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Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 73
Experience:  Sworn to the California Bar in 2011. Former staff editor at The New York Times Co. and seasoned news professional of 20 years experience in the U.S. and abroad.
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I need a lawyer to represent me in small claims court in the

Customer Question

I need a lawyer to represent me in small claims court in the state of Maine. I am being sued for a negative on line review I posted.
thank you
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert: replied 1 year ago.

Yes, seek local counsel!

I am licensed in Calif., not Maine, and anyway lawyers here cannot give specific legal advice here because no lawyer-client relation exists.

I presume the cause enumerated in the lawsuit is either libel or tortious interference with contract?

Libel online follows the same rules as libel in print.

If it was a legitimate review, even though negative, libel will be difficult to substantiate.

If the "review" was an unusually vitriolic rant and contained specific allegations of criminal conduct, such as illegally deceptive or fraudulent business practices, or violations of personal privacy (not on a matter of public importance), there may be a cause requiring legal defense.

So seek local counsel!

Tortious interference with contract is a cause where a third person intentionally interferes with the formation of a contract or with an existing contract, such as inducing one of the contracting parties to breach the contract, denying the other contracting party the benefit of the contracted bargain.

With respect to an online review, we're probably talking about allegations of thwarted future sales: this argument is usually not received well by courts, because "future sales" are almost always too speculative and difficult to prove. Also, the plaintiff in such an action would have to show that it was that one specific review that thwarted one or more specific sales, and no other reviews played a role. That's a pretty hard row to hoe!

Good Luck! And if you found this perspective helpful, I would greatly appreciate a positive rating! Thanks!

Expert: replied 1 year ago.

There may be room -- though it seems very unlikely -- for an online review to be encompassed by a state law governing electronic communications being used for stalking, threats, and harassment.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I know that I need legal counsel that is why I paid the $28.00. I thought I was going to get a name of a law firm or an attorney in Maine.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My question was - " I need a lawyer"
Expert: replied 1 year ago.

Yes, I understand.

And I am sorry I do not have a name of a qualified lawyer there to refer to you.

At the very least, I hope this helps you evaluate prospective lawyers and how you respond to the suit.

Thanks for the opportunity & your patience in reading my response.