J.D. Edwards & Co. v. Podany

Facts:

SNE hired JD Edwards to install software. They then paid Podany, a consultant, to do a “sniff test.” Podany told them to basically drop JD Edwards, so they sued for tortious interference with contract.

History:

The lower court ruled in favor of JD Edwards.

Issue:

Whether the consultant’s privilege applied.

Holding:

No. Affirmed.

Reasoning:

A defendant’s actions that would otherwise constitute the tort of tortious interference with a contract are privileged if

(1) the defendant was an advisor to the breaching party;

(2) the advice was given within the scope of the advisor’s engagement; and

(3) the defendant gave the advice for the breaching party’s benefit- i.e. good faith.

Here, Podany misrepresented the relative cost of the two software packages. He pronounced the JD Edwards software a “piece of shit” without knowing enough about it to have an opinion. There was enough to justify a reasonable trier of fact in rejecting the defense of privilege. That doesn’t mean that the jury was right in this case, but its decision was not so unreasonable as to warrant reversal.

  • Basically, he had ulterior motives and lacked good faith.