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Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 5212
Experience:  Licensed to practice before state and federal court
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A very famous HBO TV show had an episode where they use an

Customer Question

Hello, a very famous HBO TV show had an episode where they use an exterior shot of our restaurant and defamed us by claiming that we did not honor a "groupon". I feel, this puts us in a HORRIBLE light...we are a famous Korean BBQ restaurant chain around the DMV area.
JA: Regulations vary from place to place, so can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Virginia
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: nope... this episode aired on July 19th, 2016
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: nope, thank you
Submitted: 30 days ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Legal Eagle replied 30 days ago.

Hello! I am a licensed attorney, admitted to practice in state and federal court. I have a nearly 100% satisfaction rating so all that means is that you can count on me to help today. Do you mind if I take a moment to review your question?

Please keep in mind that our conversation does not include an attorney-client relationship and this is for general information purposes only. Additionally, most people believe a phone call is the easiest and most efficient way to handle problems. Accordingly, you will receive an automatic phone call request. If you would like a phone call, please click “Accept” when prompted.

Customer: replied 30 days ago.
Hello, will we be able to sue the Tv show?
Expert:  Legal Eagle replied 30 days ago.

I understand. It’s important to understand what the basics of defamation are. Defamation is basically a false and defamatory statement, published to a third party, that causes harm (usually a lessened reputation in the community, lost business opportunity, or other harms as the facts dictate.)

Although I don't know the full extent of what was the supposed defamatory statement, run the alleged statements through that analysis to see if it fits.

If it does, then the other party may have some defenses. Here are the typical defenses in a defamation case:

(1) Legislative Privilege - Meaning the statement was made in a legislative proceeding

(2) Judicial Privilege - any participant in a judicial proceeding the absolute privilege to utter defamatory statements

(3) Executive Privilege - privilege affords an absolute privilege to high ranking executive officers of state and federal governments when acting within the scope of their discretionary duties

(4) Domestic Privilege - affords a spouse the absolute privilege to make defamatory statements about a third person to their spouse.

(5) Truth - if the statements you made were true, then this is a defense as well

(6) Opinion - courts have ruled that the opinion defense is one where if you provide your opinion, then a defamation charge will not stand.

I would strongly recommend that you go through the defamation analysis with an attorney before deciding to sue the television show. You'll have to assess whether you suffered any damages and you may have to assess whether what they did was defamatory as well. If those things do suggest that you are defamed and you suffered damages, then you may be able to get the ball rolling. You can have an attorney take this case on contingency meaning that they will only take something out of your recovery. Also, although I provided an initial answer, it’s important that you are 100% satisfied. If you feel I have done so, please rate me 5 stars and let me know if you have any follow up questions. As a side note, you can also click here in the future to request me individually.