Internet Defamation

California Internet Defamation Lawyers

While the Web has many benefits, it has unleashed a tidal wave of defamatory content. Many businesses, executives, entertainers, professionals and entrepreneurs have suffered anonymous attacks on their reputation and goodwill from defamatory remarks posted on rating websites, social networks and message boards.

Online Defamation Lawyer in Los Angeles

At Raines Feldman LLP, we handle dozens of Internet defamation cases annually. Our legal team understand what you are going through when encountering online business defamation. We offer clear insight and a tested online reputation management and litigation strategy to combat attacks on your reputation.

We are one of the few law firms in America that handle Internet law cases as experienced litigators and trial lawyers. If you are facing Internet defamation threats. We specialize in bringing perpetrators of internet defamation to justice and obtaining removal of defamatory online content.

Examples of Internet Defamation

Internet defamation can include false or misleading comments about a business on a website like Trustlink or Yelp. An anonymous person may post false information about your company on a message board which leads directly to a decrease in stock price or the cancellation of a key deal. Slanderous content on YouTube and posts on social networking sites, including Twitter, Facebook and MySpace can also destroy a business or professional career.

In some cases, a strongly worded letter will convince the website owner or poster to remove the defamatory content voluntarily. Unfortunately, a defamation lawsuit may be necessary to unmask your cyber attacker(s), obtain monetary damages, and obtain removal from the internet of defamatory content.

We have fought on behalf of dozens of corporate clients and professionals to remove defamatory, false and unverified negative reviews appearing on a number of review-based websites, message boards and special purpose websites. Our clients include consumer products companies, real estate companies, financial services companies and executives, medical practices, lawyers and accountants, in addition to many other types of businesses.

Fight Defamation by Anonymous Message Posters

One of the biggest barriers to holding people responsible for Internet defamation is that they typically post messages using anonymous e-mail addresses or screen names. Many people who post damaging content online believe that Web anonymity is a free speech right, or that it makes them immune from prosecution.

As your attorneys, we can help you file a John Doe lawsuit and use the subpoena power granted by it to force the Internet service provider (ISP) to provide any information it has about the anonymous poster. By carefully sifting through the often complex data they provide, we can pull information that leads to the next link in the digital chain, then follow the trail of electronic breadcrumbs until the identity of the poster is revealed. We also employ in-house computer forensic experts to assist our investigations and preserve valuable evidence. In this area, it is crucial to hire experienced defamation lawyers who understand how to obtain, analyze and preserve the key computer forensic evidence needed to prove your claims at trial. We have this experience and expertise.

Online Reputation Management: Protect Your Business

All too often, Web pages with defamatory comments appear higher in Google search results than company websites or press releases. Any response you make to the attack is simply drowned out, so you may feel powerless to set the record straight.

Protecting your reputation from new threats requires new tactics. Existing laws can be inadequate or ineffective in combating Internet defamation. Under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, ISPs are usually not held liable for the bad acts of users. However, we can still help you get results by employing certain strategies, including:

  • Filing and prosecuting defamation and trade libel lawsuits
  • Direct pre-litigation negotiation with websites where defamatory content appears
  • Forensic computer techniques to track and locate those attacking your reputation

We have extensive experience dealing with the in-house counsel representing large ISPs and websites, and can often contact them directly to explore a favorable resolution or removal of negative content.

We employ tested legal strategies to exert legal pressure upon websites that host defamatory material in an effort to convince such sites to voluntarily remove defamatory content. Even with existing limits on liability for Web hosts and sites, many of them are not anxious to engage in a legal fight to test the protections granted by the Communications Decency Act.

We know the language of the Web and, with our experience in commercial litigation, we know how to use cyber laws and online practices to protect your rights and reputation.