Defamation & Trade Libel

A good reputation is hard to earn, but easily destroyed.

Today, information posted on the Internet can reach a large number of people in a short period of time. This is good for companies trying to build brand recognition or sell a new product, as well as for individuals who want to promote their talents and better their lives. But when phony and harmful “facts” start circulating, it can kill careers and ruin businesses. Our law firm believes that everyone should succeed on their own merits without bogus information bringing them down. This is why Moneymaker & Stewart, LLP aggressively represents clients in defamation and trade libel lawsuits.

Defamation means wrongfully spreading a false statement of fact that injures a person’s reputation, business, or profession. If the defamatory statement is published in writing—for example, on the Internet or in a newspaper or letter—it is called libel. If the defamatory statement is spoken orally, it is called slander. Either way, victims of defamation are entitled under the law to monetary compensation for the harm they suffer. In some cases, the plaintiff in a defamation lawsuit is not required to prove that he or she lost money at all because the law assumes that happened.

Trade libel occurs when someone publishes a false statement of fact disparaging the quality of business’ products or services, knowing that the business will likely be harmed as a result. It is different from defamation in that it requires proof of intent to cause injury, whereas a claim for defamation can succeed even in the absence of such intent. However, trade libel claims have a two-year statute of limitations under California law, as opposed to the one-year statute of limitations for defamation claims. For companies battling false consumer reviews on Yelp or other websites, this additional time can mean the difference between getting harmful information removed from the Internet or having it remain there forever.

Defamation and trade libel can have disastrous effects on a business’ prospects of attracting and retaining customers, or on a person’s standing in the community and ability to make a living. You do not have to put up with that injustice.

If you or your company has experienced defamation or trade libel—including on consumer review websites like Yelp—please contact us for a free consultation. We may be able to remove defamatory material from the Internet, get you the monetary compensation you deserve, and help restore your reputation.


CALL NOW for a free consultation: 949-668-0611