MORRIS & STONE
Southern California's Premier Defamation Litigation Firm
Orange County Internet Defamation Lawyers
The Internet has afforded the world a previously unimagined source of information and freedom of expression. But with this new media came the ability for anyone to attack others with instant global distribution. Before the Internet, a person's efforts to defame another were limited to their own social network. Now, at no cost, anyone can go onto the Internet and publish their defamation to a worldwide audience. Businesses, organizations and individuals suffer attacks on their reputation and good will, often from anonymous posters, or those claiming to be someone they are not.
Aaron Morris, a partner with Morris & Stone, is known as an expert in fighting defamation, and more specifically Internet Defamation. He has represented clients from such far flung locales as Guernsey and India. He provides exceptional legal representation to businesses and individuals on matters related to Internet Defamation (libel and slander), trade libel, and false light invasion of privacy. He is the founder and President of the California Defamation Lawyers Association, and author of California SLAPP Law.
Nothing is more valuable than your reputation. You should never allow a defamatory statement to go unchallenged. Silence is perceived as acceptance. If you do nothing about what is being said about you, it will be perceived as true. The goal in a defamation action can be to recover damages, but often that is not the primary goal. The priceless value of a defamation action is to gain back your reputation.
Stopping the defamation and restoring your good name takes a skilled approach. The technique utilized usually depends on what is motivating the person making the defamatory statements. If the person has no serious grudge against you, then a cease and desist letter from Morris & Stone will probably stop the behavior and get the statements removed from the Internet. On the other hand, if the person is acting out of spite toward you, it may be necessary to file and serve a civil complaint. We find that just filing and serving the complaint for defamation is often sufficient to stop the defamation. Faced with having to defend a legal action, and knowing they cannot back up the false statements they have made, the defendant will want to settle the matter. If that is still insufficient, we are ready to take the defendant to court to obtain both money damages and an order from the court to cease the defamation.
Finding Anonymous Message Posters
Often our clients will not know who is posting the anonymous messages (although most of the time they have a strong suspicion). Aaron Morris and Morris & Stone know how to find out that information. We can file the complaint even before knowing the name of the defendant, and then use the court's subpoena powers to get the information we need. The Statute of Limitation for defamation is just one year, so it is important to file the complaint before the deadline, even if the identity of the perpetrator is still unknown.
Removing False Reviews
The public gives a great deal of weight to on-line reviews, and never considers that they might be false. Even if the person reading the review understands that it could be false, they will simply move onto another business rather than take the risk that the review could be true.
Review websites such as Yelp and Google Reviews are fraught with fraudulent reviews. These are reviews by people who have never been a customer of the business in question, but who are motivated by something to leave a fake review. In many of our cases, we have discovered that the fraudulent reviews are being posted by competitors to the business. Others engage in extortion -- posting a negative review and then offering to take it down only if the business pays money.
Every case is different, of course, and your results could differ, but we have been very successful in removing fake reviews from the Internet and, where appropriate, obtaining significant damage judgments against those who posted the reviews.
If you are the victim of Internet defamation, or you have posted a completely honest review but are facing a defamation claim designed to silence your free speech, call Morris & Stone now at (714) 954-0700.
At Morris & Stone, we treat our clients with courtesy and integrity. We guarantee realistic, honest legal advice to allow you to decide on an informed course of action. Our attorneys have years of experience and notable results.
Our consistent track record of uncompromising ethics instills confidence and trust. We use cutting edge technologies to maximize your results at the highest efficiency. This allows us to respond quickly, and give you the most relevant information and perspective.