In Main Line Pictures, Inc. v. Basinger, a California judge dismissed a tortious inducement claim against the agency that allegedly advised actress Kim Basinger to breach a film contract. The dismissal was based on the "manager's privilege" that applies when an agent motivated by a principal's best interests advises the principal to breach a contract. In the Ninth Circuit and in California, the privilege has been extended to cover an agent who considered the principal's interests, but nevertheless appeared to have acted primarily in the agent's own interest.
In his Note, the author contends that the subtle expansion of the manager's privilege by the "mixed motive" rule virtually immunizes agents from inducement liability and is therefore unjustifiable, especially in relational inducement cases like Main Line v. Basinger. He concludes that the predominant motive rule, currently applied in defamation and malicious prosecution cases, would allow the fact finder to weigh relative motivation while providing an objective standard for liability and should therefore be applied in inducement cases.
Stephen P. Clark,
Main Line v. Basinger and the Mixed Motive Manager: Reexamining the Agent's Privilege to Induce Breach of Contract,
46 Hastings L.J. 609
Available at: https://repository.uchastings.edu/hastings_law_journal/vol46/iss2/6