A business defamation lawyer can help you to defend your business against various types of business defamation in a wide range of settings. There are some situations, however, where their hands are tied. Today we’re going to talk a little bit about some of those situations and what you can do to deal with the problem at hand.
Business Defamation Lawyer: 4 Things They Can’t Help You With
1. If an Unhappy Client Shares Their Negative Experience with Your Business Online
There is one big factor at play in this scenario that will prevent a business defamation lawyer from being able to help you pursue a defamation suit. That factor is the truth. If a client comes to your business and during their visit, they have a negative experience that they then choose to share online, so long as their accounting of the incident is the truth, you won’t have a leg to stand on in court. For this reason, no defamation attorney is going to take your case simply because there is no case.
What can you do if an unhappy client shares their negative experience with your business online and you’re afraid of how that will reflect on your company? The best approach to this type of situation is to approach it from a customer service point of view. Your customer is right to be upset if they had a negative experience and it’s your job as a business owner to make that situation right by reaching out to that customer.
2. If Someone Shares a True But Unpleasant Statement About Your Business Online
Again, in this situation, if the statement being made about your business is the truth, it doesn’t particularly matter how unpleasant it is, you aren’t going to have a case in front of a judge. The truth is ALWAYS what we call an “absolute defense” in court. This means that litigation will end in favor of the defendant because what they are saying can be proven factually sound.
What can you do if someone shares a true but unpleasant statement about your business online? Your best option is to respond professionally to their statement without getting into a situation where you or your business look worse than you already do.
3. If Someone Shares Their Negative Opinion Of Your Business Online
If someone dislikes your business and they share their negative opinion of your business online, they cannot be sued for defamation. It is important to note that the statement made MUST be an opinion. It is also important to know that simply stating “this is my opinion” does not exempt a statement from being defamation…let’s delve into this a little more…
If someone makes their negative opinion of your business or you as a business owner known online but they do so in a way that it could be verified as being fact, it will not be interpreted by a court of law as being an opinion. For example, Bill and Greg used to be friends. Greg borrowed Bill’s lawnmower one weekend and neglected to return it. Bill had not asked for it back since, however, their friendship has now bittered and Bill labels Greg as a thief. In the following months, Greg opens up a new business and feeling spiteful, Bill takes to online review sites and posts the following: “Due to Greg’s past history of being a thief, I believe that his new store is selling stolen merchandise.” Now, in this statement saying “I believe” would, perhaps, be interpreted as being an opinion, however, the first half of the sentence refers to Greg’s history as a thief as being fact. This statement cannot be seen as purely opinion-based and as such a business defamation attorney could help Greg to bring a case against Bill for defamation if it meets the other necessary criteria for being defamation.
Now, if Bill had taken to online forums and simply stated “This business won’t last long”, yes, it’s a negative opinion, however, there is nothing to this statement that resembles fact and so it would be protected under law as simply being an opinion.
4. If You Discover Defamatory Comments About Your Business Made Years Ago
Many states (including Florida) have a statute of limitations on defamation. This means that in order to be able to take someone for court based on a defamatory comment about your business, you must do so within a specified amount of time. In the state of Florida, this statute of limitations is two years. So, for example, if you find a defamatory comment about your business online that was made three years ago and your business is based in Florida, a defamation attorney would be unable to help you to pursue a defamation case.
What Can a Business Defamation Lawyer Help You With?
A business defamation lawyer can help you with a range of defamation situations in which slander or libel can be proven and the statement or individual are not protected by law. The best way to determine whether a corporate defamation lawyer can help you is to pick up the phone and give one a call. If you’re in the St. Pete, Florida area, attorney Matthew Weidner can help you to determine whether you have sufficient cause to pursue a defamation case in court.
Need the Services of a Reputable Business Defamation Lawyer?
If you find yourself in a situation where a business defamation lawyer can help you to defend your business or if you’re just not sure whether a defamation attorney can help, give Weidner Law a call today at 727-954-8752. Attorney Matt Weidner has been practicing law since he was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1999 and has since become widely recognized for his talent in representing businesses and consumers in cases of defamation and infringement of consumer rights.