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My company needs legal help against harassment and abuse of the court process. We don't have a lot of money.

Santa Monica, CA |

My company is small. We hired an attorney to defend it in a civil matter. We ended with a fee dispute. The attorney did not go to mediation but filed a civil case. We have an attorney in that case who is working for almost nothing because of the principle of the matter, but she does not have time to take this next one on. Now, I did a party name search online and found out today that this attorney has also filed a defamation case against my company. The online summary shows proof of service and request for default judgment. We have not been served and have a dozen people in the building, some of whom are attorneys, to back that up. We would not dodge service, but she lied. We need an attorney to help, but we don't have a lot of money. This could bankrupt us. How can I find help?

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Attorney answers 2


First, determine if you have insurance coverage for claims of defamation. Business liability insurance will often have broad form coverage that includes advertising injury and personal injury coverages that include defamation. If you have insurance, the insurer will pay for the defense of the claim.

If you do not have insurance, you will have to pay for an attorney to defend the company. It is a cost of doing business. Your alternative is to allow the default to stay in place and have a judgment eventually entered against your company. That will likely be far worse than paying an attorney to properly defend the matter.

Attorneys usually will not work for companies for free. Pro bono work is usually reserved for low income individuals with important needs. As a company, you will need to decide if hiring competent counsel is important enough to pay for, or are the alternatives more palatable.

Good luck to you.

This answer should not be construed to create any attorney-client relationship. Such a relationship can be formed only through the mutual execution of an attorney-client agreement. The answer given is based on the extremely limited facts provided and the proper course of action might change significantly with the introduction of other facts. All who read this answer should not rely on the answer to govern their conduct. Please seek the advice of competent counsel after disclosing all facts to that attorney. This answer is intended for California residents only. The answering party is only licensed to practice in the State of California.


If no one else answers, we are in Brentwood at Centinela and Wilshire. We don't charge for any first meeting (or until we are retained.)

The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advice" 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 terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.