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Learn about the mental element of intentional torts required for liability to be imposed, including the mental states of purpose, knowledge, or recklessness, and special rules to keep in mind.



Most torts have two kinds of elements. They have one mental element, which is the defendant's state of mind when performing the tortious act. They also have one or more physical or non-mental elements, which are typically either: (1) acts the defendant must perform or (2) circumstances that the defendant must cause.

I. Mental Element

The mental element must always relate to one or more (but not necessarily all) of the non-mental elements. With intentional torts, intent is the mental...