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Lawyers Intentionally Inflicting Emotional Distress


Alex B. Long


University of Tennessee College of Law

January 18, 2012

Seton Hall Law Review, Forthcoming
University of Tennessee Legal Studies Research Paper No. 177

Abstract:     
This article examines the tort of intentional infliction of emotional distress (IIED) as applied to lawyers engaged in the practice of law. IIED claims against lawyers have arisen in a variety of contexts, ranging from a lawyer’s act of disclosing client confidences to a prosecutor to demanding sex from a client in exchange for legal services. Courts have always had difficulty defining the concept of “extreme and outrageous conduct” for purposes of an IIED claim, but IIED claims against lawyers pose even greater definitional problems for courts. In an effort to provide greater clarity, the article advocates that courts should adopt the following standard: conduct that would warrant disbarment for a lawyer is presumptively extreme and outrageous conduct for purposes of an IIED claim.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 69

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Date posted: February 9, 2012 ; Last revised: March 8, 2012

Suggested Citation

Long, Alex B., Lawyers Intentionally Inflicting Emotional Distress (January 18, 2012). Seton Hall Law Review, Forthcoming; University of Tennessee Legal Studies Research Paper No. 177. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2001993 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2001993

Contact Information

Alex B. Long (Contact Author)
University of Tennessee College of Law ( email )
1505 West Cumberland Ave.
Knoxville, TN 37996
United States
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