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Dave Kennett
Dave Kennett, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 27689
Experience:  25 years practicing law
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I have a person that went into a partnership with me and then

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I have a person that went into a partnership with me and then walked away from a loan. I found out the partner owes alot of people alot of money. The banks are going to foreclose on some property if i dont pay is part. I decided to sue him and i put up a bill board on my highway property that says: If you have been financially harmed by this person (and i named him) join lawsuit here. Now i think i am being sued for defamation. Can i be sued for just asking the question on a public bill board? or can they win anything?
Dear JACUSTOMER - If the information you posted on your billboard is true then that is a perfect defense to any defamation or libel lawsuit. If the information is false then you are at risk of being sued. Actually if all you are asking is if someone has been harmed you are not making any statement of fact but if no one has been harmed you could be at risk. I assume you have checked out this person's record and know for a fact that he is being sued by other people which would indicate someone has been harmed. That would be your defense to any lawsuit. If you file a suit against this person for what is owed to you then that also would be a mater of public record. As the saying goes "anyone can sue anyone" so you can be sued for defamation. The question is whether the suit will be successful and based on your facts I can't see that it will.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hey Dave,
Thank you for that information. I thought I would be ok. I have not started my lawsuit but i am building a case. This person does owe alot of people a lot of money and he is just walking around and still doing business as usual. He is a realestate developer and he suckered me in to a land deal that he would be a partner and then he walked away from a loan that we both are liable for. Since he doesnt have anything in his personal name the bank is looking to me. He does have assets but they are all in different LLCS. I think this was a scam he has going but i will have to wait until everything comes out to prove this. All I did was ask a question on the bill board. I have already had 3 people call me and tell me he has hung them with some bad debts. Since he is heavly involved with some banks and some lawyers in my local area, i am having to go out of town to find a lawyer to help me. I am meeting with him on Thursday. I was just trying to get some more advice and i am very satisfied with your response.

Thank you,




Another old saying in suits for libel, slander or defamation is "truth is the perfect defense". So long as what you say is true or is simply an opinion a suit will not be successful. Thanks for using our service - Dave

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hey Dave,
Can judge or anyone legally make me take this billboard down?


Well it would have to be by a court order so the other person would have to obtain a restraining order and you would have a right to contest the action. You have the right under the First Amendment to your freedom of speech so unless the other person can show that the billboard is false and is causing him irreparable harm he can't force you to take it down. I can't predict what any judge will order in a specific case so all I can say it is possible that the other person could obtain a court order to remove the billboard.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hey Dave,

The bank is planning on foreclosing on the loan that i am stuck in with my partner. Could you advise me on what i should do. I can afford to pay the notes but i am tired of paying all the debt that a land flipping developer stuck me in. The property has a debt of $500,000.00 but the property is not worth more that $300,000.00. I do not mind taking the loss but the bank is wanting to stick me with all the loss. I am also afraid they will do me like they did one of the other lots. They sold off the lot for $275,000.00 less than the loan to a person that is partners in another LLC with the same partner that is walking away from me. It is looking like some sort of scam but i cannot prove that. What would you suggest i do to keep the bank from selling of the property for a very low price and then sue me for the large remaining balance?


If a foreclosure is filed the property will be sold at auction so you have no control over the selling price. If the debt is joint and severable with the partner the bank can sue either or both for the deficiency. The only way to get out of the possible large debt would be to seek protection in bankruptcy. You can also sue your former partner for contribution of what you end up paying but it would appear the partner is a deadbeat so you may have trouble collecting.
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