Photo Attorney

Apr 28, 2009

Dealing With Online Negative Customer Reviews

Many photographers, such as those in the wedding and portrait business, provide their service directly to the public. With the Internet, reviews of your work are easily available to potential clients. But what do you do when a bitter client or enemy gives you a bad review? Do you have a claim for defamation?

In sum, defamatory statements are false statements that adversely affect your reputation and are "published" (told or written) to another. If the statements are another's opinion, then they must appear to be based on facts. If the statements are not defamatory on their face, then you must show innuendo to win a defamation lawsuit.

Generally, libel is a written defamatory statement and slander is a spoken defamatory statement. If the defamation is libel or "slander per se," then your damages are assumed. Slander per se are false statements about your having a loathsome disease, business or profession, being guilty of moral turpitude, or being unchaste woman. Thus, defamatory statements about your photography business would constitute slander per se and you would not have to prove that you have been injured by the defamation to be awarded damages in a lawsuit.

But short of filing a defamation lawsuit, you have other options to deal with bad online reviews. Adrianos Facchetti is an Internet defamation attorney in Los Angeles, CA, and publishes the Defamation Law Blog. He has several blog posts, along with a video, to explain online defamation basics and give you several creative and great strategies to deal with this problem.

The Internet is a powerful tool. Use its good resources to protect your work and your business.