Civil Conspiracy Attorneys

Virginia Civil Conspiracy Attorneys

Conspiracy, whether civil or criminal, is generally defined as a combination of two or more parties to accomplish by concerted action a criminal or unlawful object, or a lawful object by criminal or unlawful means.  In the civil context, civil conspiracy refers to the collusion between two or more individuals or entities that share a common plan to commit a wrongful or illegal act that leads to an illegal or unjust end result.  At its root, civil conspiracy is an agreement, or preconceived plan, to do an unlawful act.

In addition to criminalizing conspiracy, Virginia also prohibits civil conspiracy under both common law and statutory law.  Virginia’s civil conspiracy statute contains two provisions:  one prohibiting conspiracies injuring businesses and the other prohibiting conspiracies to compel or restrain conduct.

Under Virginia’s common law civil conspiracy, a plaintiff must prove four elements to state a prima facie cause of action:

  1. a combination of two or more persons;
  2. to accomplish by some concerted action;
  3. some criminal or unlawful purpose or some lawful purpose by a criminal or unlawful means; and
  4. resultant damage caused by the defendant’s acts committed in furtherance of the conspiracy.

A plaintiff can only sue for common law conspiracy when the unlawful act underlying the claim caused the plaintiff to suffer a compensable harm.  As the Virginia Supreme Court has explained:  “The gist of the civil action of conspiracy is the damage caused by the acts committed in pursuance of the formed conspiracy and not the mere combination of two or more persons to accomplish an unlawful purpose or use an unlawful means.”  Almy v. Grisham, 273 Va. 68, 81, 639 S.E.2d 182, 189 (2007).

The Virginia General Assembly has also created a statutory business conspiracy cause of action, which aggressively prohibits conspiracy in the business setting.  Specifically, the conspiracy statute makes it unlawful to conspire to injure another in his or her reputation, trade, business, or profession.  This statute makes a violation a criminal offense as well as creates a civil cause of action, allowing a plaintiff to sue any “conspirators” who enter into any such conspiracy.  The statute also grants unique relief – prevailing plaintiffs can recover attorneys’ fees and treble, or three-fold, damages.

Under the Virginia business conspiracy statute, a plaintiff must prove three elements to state a prima facie cause of action:

  1. a combination of two or more persons;
  2. for the purpose of willfully or malicious injuring a plaintiff in reputation, trade, business, or profession; and
  3. resulting in damage to the plaintiff.

As with any other tort claim, and with both common law and statutory conspiracy claims, the plaintiff must prove that it sustained damages from the alleged interference.

If you have been injured by a conspiracy or if you have been wrongfully accused of participating in a conspiracy, contact the Virginia Civil Conspiracy Lawyers at MartinWren, P.C., either John B. Simpson or Robert E. Byrne, Jr., at 434-817-3100.  Virginia’s separate claims for civil conspiracy each carry unique and important requirements.  There are pleading and statute of limitations details that must be followed, and MartinWren, P.C.’s Virginia civil conspiracy attorneys have the experience to pursue or defend such claims.  The Business Conspiracy Attorneys at MartinWren, P.C. will provide a detailed review of your case in order to make sure your side is thoroughly and effectively presented.

Free Consultation

Contact Our Virginia Lawyers

Contact Us

or call us to speak with one of our attorneys TODAY

(434) 817-3100

Related News

view all news

Contact Our Virginia Lawyers

We serve clients throughout Virginia — from Charlottesville and Central Virginia to metropolitan Richmond; Harrisonburg and the Shenandoah Valley to Roanoke; and the cities of Hampton Roads to the Northern Virginia cities of  Fairfax, Alexandria and Arlington.

To speak with one of our attorneys, please call us at (434) 817-3100.

Our Virginia personal injury lawyers at MartinWren, P.C. also have a statewide practice and offer free consultations at a time and location that is convenient for you.  We will gladly meet with you at your home or at the hospital, even on nights and weekends.

To schedule a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer, please call us at (434) 817-3100.