When can someone be legally liable for the unlawful conduct of someone else? There are several circumstances in which this is true. One of them is in the case of a civil conspiracy.
A civil conspiracy occurs when two or more persons agree to commit an unlawful act and take at least on step in furtherance of the conspiracy. An example of this is where someone agrees to provide encouragement or assistance to another person for breaching a legal duty. For instance, an agreement to pay an employee for stealing his employer’s trade secrets would be a civil conspiracy.
A civil conspiracy can be proven by either direct or circumstantial evidence. In the case of a civil conspiracy, each of the co-conspirators can be held to be fully liable for the acts of all members of the conspiracy. For this reason, civil conspiracy claims can be useful tools for a damaged business to recoup its losses, even in circumstances where one or more of the co-conspirators does not have assets. So long as one of the co-conspirators does have assets, a plaintiff has a remedy that may be effective.