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David H. Schwartz June 12, 2020

Defamation, whether libel or slander, can be bad for any business. Such false statements can cause significant harm to your business reputation, growth, and revenue. Although most online reviews are protected under the First Amendment (freedom of speech), a reviewer may be found guilty of defaming a business, by the court, for posting factually incorrect accusations about their products or services.

If you believe you or your business have been "defamed," you are within your rights to take legal action against the reviewer and pursue compensation. Attorney David Schwartz can provide comprehensive answers to all your questions about suing for defamation, bad reviews, libel, or slander, with regard to businesses.

The Law Offices of David H. Schwartz, INC. proudly represent business owners throughout San Francisco, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Oakland, San Jose, Alameda County, and the San Francisco Bay Area of California.

Can a Business Sue for Bad Reviews?

Thanks to technology, clients or customers find it much easier to leave feedback or an online review stating their experience with a business. Such reviews may be positive or negative. As a business, you are within your rights to sue a reviewer for bad reviews. However, you must be able to demonstrate that the statements in the review are "false, defamatory, libelous, and slanderous and constitute trade libel."

While a business can file a defamation lawsuit in retaliation, it may not be easy to meet the legal grounds for such claims, depending on the circumstances surrounding your case. Nonetheless, it is possible to subject the reviewer to liability for defamation.

What is Libel?

Libel can be described as a false or defamatory statement that can damage or cause injury to a person's reputation, business, or profession. Such defamatory statements may be expressed through writing, print, pictures, signs, or any other communication method presented in physical form.

For example, publishing false information about a person's name, age, life events, and upbringing, may attract defamation lawsuits. Another example is posting an online review that a meat production company manufactured low-cost processed beef that looked like pink slime. If this turned out to be false, the business can file a lawsuit against the reviewer and seek compensatory damages.

What Must the Business Prove?

To prove defamation, a business must show all of the following:

  • The statement is false: The statement made about the business or their products and services was false, purporting to be a fact.

  • The statement was published: The statement was published or communicated to a third person.

  • The statement resulted in harm: The statement caused injury, harm, or damage to the business.

  • The statement was unprivileged: The statement was not privileged (confidential).

Defamation laws in California can be complex and hard to understand. Your success in a  defamation lawsuit largely depends on how your case is presented. Hiring a highly-skilled and knowledgeable business litigation attorney can help you navigate the process successfully.

How David Can Help

Reputation is a vital factor that determines the success of any business. The way your business is perceived by your customers, and the general public, has a huge impact on its growth and revenue. If a defamatory statement has damaged or caused injury to you or your business, you need to retain an experienced business litigation attorney immediately.

Attorney David H. Schwartz is well-seasoned in handling matters of business defamation, libel, and slander. He will use his hands-on approach to identify the defamatory statement and establish its inaccuracy. He will provide vigorous representation, and pursue fair compensation for your damages. With Attorney David H. Schwartz on your side, you can anticipate the best possible outcome in your defamation lawsuit.

Experienced Commercial Litigation Attorney in San Francisco, California

If you believe you are a victim of a defamatory statement against your business, call the Law Offices of David H. Schwartz, INC. Attorney David H. Schwartz can fight zealously on your side to protect your business and hold the reviewer liable. Mr. Schwartz proudly serves clients in San Francisco, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Oakland, San Jose, Alameda County, and the San Francisco Bay Area of California. Call his office today to get the legal guidance, advocacy, and vigorous representation you need.