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What type of lawyer will I need?

Los Angeles, CA |

I was previously employed at a company and had many different accounts. I left on good terms to a different company. Recently, my former supervisor reached out to me stating that he/she had run into an employee on one of the accounts I worked on, of whom I worked with indirectly. My former supervisor said that she had stated very defaming stories about me and my husband.

Backstory: My husband was a executive level employee at this company I managed on a daily basis. This is how we met.

I am a mid-level employee in this small industry and apparently she is going around spreading rumors about me and my family. What can I do to make her stop?

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Attorney answers 3

Posted

What you describe might be a form of defamation. Defamation is also known by its common names of slander or libel. Defamation is proved if you can demonstrate that someone made objectively untrue communications of past or present fact that the person knew was untrue or recklessly disregarded the truth of the communication, and such communications caused you to suffer reputational damages.

If you think that such has occurred, your options are directly calling the person to cause them to stop, hire an attorney to write a cease and desist letter threatening a lawsuit, or just bringing the lawsuit. I would suggest starting least with the least aggressive.

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.

Posted

As Attorney Pederson suggests, an aggressive approach may not be the best one. I have seen judges sanction plaintiffs for bringing a case that appears to be about mere "gossip." You may wish to speak to an attorney if you have facts to support something more than gossip.

Be wary, however. If you file a defamation lawsuit, under California's "anti-SLAPP" laws, you may end up paying the defendant's attorney fees. Be sure your attorney is familiar with the SLAPP defense, which would be the expected approach if the defendant was able to claim the statements -- even if apparently defamatory -- were mere opinion, and not actionable defamation.

On the bright side, where a wrongful interference with accounts and/or business opportunities can be proved, there may be a viable legal claim. An attorney will need to determine whether or not the interference is wrongful or not based on all facts and circumstances.

This answer is not a substitute for legal advice and it does not create an attorney-client relationship.  Seek the advice of a licensed attorney before taking any action that may affect your rights

Panda Lynn Kroll

Panda Lynn Kroll

Posted

Sorry about the typo, Neil. At least I didn't call you Mr. McQueen this time.

Neil Pedersen

Neil Pedersen

Posted

No problem! :)

Posted

Consult with a civil litigation attorney who handles personal injury/defamation matters.

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