A Naperville lawyer is suing a man who posted a negative review of him online. Proving once again the Internet is a gray area when it comes to written law.
Attorney Paul Nordini has represented numerous clients in contentious divorce cases. But he’ll be entering into a new legal battle after Joe LaBarre, the ex-husband of one of his clients, posted a negative comment on Google Plus.
Labarre used the social networking site to state, “this is an exceptionally unethical law firm… stay away.”
Labarre goes on to say “Mr. Nordini maybe the best possible endorsement his ethically shaky law firm has probably had” and suggests that people looking to “screw” their spouses should use Nordini as their attorney.
Nordini gave us the following statement when we asked why he filed a lawsuit.
“Lawyers know that the practice of law involves, in part, a strict adherence to ethical rules. The legal profession strives to convey to clients and to the general public that these rules are for the benefit of the practice and for society. Violations of the ethical rules are taken very seriously, to the extent that lawyers can be disbarred and or suspended from the practice of law; therefore, the topic is never taken lightly.”
LaBarre did not return our request for an interview.
This local case brings up larger questions concerning the law and what is written on the Internet. We spoke with Attorney David Fish who has handled defamation cases.
“It’s kind of the wild wild west in terms of adapting what’s happening right now with the laws online, but I think the laws work,” said Fish.
Those laws state that if you damage someone’s reputation that person has a cause of action to collect damages. The best defense is truth.
“The laws really do protect consumers in terms of their ability to put out reviews. Number one, as I said before, if you tell the truth then you should be fine because truth is an absolute defense,” said Fish. “The other thing you can do is offer your opinion. Opinions are protected speech under the first amendment, so you can offer your opinion and that can be protected also.”
Fish says that if you’re worried about something you’re posting online take a few minutes to think about it, or ask someone else’s opinion before you hit that post button.
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