Blog Articles

False, Negative Online Reviews Challenge Health Care Professionals and Health Care Providers

Online reviews affect nearly every industry, and health care is certainly one of them. What differentiates health care, in this context, is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, or HIPAA. Under HIPAA, a federal privacy law, health care professionals and providers are not allowed to disclose certain...

Order Requiring Non-Party Yelp to Remove Defamatory Reviews Affirmed by California Appellate Court

A California appellate court recently affirmed a lower court’s decision to require Yelp to remove three defamatory reviews. The First Appellate District did, however, remand the case to the trial court to narrow the terms of the removal order, which ordered Yelp to also remove potential future reviews. The court...

Removing Defamatory Statements From the Internet Using a Court Order

Most businesses and professionals defamed on the internet simply want the false content removed. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to obtain removal, one of which is through a court order. Websites and other entities do not want to be tasked with having to weigh the facts of any...

Utilizing IP Addresses to Subpoena Internet Service Providers (ISPs)

The majority of online defamation is posted anonymously or pseudonymously. Thus, many cases require issuing subpoenas—including to internet service providers (ISPs)—to identify the unknown posters. This process often involves obtaining internet protocol (IP) addresses from an entity, in response to an initial subpoena; determining the ISPs that own the respective IP addresses...

Best Practices, Worst Practices for Responding to Internet Defamation

There are a number of ways in which one can respond to internet defamation. There are also a number of ways not to respond. Below is an overview of some different response options that affected parties should and should not consider. How not to respond to online defamation We have...

Removal Often the Best Solution for Online Defamation

For businesses forced to deal with internet defamation, in our experience, removal of the harmful content is generally the best solution. Solutions are fact-dependent.  However, the longer false content remains online and potential customers or clients, among others, can view it, the more damage it is likely to cause to...

Defamation and Bad Faith Registration, Use of Domain Names Under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP)

Most internet defamation occurs on third-party websites, often through false reviews.  However, some people are so intent on disparaging other professionals or companies that they will go as far as creating their own websites, registering carefully selected domain names and publishing content through them that is calculated to cause harm to those...

Employers Must Avoid ‘Retaliation’ If Suing Employees for Defamation

Employers are vulnerable to being the targets of negative online and social media postings. And sometimes these statements can give rise to defamation claims. However, an employer considering suing a current or former employee for internet defamation must be careful if the (ex-)employee recently engaged in protected activity. Under Section 7...

Internet Defamation and Anti-SLAPP Laws: A Look Back at the Washington Supreme Court’s 2015 Ruling Invalidating the State’s Anti-SLAPP Statute

In late May 2015, the Washington Supreme Court became the first state to find an anti-SLAPP statute unconstitutional, striking down the rule codified as RCW 4.24.525. At the time (and likely still today), free speech advocates expressed their disappointment in the ruling, believing that the state of Washington would leave...

Nev. Jury Awards Internet Defamation Plaintiffs $38.3 Million in Damages for Anonymous Websites

Three-and-a-half years after filing a lawsuit over false allegations comparing him to Bernie Madoff, a federal jury recently awarded a California real estate professional and his company more than $38 million. On February 17, Bradley Cohen—founder and CEO of a Los Angeles-based real estate investment firm, Cohen Asset Management, Inc....