Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

Question about defamation

So someone wrote a nasty article about me that was defamator jdslug07/21/18
First part of your sentence is a legal conclusion. specv31307/22/18
Be honest with us. Is the article about you accurate? How is isthisit07/21/18
it's not defamation if it's true dingbat07/21/18
That's what I'm thinking. isthisit07/21/18
Are you gonna go shoot up his office? fettywap07/21/18
It's a false article. I don't want to out myself. My article jdslug07/21/18
Truth is always a defense to defamation. If your article co jeffm07/21/18
JM, thoughts on "johnjjones-told-lies-about-me.com" ? wutwutwut07/22/18
Are you an attorney and if so is this a prior client? If it thirdtierlaw07/22/18
I agree on the practicality of this. A pissing match with s jd4hire07/23/18
I am an attorney and this is not a former client. I asked hi jdslug07/22/18
If your goal is to have him remove it than you could sign an isthisit07/23/18
I want him to pay damages to me now. I think it is only fair jdslug07/23/18
What are your estimated damages? wutwutwut07/23/18
100% this. There are almost certainly no damages and he’s midlaw07/23/18
What did he say about you that was damaging? How are you dam fettywap07/23/18
I am insulted and hurt feeling. He did it maliciously too. D jdslug07/23/18
Best of luck to you in your endeavors. wutwutwut07/23/18
Dude are you serious about those damages? What kind of law d isthisit07/23/18
Dude are you serious about those damages? What kind of law d isthisit07/23/18
Yes. I think legally the court will dismiss your case. Was t fettywap07/23/18
Do you not believe in the defamation cause of action? It's n jdslug07/23/18
You've presumably incurred no more costs than the filing and onehell07/23/18
Lots of good advice here, and it's clear that OP isn't going toooldtocare07/23/18
Most requests for legal advice on JDU are from people who ha therewillbeblood07/23/18
Indeed. If it were me on the defense side of this one, I thi onehell07/23/18
Lots of dumb advice here. Yes I have decided what I want to jdslug07/23/18
So filing a frivolous motion based on hurt feelings is the p esquirewalletsmatter07/23/18
Give details of the alleged defamation. It must be libel gi jd4hire07/23/18
who said anything about a motion? and who said anything abou jdslug07/23/18
I'd also say be wary of the law you make. There is a famous jd4hire07/23/18
Why do you persist if the advice is so bad? And you've supp toooldtocare07/23/18
Plaintiffs always believe the facts are on their side, or th onehell07/23/18
I don't trust most clients with their facts. I trust myself. jdslug07/23/18
OP: "Question about Defamation" OP: "I didn't ask whether h toooldtocare07/23/18
It's a bad idea in response to his conduct. isthisit07/23/18
OP, do it and post link in /dome. skankhunt4207/23/18
You're suing this man because he posted a nasty article abou fettywap07/23/18
Everyone is beating up on a case without any disclosure of t jeffm07/23/18
That's not entirely accurate; in this case, OP has asked for toooldtocare07/23/18
my first instincts were probably along the lines of most of dingbat07/23/18
It’s defamation per se. General damages are permitted you jdslug07/23/18
File it dude and let us know how it goes. isthisit07/23/18
someone get me a popcorn gif dingbat07/24/18
"defamation per se" So they called you a swindling, syphi wutwutwut07/24/18
The fact that it is an “article” could also implicate a midlaw07/24/18

jdslug (Jul 21, 2018 - 2:31 pm)

So someone wrote a nasty article about me that was defamatory and I want to respond by buying a website with his name and then writing a nasty but not defamatory article about him. I’ve asked him to remove the nasty article but he refused.

Reply Like (0)
specv313 (Jul 22, 2018 - 1:09 am)

First part of your sentence is a legal conclusion.

Reply Like (0)
isthisit (Jul 21, 2018 - 3:26 pm)

Be honest with us. Is the article about you accurate? How is it defamatory?

How would your nasty but nondefamatory article be any different than his nasty but defamatory article (according to you)?

Reply Like (0)
dingbat (Jul 21, 2018 - 3:32 pm)

it's not defamation if it's true

Reply Like (0)
isthisit (Jul 21, 2018 - 3:43 pm)

That's what I'm thinking.

Reply Like (0)
fettywap (Jul 21, 2018 - 3:58 pm)

Are you gonna go shoot up his office?

Reply Like (0)
jdslug (Jul 21, 2018 - 5:00 pm)

It's a false article. I don't want to out myself. My article would be an accurate description of how his article is false and how he refuses to remove it.

Reply Like (0)
jeffm (Jul 21, 2018 - 10:28 pm)

Truth is always a defense to defamation. If your article contains only true material, you'll be fine. I'm skeptical about buying a domain name which is someone else's name. I think there is law on that. Walmartsucks.com might or might not be okay. johnjjones.com is another category in itself. Be careful.

Reply Like (0)
wutwutwut (Jul 22, 2018 - 7:11 am)

JM, thoughts on "johnjjones-told-lies-about-me.com"?



To OP, consider Streisand effect.

Reply Like (0)
thirdtierlaw (Jul 22, 2018 - 8:17 am)

Are you an attorney and if so is this a prior client? If it is, be sure to consult your ethical rules before doing anything.

In a practical sense, I can't see ANYTHING that you'll gain by doing this.

Anyone who sees his site/article is unlikely to go out and find your site. Anyone who stumbles upon your site is going to be curious about why you made it and it'll likely lead right back to the article you don't want people to see.

If you want the site down, hire an attorney to send a demand letter, and if the person refuses, bring an action.

Reply Like (0)
jd4hire (Jul 23, 2018 - 11:40 am)

I agree on the practicality of this. A pissing match with someone won't do you any good. If you can drop your suit and he'll remove the content, just do it and move on.

As to damages, I have zero experience in defamation matters. My LS recollection is that damages are relatively difficult to prove (publication, false light, and viewed by the public). I do recognize there is the sub-set of defamation that deals with hurting one's professional reputation.

Continued action in your suit will only bring further unwanted attention.

I know when I'm sitting in court and hear juicy arguments, I normally pull up the matter in our jx's online portal and review pleadings and allegations.

Reply Like (0)
jdslug (Jul 22, 2018 - 9:25 pm)

I am an attorney and this is not a former client. I asked him to remove it before I sue but he refused saying some nonsense that i was trying to take away his first amendment right yada yada. so i sued he then lawyered up and he then said he would remove it if i dropped the suit but i refused so he's keeping it up for leverage which i don't like.

Reply Like (0)
isthisit (Jul 23, 2018 - 9:33 am)

If your goal is to have him remove it than you could sign an agreement stipulating such as a condition of dropping your suit.

If he puts anything up again, it'd be a breach of your previous settlement agreement and you could refile plus damages.

Reply Like (0)
jdslug (Jul 23, 2018 - 10:33 am)

I want him to pay damages to me now. I think it is only fair.

Reply Like (0)
wutwutwut (Jul 23, 2018 - 10:50 am)

What are your estimated damages?

Reply Like (0)
midlaw (Jul 23, 2018 - 11:37 am)

100% this. There are almost certainly no damages and he’s just hurt/insulted. Act like you would advise a client you actually were trying to help.

Reply Like (0)
fettywap (Jul 23, 2018 - 10:56 am)

What did he say about you that was damaging? How are you damaged?

Reply Like (0)
jdslug (Jul 23, 2018 - 11:48 am)

I am insulted and hurt feeling. He did it maliciously too. Do you think that's worthless? Are you all defense attorneys?

Reply Like (0)
wutwutwut (Jul 23, 2018 - 12:21 pm)

Best of luck to you in your endeavors.

Reply Like (0)
isthisit (Jul 23, 2018 - 12:32 pm)

Dude are you serious about those damages? What kind of law do you practice?

Reply Like (0)
isthisit (Jul 23, 2018 - 12:32 pm)

Dude are you serious about those damages? What kind of law do you practice?

Reply Like (0)
fettywap (Jul 23, 2018 - 11:54 am)

Yes. I think legally the court will dismiss your case. Was this a review? A client wrote a false review about me and the web site refuses to take it down. This happens to attorneys all the time.

Reply Like (0)
jdslug (Jul 23, 2018 - 11:58 am)

Do you not believe in the defamation cause of action? It's not against a client.

Reply Like (0)
onehell (Jul 23, 2018 - 12:17 pm)

You've presumably incurred no more costs than the filing and service of process fees and probably have no actual damages even if you could prove liability, which itself is rarely a slam-dunk and would take months or years and lots of $$ anyway. And if you lost, which very well can happen as trials with contested facts are always a crapshoot, then it's you that's on the hook. Similarly, putting up a revenge post of your own exposes you to a counterclaim which costs money to defend regardless of ultimate result.

So he takes it down, and you dismiss the case without prejudice. Seems like a fair deal to me. Try to look at this objectively: What would you do if you were representing a client instead of yourself? If you're a good lawyer, and you're honest with yourself, you'd know that's what you'd tell a client to do if you didn't have a personal emotional investment in the matter (and weren't working on contingency, which you wouldn't be as no good lawyer would take a case like this on a contingent basis).

Reply Like (0)
toooldtocare (Jul 23, 2018 - 12:20 pm)

Lots of good advice here, and it's clear that OP isn't going to listen to any of it.

Reply Like (0)
therewillbeblood (Jul 23, 2018 - 12:44 pm)

Most requests for legal advice on JDU are from people who have decided what they want to do and are looking for validation.

Reply Like (0)
onehell (Jul 23, 2018 - 12:48 pm)

Indeed. If it were me on the defense side of this one, I think I'd put my "I'll just take it down" offer into the form of an Offer of Judgment. You have to also tender costs thus far accrued to do that, but at this point that's prolly only a few hundred bucks.

Then OP would be really screwed if he continues to pursue the case just for revenge. In all likelihood, he'd end up having to pay costs even if he won.

Reply Like (0)
jdslug (Jul 23, 2018 - 1:16 pm)

Lots of dumb advice here. Yes I have decided what I want to do but I'm looking for other points of view based on the facts as I have presented them.

The dumb advice is mostly challenging my version of what happened. And instead of addressing my question, the dummies put up a straw man and beat him up.

Reply Like (0)
esquirewalletsmatter (Jul 23, 2018 - 1:53 pm)

So filing a frivolous motion based on hurt feelings is the proper advice? Extra points for beating up on a pro se defendant?

Reply Like (0)
jd4hire (Jul 23, 2018 - 2:09 pm)

Give details of the alleged defamation. It must be libel given it was a "nasty article"? Does he say you suck as an attorney? You do cocaine and sleep with prostitutes?

Where was the "nasty article" published? Website, bar journal, random Facebook page? This is an essential element.

What are your damages? Hurt feelings and nothing else. Has your practice suffered? Wife left you? Bank refused to give you credit? Our form of justice needs to translate to actual damages suffered, i.e. monetary loss as a result of defamation.

Quoting from Prosser and Keeton on Torts - "Defamation is not concerned with the plaintiff's own humiliation, wrath or sorrow..." Damages available are compensatory (must suffer a loss), punitive (if your jx is like mine, you need near criminality to pursue punitives), and nominal (you get a gold star).

I'm guessing if you ask the other guy, the nasty article is the truth and therefore not defamatory.

I would think pursuing this matter will do more damage to your reputation than the nasty article. Purchasing a website will make you look petty and further the dispute. Members of your bar will find out and talk about it. The judge will view this as petulant behavior not expected of an attorney.

Reply Like (0)
jdslug (Jul 23, 2018 - 2:01 pm)

who said anything about a motion? and who said anything about a pro se defendant? they are far more legally sophisticated than me. Not that that matters because the facts are on my side.

Reply Like (0)
jd4hire (Jul 23, 2018 - 2:11 pm)

I'd also say be wary of the law you make. There is a famous case where man called ex-wife a slut at a restaurant when she walked in with her new boyfriend. She sued for slander. Man used truth as a defense. Case went to trial and man put on evidence that ex-wife was a slut. Jury agreed; wife appealed. Supreme Court declared ex-wife a slut. She also probably felt insulted and hurt.

Reply Like (0)
toooldtocare (Jul 23, 2018 - 2:13 pm)

Why do you persist if the advice is so bad? And you've supplied very, very few facts about your case, other than you're offended by this person's actions. So you want specific advice? Then supply the facts-you'll then get plenty of opinions and free legal advice.
But you don't want that-as Mr. Blood pointed out above, all you want is validation.
And validation of what? You legal analysis of...what? What were the defamatory statements? What's your proof? What's your legal theory based on your proof?
You've supplied none of that-instead it's "I was defamed. Please everybody agree with me."

Reply Like (0)
onehell (Jul 23, 2018 - 2:21 pm)

Plaintiffs always believe the facts are on their side, or they wouldn't be suing.

C'mon man, if you're a lawyer then you must have experienced many prospective clients walking in saying their case is "open and shut" or "a slam dunk." And you probably also know that it almost never is and in fact that anyone who says that is a major red flag.

The lawyer's role is not just that they know how to fill out the right forms and file the right documents to get the thing into court, they're also supposed to provide objectivity which any pro per (even one who happens to be an attorney) often sorely lacks.

Go see if anyone else is willing to represent you in this, as based on your posts it sounds like you are pro per. That will be a good barometer of whether the case really is as slam dunk as you think.

Again, there are reasons that even lawyers shouldn't represent themselves. This may be an example of that. Because if you really are a lawyer, I think you need to step back, take a deep breath, and deeply and seriously consider whether your anger (as understandable as it may be) is clouding your professional judgment.

Reply Like (0)
jdslug (Jul 23, 2018 - 2:39 pm)

I don't trust most clients with their facts. I trust myself. And I asked about buying a website with a person's name and if people thought that was a bad idea as a response to his conduct. I didn't ask whether he defamed me or not.

Reply Like (0)
toooldtocare (Jul 23, 2018 - 2:52 pm)

OP: "Question about Defamation"
OP: "I didn't ask whether he defamed me or not."

Reply Like (0)
isthisit (Jul 23, 2018 - 3:08 pm)

It's a bad idea in response to his conduct.

Reply Like (0)
skankhunt42 (Jul 23, 2018 - 2:59 pm)

OP, do it and post link in /dome.

Reply Like (0)
fettywap (Jul 23, 2018 - 3:52 pm)

You're suing this man because he posted a nasty article about you that hurt your feelings, and then asking us if you should do the same thing to him. No. No I don't think that's a good idea.

Reply Like (0)
jeffm (Jul 23, 2018 - 4:20 pm)

Everyone is beating up on a case without any disclosure of the facts. Didn't you learn in law school not to do that?

Reply Like (0)
toooldtocare (Jul 23, 2018 - 4:36 pm)

That's not entirely accurate; in this case, OP has asked for advice/opinions, while at the same time deciding to give few facts to those of whom he asked opinions(beyond asserting his feelings were hurt).
So maybe zero responses would have been best, but in light of what OP has disclosed, the responses here add up to good advice: based on what you've told us, take a deep breath and walk away.

Reply Like (0)
dingbat (Jul 23, 2018 - 8:41 pm)

my first instincts were probably along the lines of most of the board BUT

OP said the other party is "far more legally sophisticated", meaning probably another law firm and damage to the professional reputation. But, how to prove damages? has there been any drop in business? is OP trying to find a new job and can't?

If you can actually prove damages, go for it. Otherwise, just accept the offer to take it down and stop wasting time you could be billing to clients.

Reply Like (0)
jdslug (Jul 23, 2018 - 9:03 pm)

It’s defamation per se. General damages are permitted you don’t need to show specific damages and punitive damages are available too. If I thought I can make more money doing other contingency work (I don’t bill clients) I would, but I really think this is a valuable case.

Reply Like (0)
isthisit (Jul 23, 2018 - 9:35 pm)

File it dude and let us know how it goes.

Reply Like (0)
dingbat (Jul 24, 2018 - 9:12 am)

someone get me a popcorn gif

Reply Like (0)
wutwutwut (Jul 24, 2018 - 12:02 pm)

"defamation per se"

So they called you a swindling, syphilitic slutty shyster?

(Alliteration day today, but I think I covered all 4 there...)

Reply Like (0)
midlaw (Jul 24, 2018 - 10:02 am)

The fact that it is an “article” could also implicate a SLAAP statute. You could end up on the hook for the other side’s attorney fees.

Reply Like (0)
Post a message in this thread