actions for damage for fraud and deceit involves three distinct elements: (1) actual macginnis. relationship by one party to a contract against the other party because such an action is emphasis added.) accordingly, many sister states considering the issue have recognized which give rise to the tort action for deceit, are (a) misrepresentation (false in addition to pleading actual reliance, the plaintiff must set “forth facts to in the complaint, beckwith asserted dahl interfered with his expected inheritance of one erred in sustaining dahl‟s demurrer. consequence of an absolute rule which bars recovery in all . . . cases[]” when a new tort other cases involving recovery for loss of expectancies . . . there must be proof amounting c. intent that because of his “trust in [dahl] to help effectuate [macginnis‟s] wishes, [beckwith] attorney if there were “factual allegation[s] that could be set out to remedy the background of business experience on the basis of which it is possible to estimate with elements: (1) an expectation of receiving an inheritance; (2) intentional interference with brought where the remedy of a will contest is available and would provide the injured proceedings. reviewed de novo to determine whether it contains sufficient facts to state a cause of 28 and remainder of my property and estate, both real and personal, of whatever kind and 11 vague or indefinite to constitute fraud. a demurrer merely tests the legal sufficiency of she argued the “claim fails on its face” because “california does not recognize a cause of necessary to support an iiei claim as delineated in this opinion. we reverse the judgment of probate and creating uncertainty and inconsistency in its place. we would risk v. distinguish the frivolous from the substantial and the fraudulent from the meritorious, not to be extended to cover nonbusiness relations.” however, a careful reading of the merits of each case individually but destroy the public‟s confidence in them by using the section 1709. (civ. code, § 1709 [“one who willfully deceives another with intent to subdivision (d) does not apply when the donative transfer in question is to the drafter of condition, [beckwith‟s] emotionally vulnerable state, and [beckwith‟s] trust in [dahl] to was the first published opinion that discussed the tort, but the court only briefly fraudulent inducement, causation cannot be alleged and a fraud cause of action cannot be reliance on dahl‟s promises was reasonable under the circumstances. therefore, the promise is as to the deceased partner.” dahl‟s counsel also stated his confusion about possible difficulty in making such proof does not concern the reviewing court we concur: intent to induce action. (gagne v. bertran (1954) 43 cal.2d 481, 488.) 17 decisions without it going to probate and the taxes are less on a trust rather than the though there was a lack of privity because if such plaintiffs were precluded from bringing 127 cal.app.4th at p. 1667.) “„except in the rare case where the undisputed facts leave in macginnis‟s estate. finally, dahl‟s demurrer to the negligence claim alleged taken as a whole, this supreme court opinion leaves open the possibility some of dismissal and the order sustaining the demurrer. the matter is remanded for further sufficiently pled with a general allegation the promise was made without an intention of going to create the expectancy interest.” when beckwith‟s counsel pointed out that it together, and they owned a business together. based on these facts, section 21350 would execution or revocation of a will or a part of a will is ineffective to the extent the sufficiently pled the element of intent. requirements. the court in munn explained, “„if we were to permit, much less cause of the damage was the defendant‟s wrong and not the plaintiff‟s fault.” (5 witkin, no room for a reasonable difference of opinion, the question of whether a plaintiff‟s discipline, and criminal penalties, are available to every litigant. in contrast, as discussed because it was a legal certainty that plaintiff would have lacked an enforceable interest, to “„balance the competing goals of providing a remedy to injured parties and honoring far less regulations and it does not go through probate. the house and all property would cause of beckwith‟s injuries was macginnis‟s failure to make a will. on demurrer, of macginnis‟ estate, were caused by his failure to present macginnis the will to sign. gift that he would otherwise have received is subject to liability to the other for loss of the show that his or her actual reliance on the representations was justifiable, so that the 111 cal.app.3d at p. 513.) b. policy considerations pursued. in addition, the only plaintiffs who will be able to utilize the tort are those who these statements indicate a marked confusion as to the elements required to downloaded from the internet. the will stated: “„i [macginnis] give all the rest, residue of iiei. however, “twenty-five of the forty-two states that have considered it have 32 that they would have been realized.” (prosser & keeton, torts, supra, § 130, p. 1007, 25 misstatements at least, where other types of interests are invaded”‟”].) clearly and specifically alleged (1) who made the promise, (2) to whom the promise was 974 p.2d at p. 205 [defendant interfered with testator‟s attempts to change his will by similar concerns led the california supreme court in temple and and its provisions do not apply to wills that existed prior to that date. (§ 21392.) (5th ed. 1984) § 1, p. 4, fn. omitted.) therefore, the threshold question before this court the doctors informed dahl there was a chance macginnis would not survive the surgery, dahl. macginnis never printed or signed the will. pecuniary loss resulting from the invasion of a property interest. yet . . . „“[t]here is no 1. standard of review based on its conclusion the tort was not legally recognized in california. accordingly, of fraud, as pled in count two of beckwith‟s complaint, with the independently tortious time section 21380 became effective. (§ 21355.) therefore, because macginnis died in 109 cal.app.4th 1020, 1046.) “it is not the ordinary function of a demurrer to test the from injuring the person or property of another, or infringing upon any of his or her the prospective legatee has any enforceable right to his likely benefit.” (harmon v. sign it the next day. that night, beckwith created a new will for macginnis using forms (engalla v. permanente medical group, inc. (1997) 15 cal.4th 951, 976.) an “„intent to 18 cal.4th 1, 8-18 (cedars-sinai) [deciding whether to recognize the tort of intentional (ibid.) will, beckwith would have inherited half of the estate. the time of the death of the testator . . . if there had been no such interference.” (rest.2d thus, the hoeft case is completely distinguishable to the instant action. further, we have 2. intentional interference with expectation of inheritance so she did not know anything. on october 2, 2009, beckwith looked up the probate case are very important considerations. however, a court should not take the “drastic 15 advances these basic principles. 14 or admissions showing lack of that intention—should not be pleaded. hence, the only the question of whether or not california recognizes a cause of action for p. 1006]; blank, supra, 39 cal.3d at pp. 330-331.) when no such relationship exists, validated it.” (klein, “go west, disappointed heir”: tortious interference with of the tort and is not a reason to refuse to recognize the existence of the tort altogether. this cause of action. (see go west, supra, 13 lewis & clark l. rev. at p. 226.) reason the court gave for its holding was that “„no facts [were] alleged . . . showing that present the trust documents to macginnis before his surgery, her statements were too analysis of the iiei cause of action, if beckwith can allege dahl made a false promise to representations that she would have trust documents prepared and that no will was traditionally protected existing business relationships because “„[i]n such cases there is a inherently speculative. 2. resulting damage falsely telling testator‟s attorney testator was not lucid].) for macginnis to sign “in the next couple [of] days.” beckwith did not present the will to to sufficiently plead the first requirement, that the defendant made a with prospective economic advantage.” (youst, supra, 43 cal.3d at p. 83.) the court mentioned the interference cause of action to say it is “recognized in several states but damage.‟ [citation.]” (lazar v. superior court (1996) 12 cal.4th 631, 638 (lazar).) rylaarsdam, j. the court did not inquire into the sufficiency of the factual allegations supporting the iiei o‟leary, p. j. is the lack of that intention. purely evidentiary matters—usually circumstantial evidence nonbusiness expectancies may be protected by intentional interference torts. 1127.) likewise, interference with an employment relationship is actionable even if the help effectuate [macginnis‟s] wishes, [beckwith] reasonably relied on [dahl‟s] beckwith‟s complaint alleged dahl made promises to him with the intent to induce him equal shares.‟” not vague. beckwith clearly alleged dahl made specific promises to prepare and deliver 1 this court invited amicus curiae briefing from the consumer attorneys of damages even if he had presented macginnis with the will. beckwith has alleged a harmon (me. 1979) 404 a.2d 1020, 1023.) as discussed above, unlike the chance of representation,‟ the plaintiff „“„would not, in all reasonable probability, have entered into showing plaintiff could not establish his cause of action for, inter alia, intentional necessary averment is the general statement that the promise was made without the (blank, supra, 39 cal.3d at p. 318.) we recognize that, in general, the plaintiff bears the through probate. in a trial setting, nontort measures, such as sanctions, attorney recognize such a cause of action because doing so would “be inconsistent with already address whether the interference tort claim was a valid one, explaining its holding did not will contests in probate, there is an important difference between the nontort remedies uncertain. in such cases . . . [t]he jury could only speculate as to what the nature of the (1/2) share of [macginnis‟s] estate.” “if the existence—and not the amount—of action . . .”].) the fraud cause of action, and thus, even if california did recognize the iiei tort, dahl demurred to all three causes of action. as to the iiei cause of action, of reliance. i mean, you have to rely, but the representations that are alleged to be california as amicus curiae on behalf of plaintiff and appellant. 18 to a reasonable degree of certainty that the bequest or devise would have been in effect at holographic will must be in the testator‟s handwriting]; prob. code, § 6110 [typewritten macginnis to sign. beckwith further alleged dahl made these false promises in order to the trial court sustained without leave to amend dahl‟s demurrer to court is directed to overrule the demurrer to the promissory fraud cause of action and beckwith argues we should join the majority of other states in recognizing the tort of iiei representation, concealment, or nondisclosure); (b) knowledge of falsity (or „scienter‟); court noted that “[a] majority of the states which have adopted the tort of interference this argument is flawed for two reasons. first, as beckwith points out in on may 25, 2009. but when reviewing an order sustaining a demurrer for failure to state probate proceedings. this time dahl responded by e-mail, stating: “„because would have received the inheritance; and (5) damages. (see, e.g., fell v. rambo 8 by what means the representations were tendered.”‟ [citation.]” (lazar, supra, fn. 2.) to allege actual reliance with the requisite specificity, “[t]he plaintiff must plead further, the court indicated it had concerns as to whether beckwith had adequately pled recovery, plaintiff sued the insurer, alleging, inter alia, the insurer‟s attorneys had tortious means, i.e., the underlying conduct must be wrong for some reason other than the torts, supra, § 130, p. 1007.) courts have dealt with this issue with respect to other fourth appellate district intention of preparing the trust documents for macginnis but he died before she could v. hanlon (2004) 33 cal.4th 1140, 1144 [interference with at-will employment relations]; provisions, of any instrument shall be valid to make any donative transfer to any of the recognize the tort. the court extensively discussed the history and development of the conduct.” (cctv, supra, 35 cal.3d at p. 213.) “[t]he common law court has created this cause of action not primarily to protect the no standing in probate court, a civil action against dahl was his only remedy. (whalen), italics added.) in other words, the defendant‟s tortious conduct must have whenever the law prohibits an injury it will also afford a remedy.” (allen v. lovell’s trier of fact to decide.” (diamond woodworks, inc. v. argonaut ins. co. (2003) acknowledged the interests generally protected by interference torts are business 12 the judgment of dismissal is reversed and the matter remanded. the trial in september 2009, beckwith began to ask dahl for details of the probate c. application to beckwith’s complaint 12 cal.4th 631, 645.) as for the second requirement, the falsity of that promise is 4 29 will be affirmed for lack of abuse. [citations.]” (hernandez v. city of pomona (1996) made that promise. dahl is essentially arguing that beckwith misunderstood her action for interference with a horseracing contest under the facts currently before it, the expectancies; however, the court did not hold that only business expectancies could be macginnis was in the hospital awaiting surgery to repair holes in his lungs. he asked who‟s relying on which promise from their complaint. but [beckwith] said he‟s alleged not previously validated in california.” (id. at p. 173) the court reversed defendant‟s appeal. beckwith would have been invalid under sections 21350 and 21380 of the probate code.3 would have made a profit absent the fraud].) however, beckwith‟s complaint clearly and appellant. macginnis for signature because one of her friends would prepare the trust documents the tort because “[i]f the law protects a person from interference with an opportunity to and particularity. interfering tortfeasor has “obtained the benefit of the testamentary intent rule by following macginnis‟s death, beckwith and dahl met to discuss the beckwith had not pled the requisite duty or causation to state a claim. within the scope of the original lawsuit, frequently are of more utility than tort litigation of torts for the proposition “various possible situations may justify liability for dahl‟s petition in march 2010. after a hearing, at which beckwith was present in pro se, income or expenses, (3) joint use or ownership of property, (4) whether the parties hold 39 cal.3d 311 (blank), contends this court does not have the power to recognize an tort causes of action to punish and correct litigation misconduct.” (cedars-sinai, supra, 27 (c) intent to defraud, i.e., to induce reliance; (d) justifiable reliance; and (e) resulting markson pico llp and brett s. markson for plaintiff and appellant. [citations.]” (greenberg v. equitable life assur. society (1973) 34 cal.app.3d 994, 998; cause of action can be defined in such a way so as to minimize the costs and burdens again, the court‟s analysis in temple and cedars-sinai is instructive. in in youst, the court held the “[d]eprivation of the chance of winning a alleged “[dahl] persuaded [beckwith] by lulling [him] into a false sense of trust and . . . would be impaired”].) recognition of the iiei tort in california is consistent with and at stake and not merely because the expectancy arose from a nonbusiness relationship. 21 a. background of the tort 55 p.3d 997, 1002.) these are very valid concerns that warrant this court‟s attention. the instrument. (§ 21351, subds. (d) & (e).) dahl, relying on youst, supra, 43 cal.3d 64, and blank v. kirwan (1985) thereby) he entered into the transaction. [citation.]” (younan, supra, damages alleged in a fraud pleading is „too remote, speculative or uncertain,‟ then the relationship, not any term of the contract, which is protected against outside both cases, the court cited the inherently speculative nature of damages in spoliation state a claim for fraudulent deceit as well as demonstrate a general misunderstanding of 13 rule permitting the maintenance of the action would be impractical to administer and


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