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ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 17074
Experience:  Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
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In short, my wife is a presenter for the Younique

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Good morning. In short, my wife is a presenter for the Younique Corporation. A woman in her "down-line", recently went live on Facebook(43 minute live video) and trashed her. She told lie after lie, told her viewers she was evil and untrustworthy and, to not do business with her. As we live in a very small town, this has damaged my wife's reputation and business. My wife has been extremely distraught about the whole situation. Her "up-line" has also shunned her and removed her from their help groups, which is severely impacting her business. We live in Central Texas and are wondering what we can do to restore her reputation and get her business back on track. We have spoken with a couple of attorney's who wanted 20K retainers. We can not afford anything close to that. Is there any hope for us?
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: With law enforcement? No ma'am. It has been reported to her companies compliance department, to no avail.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I, on behalf of my wife, made a private facebook group, where I took snippets of the woman's video and refuted all the lies she told. I used her words, voice clips and messages to show where and how, she lied about all of it. Less than 30 people saw that page and hundreds watched and re-watched the other woman's live. I made no disparaging remarks about the woman, just refuted her lies with facts, in "black and white".

Thank you for using JustAnswer.

I'm very sorry to hear about your situation. Can you tell me specifically what lies were told about her? And can you actually prove the amount of the economic damage that was incurred by her because of these statements?

By the way, you may get a phone call offer. This is system generated, and at this point I don't know enough about your situation to know if I can assist you. Decline the offer if it comes up and we can continue in this chat function.

Customer: replied 27 days ago.
I have the Facebook page still up, but it is secret and cannot be searched by non members. The live, that the woman posted is pinned at the top of that page. The rest of the page are clips of her live and the proof, is listed in the comment section of each post on that page. I can add anyone to that page, so they can watch the video themselves. The woman in question has since removed or hidden her video, on her page.

Understood. I'm just trying to get an understanding of the types of statements that she was making.

Customer: replied 27 days ago.
As far as monies lost, we would need help determining the current losses as well as potential income loss due to her being shunned from her up-line support. The lies she told were everything from my wife being "the devil" to my wife was trying to steal customers away from her. She also told her viewers that she promoted before my wife, made more money, worked her business better, achieved more accolades and that she treats her customers very poorly. All of which, we have proof to refute.

Thank you for that additional information. Please give me a few minutes while I type a response. I am still here with you, but it does take a bit of time to type a complete response.

Customer: replied 27 days ago.
Understood and thank you for your time.

Legally this type of case would be "defamation", meaning that it's a false statement of material fact, communicated to a third party, that causes quantifiable economic damages or is of such a nature that the allegations refer to criminal misconduct, sexual misconduct, or that the plaintiff has a sexual disease (this is called defamation per se).

Note that the statement has to be false. If it's true, this is not legally "defamation", even if it is harmful to someone's reputation. It has to be false to be defamation.

But it also has to be a "statement of material fact". That means that opinions are not actionable. Opinions (even if everyone else on the planet would say otherwise) would not be actionable. It would have to be a statement of fact (objectively verifiable, rather than something that is in one's opinion).

Further, it has to cause "quantifiable damages". The main issue here is that many lies and insults that would otherwise be actionable cannot show how the individual was harmed, to a reasonable degree of probability. So the courts require that you prove the actual dollar amount that she was harmed as a result of this. And that's often where these cases fail. Typically the only successful cases are where people lose jobs (lost wages could be proven) or do not get advancements in their jobs, etc...

So calling your wife the devil, untrustworthy, don't do business with her, etc... are all opinions. If she gives specifics ("she stole my purse" or something else objectively verifiable that was false) then that could be the basis for defamation. But they HAVE to be statements of material fact (that of course are false). And then you have to show the economic damages that have been suffered as a result of the statements. Past and future losses, and loss to reputation, could be quantified, but it takes pretty specialized knowledge and training by economists and other experts to do so. So it's already an uphill battle to even get to see how much damages you have from the statements, IF they're even statements of material fact rather than opinion.

And another consideration is even IF you get a judgment, how are you going to enforce it? Texas doesn't allow garnishment of wages, and if she doesn't have a ton of assets otherwise, she might be "judgment proof" (meaning that a judgment is only worth the piece of paper it's printed on).

Now IF you could overcome all of those issues, you could have a case, but it's not a great one from the outset. Given the right facts, the right amount of proof, and a good potential for recovery, that could be a case. But otherwise it might be simply throwing good money after bad. The best part of such a case, however, is that you can say that you sued her for defamation, and that alone could go a long way to showing (at least in the minds of the viewers) that she was lying.

I know this is probably not what you wanted to hear, but it is the law. I hope that clears things up anyway. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable.

Please note that I don't get any credit for the time and effort that I spent on this answer unless and until you rate it positively (3 or more stars). Look for the stars on your screen (★★★★★). You may need to scroll left/right/up/down to see these stars, but note that the rating is what closes out this question, so it is necessary that you do so.

Thank you, ***** ***** luck to you!

ScottyMacEsq and other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 27 days ago.
Sir, I think I understand most of that. I have done a lot of research but I am in no way a "legal mind". That, is why I am reaching out. I may have to go back and watch the video again(which is infuriating, to say the least) and make sure I am listening with an open mind as to what she is saying. I may also, have to end up spending money we don't have to try and rectify this situation. I'm biased but I have never heard or seen a video filled with such hate and genuine malice towards another person, especially my wife. I thank you very much for your time and your response was more than what I expected from a site like this. To say we are desperate for resolve, is an understatement. My wife is not the first person this woman has done this to and we want to make sure she, at the very least, thinks about it before she does something like this again, to someone else. Again, thanks for your time and your response will receive an "excellent" from me. Have a great rest of the day. -Sam

You're welcome, and again, good luck to you!