Dallas Law Firm Sues to Have Bad Review Taken Down.

Per today’s ABA Journal:

A Dallas law firm has filed a lawsuit seeking to learn the identity of a commenter calling himself “Ben” who posted a bad online review.

The Lenahan Law Firm claims defamation and seeks $50,000 in damages, Texas Lawyer reports. Partner Wes Black says the suit will allow the law firm to subpoena Google to learn the commenter’s identity.

Ben wrote in his comments on Google Review: “Bad experience with this firm. Don’t trust the fake reviews here.” Ben also gave a bad review to an Oregon cleaning company and may have intended to post the negative review about a different law firm closer to home, the suit says.

Hasn’t this firm heard of The Streisand Effect?

4 Responses to Dallas Law Firm Sues to Have Bad Review Taken Down.

  1. shg says:

    One thought about blawging efficacy you may want to consider. By the time an interesting story appears in the ABA Journal, it is almost always a day after it has appeared everywhere else. The ABA Journal is what’s considered “news” by people with 9600 baud dial-up modems, because “that’s fast enough.”

    As far as the particulars of this suit is concerned, it reflects a corollary, where they claim a fake review, not merely a negative review, was posted, to the Streisand Effect. While claims of defamation per se will ordinarily invoke the Effect, we are similarly cognizant of the fact that some people, in this age of reviewing everything under the sun, will use reviews to falsely harm their competition and abuse the concept.

    This doesn’t reflect poorly on the Lenahan firm, as much as on the concept of reviews. Differentiating legitimate negative reviews from wholly false reviews is a problem that the internet has yet to address, and no one faults the firm given it’s claim that the reviewer isn’t a client at all. As Mark Bennett pointed out a while back, this happens and is a very real problem.

    • Leo M. Mulvihill, Jr. says:

      Ah, I missed the boat on this one, so to speak, and read it only this morning on my El ride into work. Thinking myself clever, I posted it using my phone.

      First mistake: never think yourself clever. You will inevitably prove yourself wrong.

      Now, as to the substance of the article itself. It seems, at least in my youthful hubris, that this situation is analogous to suing a client for fees. Whether you’re right, and regardless whether you win, you may end up only hurting your own reputation.

      Though my practice has a presence on several online venues (Avvo, Yelp, Google Places, and a neighborhood message board), I’ve never really considered the possibility of a false review, whether inadvertent or intentional) or what my response to it would be.

      I’ll review the author you recommended and consider a possible plan of action.

  2. You have brought up very good details, appreciate it for the post.

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