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Irwin Law
Irwin Law, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 6922
Experience:  30+ yrs. representing small business, real estate, probate
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Is there a law that would prevent one company from forcing

Customer Question

Is there a law that would prevent one company from forcing another company to work with them? For example, John has his car broken into by Mike. John is contacted by a newspaper and that newspaper employs Mike. The newspaper is requiring a response to some allegations and they have threatened that if John does not respond to them directly they will just have to run with the story and it will damage John's reputation significantly. In fact, the correspondence from the newspaper clearly states that by not responding, the lack of response "could adversely influence potential customers."
While John understands the issue, he does not want to communicate directly with the newspaper because he does not want to communicate with Mike or anyone employing Mike.
John feels no company should be able to force an individual or other company to communicate or work with them and, if they don't, even for good reason, the individual or company will have their reputation damaged.
The newspaper is protecting themselves under free speech but John feels he is the victim and his business could be ruined by this newspaper. But, he feels it continues to be his right to not have to work with Mike and the law should be able to protect his right.
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  Samuel II replied 6 months ago.

Hello

This is Samuel. If you are asking if the Newspaper should be allowing Mike to work on any story involving himself in any way, that answer is no. If you are asking if Mike can work in any capacity with the newspaper even though they are writing news about him the answer is yes.

Expert:  Samuel II replied 6 months ago.

John is under no legal obligation to talk to any media nor anyone about this matter.

Expert:  Samuel II replied 6 months ago.

A newspaper will always try to get the quotes from everyone involved, but many time they just run the story and then note "so and so declined comment" That will in no way make John look guilty to anyone.

Expert:  Samuel II replied 6 months ago.

I suggest it actually makes him smart because he knows he should not talk to anyone without a local attorney present.

Expert:  Samuel II replied 6 months ago.

Please let me know here if you have other questions or need clarification. Otherwise a Positive rating ensures I get credit for my time.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.

Hi Samuel,

I realize it may make sense and John is smart to not answer the questions. But, my question was "Is there a law?"

I can't just send them a notice saying I feel they are wrong. If they aren't violating any law by forcing me to work with them, I won't have any leverage.

If you aren't sure, please open the question to other experts. This is a very important issue so please just don't say there isn't a law if you are unsure.

Thanks.

Gary

Expert:  Samuel II replied 6 months ago.

Thanks, Gary

No there is no law that would force him to talk to anyone. I'm sure. There is no law that would mandate you or anyone else speak to the media about an on going investigation. We are always protected under the 4th and 5th Amendments.

Expert:  Samuel II replied 6 months ago.

If I am misunderstanding your question, please rephrase it.

I understand your second question to be about the ethics of hiring someone who is accused of committing a crime. Is that correct?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.

Sorry if I was unclear. Using the newspaper example, if John does not want to talk to the newspaper company because an active employee of that company has committed a crime against John, the newspaper has a bad reputation or some other similar negative issue, is there a law that would help John prevent the newspaper from publishing negative information.

When a newspaper publishes that a business did not respond to comment or that they tried to verify information was the respondent refused, it looks bad for the respondent.

To prevent this negative affect on John's reputation, I would like to learn if there is a law supporting John that may possibly be used to prevent the newspaper from running their story without proper response from John. The story is negative and parts contain incorrect data but John would have to contact the newspaper to set the record straight. Unfortunately, he does not want to do that because he knows known criminals work at the newspaper.

There has to be some law that helps John.

Expert:  Samuel II replied 6 months ago.

"...is there a law that would help John prevent the newspaper from publishing negative information."?

The 4th and 5th Amendments of the United States Constitution.

Expert:  Samuel II replied 6 months ago.

"...would like to learn if there is a law supporting John that may possibly be used to prevent the newspaper from running their story without proper response from John."

Now I will opt out and allow another expert to jump in. I would not be able to locate any such laws in this regard, nor case law.

You do not have to give a rating at this time and your deposit will remain on deposit. I apologize for the inconvenience and thanks for your cooperation and patience.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.

I am not sure how to release the item to another expert. Can you do that, please?

Expert:  Irwin Law replied 6 months ago.

Hello Gary: A different expert here and I will be happy to assist with your question. However, I would ask you to please tell me exactly what your true situation is, and not use an analogy to another type of situation such as a newspaper story. That said, if you are really asking about the rights of the newspaper to publish story where you are involved, but you refuse to comment for it, that is perfectly legal. There is no law that prevents the publication of the story, but the newspaper must be cautious about doing enough investigationTo be sure of the accuracy. That would be where your comment comes in. If you later sue the newspaper for libel, they may have a defense that they contacted you for a response but you refused to make one.

Please be so kind as to promptly rate this answer favorably so that I may be compensated and the question may be closed in the system. There is no additional cost to you. Thanks again for using JUST ANSWER.

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