[Name of plaintiff] claims that [name of defendant] is responsible for
[name of agent]’s conduct because [he/she] was [name of defendant]’s
apparent [employee/agent]. To establish this claim, [name of plaintiff]
must prove all of the following:
1. That [name of defendant] intentionally or carelessly created the
impression that [name of agent] was [name of defendant]’s
2. That [name of plaintiff] reasonably believed that [name of agent]
was [name of defendant]’s [employee/agent]; and
3. That [name of plaintiff] was harmed because [he/she] reasonably
relied on [his/her] belief.
New September 2003
Sources and Authority
• Agency Is Actual or Ostensible. Civil Code section 2298.
• “Ostensible Agency” Deﬁned. Civil Code section 2300.
• “Ostensible Authority” Deﬁned. Civil Code section 2317.
• When Principal is Bound by Ostensible Agent. Civil Code section 2334.
• “ ‘[O]stensible authority arises as a result of conduct of the principal which
causes the third party reasonably to believe that the agent possesses the
authority to act on the principal’s behalf.’ ‘Ostensible authority may be
established by proof that the principal approved prior similar acts of the agent.’
‘ “[W]here the principal knows that the agent holds himself out as clothed with
certain authority, and remains silent, such conduct on the part of the principal
may give rise to liability . . . .” . . .’ ” (Chicago Title Ins. Co. v. AMZ Ins.
Services, Inc. (2010) 188 Cal.App.4th 401, 426–427 [115 Cal.Rptr.3d 707],
original italics, internal citations omitted.)
• “Whether ostensible agency exist[s] is a question of fact and may be implied
from [the] circumstances.” (Yanchor v. Kagan (1971) 22 Cal.App.3d 544, 550
[99 Cal.Rptr. 367].)
• “ ‘It is elementary that there are three requirements necessary before recovery
may be had against a principal for the act of an ostensible agent. The person
dealing with the agent must do so with belief in the agent’s authority and this
belief must be a reasonable one; such belief must be generated by some act or
neglect of the principal sought to be charged; and the third person in relying on
the agent’s apparent authority must not be guilty of negligence.’ ” (Associated
Creditors’ Agency v. Davis (1975) 13 Cal.3d 374, 399 [118 Cal.Rptr. 772, 530
P.2d 1084], internal citations omitted.)