The First Amendment protects the right to free speech. This important and fundamental right is a cornerstone of American democracy. At the same time, as United States Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart once said, an individual has the right to protect his or her good name. The tort of defamation is the legal way to defend one’s reputation.
Balancing these fundamental principles is not easy, but in the cyber and social media era it has become more important than ever. As the U.S. Supreme Court noted in Reno v. ACLU, with the Internet “any person with a phone line can become a town crier with a voice that resonates farther than it could from any soapbox.”
The Blum Law Firm believes that preserving free speech and protecting one’s reputation are both important aims. The Firm’s cyber law practice offers representation to businesses, professionals and individuals who have been libeled or defamed online and defends those who have been sued for exercising their free speech rights under the First Amendment.
To learn more, contact the Blum Law Firm.
Online Reputation Damage Litigation
Whether you’re a business or individual, your online reputation is important. If negative information “goes viral” — is rapidly spread across the Internet — the results may be disastrous:
- False, defamatory or unjust statements can lead to a loss of customers, goodwill and profits for businesses.
- Negative online comments can result in the loss of clients and diminished standing among peers for a professional.
- False or misleading statements may cause humiliation, result in lost job opportunities and be the source of embarrassment among family and friends for individuals.
The Blum Law Firm employs a variety of strategies to neutralize Internet libel and other defamatory postings. Understanding the potential for embarrassment, reputation damage and economic losses that may stem from defamatory statements made online is crucial, and acting quickly to mitigate the harm caused by such postings is of the utmost importance.
When your online reputation is being unjustly criticized, you need to seek out an Internet law firm with experience and a winning track record in dealing with online reputation management.
First Amendment Free Speech Rights Protection
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution grants all citizens of this country the right to freedom of speech. The right to free speech can be exercised in a variety of ways: writing letters to the editor, speaking at town hall meetings and blogging, just to name a few.
But what happens when the targets of the speech don’t like what is being said or written? They may file or threaten to file a lawsuit against their critics such as bloggers and anonymous comment posters. Strategic lawsuits against public participation, known as SLAPP suits, are meant to quiet or financially burden opponents even if the likelihood of ultimately prevailing on the claim is slim.
As a result, several states have passed anti-SLAPP laws, which give judges a chance to review the cases early. If it is determined that probability of success is low, the case is dismissed and the defendant is awarded attorney fees and litigation costs. Additionally, section 230 of the Communications Decency Act also generally affords immunity to Internet service providers for third-party comments.
If your First Amendment rights are being threatened, you need to seek out an Internet litigation firm with experience protecting free speech rights.