I want to post a lawyer review on Avvo. Am I allowed to describe what he did to me at the company he last worked for?
If he has his own firm now, can I comment on his performance at his previous position working at a different law firm? What if that previous law firm was essentially shut down due to unethical activity? Does he have some kind of privacy rights?
If I post on Yelp since the listings are specifically tied to an individual business, can I review on his company's page how he worked at the previous firm and his performance at the old firm?
The truth is always a defense to defamation. Although the statute of limitations for bringing a civil suit for legal malpractice is three years from the occurrence of the malpractice, there is no statute of limitations for complaining about an attorney's ethical conduct.
But I caution care here. An accusation of unethical activity against a lawyer is a serious matter. I think it is a great idea to post a negative review on Yelp or other such sites---if the review has a valid foundation in fact. But if your view could be characterized as a difference of opinion, or if it reflects your disagreements with the lawyer about his strategy for handling cases, you could be crossing the line into territory that could violate the lawyer's rights. In a situation like this, I think it would be wise to retain another trusted lawyer--preferably a former judge or senior lawyer with many years of experience, to review the details of this situation, and to help compose your review. In this way, you can take steps to protect yourself against an expensive law suit by this lawyer. I would urge caution---not to protect this allegedly unethical lawyer---but to protect you from further negative fallout from the situation. If this is important for you, and if you want to protect the general public, spend a few bucks to retain senior counsel for a couple of hours to work through these issues with you.
DISCLAIMER: David J. McCormick is licensed to practice law in the State of Wisconsin and this answer is being... more
DISCLAIMER: David J. McCormick is licensed to practice law in the State of Wisconsin and this answer is being provided for informational purposes only because the laws of your jurisdiction may differ. This answer based on general legal principles and is not intended for the purpose of providing specific legal advice or opinions. Under no circumstances does this answer constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship.
You can post absolutely truthful information, and it will up to Avvo to accept your comment or not. I would not say a single word about the details of any prior representation. You can easily get your point across about this person in general terms.
As Mr. Stumpf says, you may post truthful current informaton. If you wish to bring up the past whcih may interfer with this current employment, you may need to consult an attorney to make sure you aren't starting WWIII.
The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advise" but analysis, and different lawyers may... more
The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advise" but analysis, and different lawyers may analyse this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am only licensed in California. See also avvo.com terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.
As all of the previous attorneys mentioned, you may post a truthful statement.
Here are the basics on Defamation:
Defamation is a false statement of fact against an individual’s character or reputation, either intentionally or negligently published to a third person, holding the defamed person up to ridicule, contempt, hatred, shame, or disgrace. There are two types of defamation: Slander and Libel. Slander is an untrue spoken statement about a person that harms their reputation and standing in their community. A person injured by slander can bring a civil lawsuit against the party that made the false statement.
Where a person is defamed in writing, it is called libel. Libel also includes television broadcasts. In many ways libel is more serious because it is more likely to reach a far greater audience. In New York a libeled person’s damages are presumed because the defamatory statement is preserved for a greater period of time.
It is important to note that the statute of limitations for defamation is different in each state. A statute of limitations is the time that a civil or criminal action must be brought forward. The limitations period begins when a defamatory statement is communicated to someone other than the plaintiff. For instance, in New York, New Jersey, and California the statute of limitations is one year. However, in Washington and Indiana it is two years. Because the time to bring an action defamation is shorter than a negligence action, it is imperative that a person who believes they have been defamed speak with an attorney immediately.
I assisted my brother in writing several articles on this topic. Two of them are listed below:
Mr. Pascale is licensed to practice law in the State of New York. The response herein is not legal advice and does... more
Mr. Pascale is licensed to practice law in the State of New York. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and time-lines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Pascale strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in their state in order to insure proper advice is received.