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Can negotiating the terms of a settlement count as blackmail?

Richmond, VA |
Filed under: Criminal defense

I recently discussed a settlement with a business who wronged me. They offered a small amount to settle, and I asked for more. Their lawyer said she would ask for the higher amount, and get back me. I plan to email her and explain that if the business refuses to settle, and it does have to go to court, I intend to launch an aggressive online campaign against this company. If we settle, I will sign a non-disclosure agreement and cease all online efforts. Does sending this email count as "blackmail"? I want to make my intentions clear without it seeming like blackmail. Your help is appreciated!

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Attorney answers 2


Sounds like extortion to me. Extortion is obtaining either money, property or services through coercion. And I think you know it. How would you feel if someone sued you and said, if you don't meet my settlement demands, I'm going to post nasty things about you on the internet?

Legal disclaimer: In accordance with the Avvo community guidelines, this communication does not constitute "legal advice", nor does it form an attorney-client relationship.


I have to agree that this sounds like extortion. You are threatening to smear their name if they don't offer you a high amount to settle. Stick to what they did to wrong you and why they should compensate you at the higher amount. If that doesn't work, then find a lawyer to sue or address your complaints in another forum. Do not threaten one to get a settlement in the other.

Mr. Goldstein is a Virginia-licensed attorney only. The information is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation. Answering this question does not in any way constitute legal representation. Contacting Mitchell Goldstein or the Goldstein Law Group does not constitute legal representation, nor is any information you provide protected by attorney-client privilege until otherwise advised.

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