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Does the following scenario amount to extortion. One of

Does the following scenario amount...
Does the following scenario amount to extortion.

One of our partners in an LLC is threatening us with legal action.
This threat was made in a social group of our friends and is causing lot of embarassment.
We are a respectable family and this is hurting our reputation.
Are there grounds for taking any action against the offending partner?
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Answered in 1 minute by:
10/3/2013
Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 102,687
Experience: Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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Hello friend. My name is XXXXX XXXXX welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies.

I am sorry for your situation. Can you please tell me:

1) What does the partner want?
2) What kind of legal action is he threatening exactly?
3) Do his claims have any merit?

This is not an answer, but an Information Request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago

This is regarding a tax issue we are having and trying to resolve.


My partner told this publicly in front of our group of friends when asked about the status of our project:


 


We are having legal issues. I wont' leave them until they are fully punished


 


The allegation regarding taxes doesn't have any merit. Even if there's a merit, isn't it illegal to make such a comment in a group of friends?

K,

Okay, thank you for your clarification. This may not be extortion. However, it may be defamation.

Extortion is the obtaining of property from another, with his consent, or the obtaining of an official act of a public officer, induced by a wrongful use of force or fear, or under color of official right. Ca. P. C. Sec. 518.

This is not extortion. However as stated, it may be defamation.

To sue in a state court, one needs to have a "cause of action." There are numerous causes of action, such as "breach of contract," "negligence," "fraud," "unjust enrichment," etc., as well as causes of action rooted in statutory law. Every state has their own although they are very similar to each other in every state because they all stem from the same common law. A pleading in Court needs at least one cause of action, although it is not unusual to have more than one.

Now, the elements of a defamation claim are: publication of a statement of fact that is false, unprivileged, has a natural tendency to injure or which causes "special damage," and the defendant's fault in publishing the statement amounted to at least negligence. Cal. Civ. Code §§ 44, 45a, and 46..

It is not illegal to "air dirty laundry" about someone else in public, even if they are your partners (there are partner duties, but they do not prohibit free speech). However, if he gave a false claim that defamed the LLC and/or other partners, then this may be defamation and may be actionable.

Please note: I aim to give you genuine information and not necessarily to tell you only what you wish to hear. Please, rate me on the quality of my information and do not punish me for my honesty. I understand that hearing things less than optimal is not easy, and I empathize.

Gentle Reminder: Please use the REPLY button to keep chatting, or RATE and submit your rating when we are finished.
Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Criminal Law
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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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