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What do you do when an internet forum posts negative information about you without confirming it is true?

Marietta, GA |

an individual posted a negative review about me and AVVO did not confirmthe content. The major clue was that the person said they paid me $5000 for a criminal case in the last 6 months which is absolutely false- I have not had a single client who paid that fee as posted. Now AVVO will not even give me a clue as to who did this and writes that they are not responsible for confirmimg the content of the postings whether they are true or not; doesn't matter if my reputation is harmed- anyone else have this problem? help....someone!!!!

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Attorney answers 3

Posted

AVVO is correct, they are not liable for the content someone else has posted under Section 230 of the Computer Decency Act.

Read the AVVO TOS and see if they have a proceedure for contacting them to remove incorrect posts. If not, your choices are limited. If the post is libelous in nature, you could sue the person as a John Doe and subpoena their record from AVVO.

Your other choice is to comment under the post giving your side of the story. If you choose to do this, do not enter into a dialoug with the poster, just post your story in a factual way. Internet users are getting more and more savvy about negative posts and one post just proves you are human.

This post is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice specific to you. This general information is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney in your jurisdiction. The attorney client relationship is not established by this post.

Elizabeth V. Lane

Elizabeth V. Lane

Posted

Thanks for your help- unfortunately I haven't a clue who the person is and the people at AVVO offered nothing to help me identify in order for me to make a comment- not quite sure this is a fair practice since it allows anyone to post without reprecussion. Ah well-looks like I'm going to have to exert a lot of time and energy o tis one.

Posted

There is a strange disconect in your question. AVVO's only reviews are by clients of attorneys, which means you're a lawyer, and it is strange that a lawyer would post on AVVO asking for help with AVVO.

Review sites act as public forums, and are legally protected from liability for the content by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA). [47 U.S.C. § 230. Section 230(c)(1)].

Having said all of the above, if you have information that a review is fraudulent, here is contact info for AVVO:

Mr Josh King (Vice President) or Mr Mark Britton (President)
Avvo, Inc.
1501 Fourth Avenue, Suite 1900
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 734-4111

If you find this answer helpful, please mark it here on AVVO as helpful. In answering you, I am attempting to communicate general legal information and am not representing you (and am not your lawyer). Do feel free to call me at 404-768-3509 if you wish to discuss actual representation (the phone call also does not retain counsel; that requires an office visit and appropriate paperwork). In that a forum such as this provides me with limited details and doesn't allow me to review details and documents, it is possible that answers here, while meant to be helpful, may in some cases not be complete or accurate, and I highly recommend that you retain legal counsel rather than rely on the answers here. (You can also email my office at geaatl@msn.com . An email also does not retain my office, but can help you get an appointment set if you prefer not to call). I am happy to discuss possible representation with you. Any information in this communication is for discussion purposes only, and is not offered as legal advice. There is no right to rely on the information contained in this communication and no attorney-client relationship is formed. Nothing in my answer should be considered as tax-advice. To ensure compliance with IRS Circular 230, any U.S. federal tax advice provided in this communication is not intended or written to be used, and it cannot be used by the recipient or any other taxpayer (i) for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties that may be imposed on the recipient or any other taxpayer, or (ii) in promoting, marketing or recommending to another party a partnership or other entity, investment plan, arrangement or other transaction addressed herein. I am also required to advise you, if your question concerns bankruptcy, that the U.S. Congress has designated Ashman Law Office as a debt relief agency that can help people file bankruptcy.

Elizabeth V. Lane

Elizabeth V. Lane

Posted

Thanks- but already have this info- I posted to see if anyone else was as frustrated as I was with this company. Has to be something a person can do when an anonymous post comes through that you believe to be bogus. As I stated, the key for me was that no one has paid me $5000 in the last 5 months for a criminal case as the person posted. When the AVVO folks won't help identify the true source of the review it is difficult to comment. I can only make an educated guess on this. Am concerned with the lack of credilbility of the poster in addition to the liability.

Posted

You raise an excellent point. You do have some legal remedies but you would have to weigh the pros and cons. I have had similar problems with blog posts from anonymous posters outside the US. I suggest doing some serious research starting with the TOS and the law of the controlling jurisdiction.

This is not legal advice but a general comment on society.

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