Why Can’t I Find a Lawyer to Take My Defamation Case? (Blame Barbra Streisand!) – Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

When it comes to your personal life or your business, if your reputation for honesty or competence has been defamed by an upset customer, former employee or competitor, who wouldn’t want to tackle this situation head on? We all would, and what often comes to mind is filing a lawsuit for defamation.

Defamation has certainly been in the news lately with the multimillion-dollar lawsuit Johnny Depp brought against ex-wife Amber Heard, claiming she defamed him in an op-ed that cost him lucrative acting jobs. While the jury ultimately sided with Depp, does anyone come out of a salacious six-week trial “a winner”? Or could the airing of dirty laundry lead in a court case lead to the opposite effect?

Those are issues anyone considering a defamation suit needs to consider. In fact, two people from opposite sides of the country hoping to pursue separate, unrelated defamation suits called me recently. One was the winner of her town’s annual grilling contest. The other was the CEO of a small Midwest IT firm. Each spoke with lawyers about filing defamation suits, but both were basically told, “No, we’re not going to do this for you. It is just not in your best interest.”

In their calls they each said they had real proof. Still very upset, they each told me they have the money to pay an attorney and they wanted to teach their detractors a lesson.  This is what they really wanted to know: Why would a lawyer decline a solid case?

So, if you have spoken with lawyers about filing a defamation lawsuit — and have been turned down — today’s story will explain why lawyers often counsel their clients out of marching off to the courthouse, sending an inflammatory cease and desist letter, posting angry comments online or taking other forms of action.

Case No. 1: A BBQ Chef ‘Rubbed’ the Wrong Way

The gist of my call from “Alice,” a dental hygienist working in a small town not far from Chicago:

“Mr. Beaver, I am the victim of a nasty gossip campaign being conducted by several people who are jealous of me being awarded top BBQ Chef in our town’s yearly grilling contest. This was the first time that I won it, and they are posting online that I cheated by duplicating commercially available rubs and BBQ sauces, which I did not!

“No one outside of our grilling community has said anything to me – yet – but I am afraid that will happen. I want to sue them for defamation, but every lawyer I spoke with refused to take my case, saying they won’t do this and mentioned Barbra Streisand! But what does …….

Source: https://www.kiplinger.com/personal-finance/604777/why-cant-i-find-a-lawyer-to-take-my-defamation-case-blame-barbra-streisand

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