University of Arkansas at Little Rock Law Review


Larry Watkins

Document Type



Despite remaining stable and unchanged over the last decade, tortious interference has also remained problematic in Arkansas. Although tortious interference with contract in Arkansas suffers from many ailments, this note focuses on interference with business expectancy, discussing interference with contract only as necessary. Specifically, the note argues that tortious interference in Arkansas should be formally separated into two distinct rules—interference with contract and interference with business expectancy—in order to keep courts from mixing terms and standards from both rules when addressing only one cause of action. This note further proposes that the improper element of tortious interference in Arkansas should be redefined as an unlawful act or independent tort in order to provide a clear standard to courts as well as give adequate notice to would-be defendants.

First, this note provides the historical development of tortious interference from its beginning to its recent evolution in Arkansas. Next, the note demonstrates the problems Arkansas courts have in applying the law because of the courts’ intermingling interference with contract language and interference with business expectancy language in cases involving only one cause of action. The note also demonstrates the factors courts currently use to determine whether an act was improper are both ambiguous and unnecessary. The note concludes that adoption of the proposed changes to tortious interference law would be beneficial to judges, juries, defendants, and would-be defendants alike.