I am being sued for loss of profits from a company due to a yelp review. My review was honest and if he lost business it is because he should have for poor business practices. How hard will it be for him to prove in small claims and or what kind of defenses should I focus on?
4 Answers from Attorneys
I can't give you an honest opinion on anything like that without knowing all of the relevant details.
I have to agree. If the claim is for defamation, then truth is a defense. You may also wish to argue that the damages are speculative.
It may be worth having a short consultation with an attorney to review the facts, develop the best arguments, and pull together the necessary proof. Better to spend a little bit of money for your defense than to risk an adverse judgment for several thousand.
Agreed hire an attorney. I also suspect this is based on some sort of defamation action that truth is always a defense for...
Mr. Perry and Mr. Green say you should hire an attorney, but parties aren't allowed to have attorneys in small claims court. You may want to have a consultation beforehand, but you will have to argue the case on your own.
Defamation involves statements of fact, not of opinion. If I say "The hamburger was uncooked", that's a statement of fact. If I say "The hamburger was cooked badly", that's a statement of opinion. Reviews are generally about opinions, but they do include statements of fact. Many also include statements of opinion which imply factual claims.
The plaintiff has to prove that your statements were factual in nature and that they were false. You should be prepared to argue that they were statements of opinion and that any factual statements you included were accurate.
And you should consult with a lawyer ahead of time about specifically what you said and why you believe it was true.