Thank you for choosing Just Answer. My name is XXXXX XXXXX X will assist you today.
What you are concerned about is effectively what is sometimes referred as Business Defamation. Business defamation can be defined as publishing both a false and a defamatory or a negative sounding statement against a business. The fact that you preface your remark with the words "in my opinion " will not necessarily save you from a lawsuit. The key points you need to remember is that you cannot make what appears to be factual statements that are false and defamatory. You cannot state an opinion which you know is false. Keep you review objective, factual, without embellishments. Relate any conclusions to the facts that you know to be true. You can state an overall opinion based on the facts presented.
The truth is a defense to any defamation claim.
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I figured as much from research online in regards XXXXX XXXXX Couple more questions:
1) Can I be sued anyways if they just dont like it? Can I then countersue for legal expenses, emotional damage etc and does the defendant usually get his costs covered if, in this case a review video, is deemed factual and covered by the first amendment?
2) To give you a better idea, I plan on reviewing it objectively (as much as possible) and using a pseudonym. It would be something to this effect:
"This will be a review of yada yada yada. I reviewed this business using three categories; cost, service provided, and customer service on a five star rating etc etc..."
"Based on my experience, I'd have to give them a rating of one star, due to their contract allocating a ten percent monthly commission, as well as a ten percent commission on all repairs. This, to me, seems a bit pricey as you are already paying them ten percent of your monthly rent to take care of such repairs, and most companies will not charge you an additional fee for each repair, so shop around before signing a property manager."
"Dont take my opinion for it, look them up on other review sights such a yelp and yahoo, and stay informed."
Has anything I've said above made you think that I should reconsider? It will be professional and objective, and will not use my name, etc...what are the chances that a court would grant a subpoena for youtube to reveal the users information (my info) as long as the video is of this nature? Would the judge watch the video first to see if it was worth proceeding?
Per our conversation, here is my video. Anything that you see stand out as slander? Or is it good to go? I followed your advice as best I could.
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